Tech Top Producer of African-American Engineers

The Georgia Institute of Technology is the top overall producer of African-American engineers in the United States, according to Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine's annual college rankings report.

For the 2005-2006 academic year, Georgia Tech was ranked No. 1 in undergraduate degrees in engineering awarded to African-American students with 120 degrees, up from 117 during the 2004-2005 academic year.

Other top five degree producers at the undergraduate level include North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina State University at Raleigh, Southern University and A&M College and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.

"These rankings represent Georgia Tech's continued efforts to attract and graduate top minority students in engineering," said President G. Wayne Clough. "Given the growing need in our state and around the nation for talented citizens, we are proud of Tech's role as a national leader in creating and maintaining a supportive educational environment for minority students."

Georgia Tech was also the No. 1 producer of African-American doctoral graduates in engineering with 11 graduates, up from 4 the previous academic year.

Other top five producers of African-American doctoral engineering graduates include Morgan State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of Florida and North Carolina A&T State University.

Georgia Tech was No. 2 in engineering master's degrees awarded to African-American students with 28 degrees, down slightly from 29 during the previous academic year when Tech held the top spot.

The top spot for master's degrees awarded to African-American engineering students is now held by North Carolina A&T State University, a historically black university. Other top five producers include Southern Methodist University, University of Florida and University of Michigan.

Considered by Georgia Tech to be an important tool to measure the success of campus diversity initiatives, the rankings underscore Tech's efforts to create a diverse campus through strong recruitment and retention practices.

"These rankings are a truly meaningful measurement of Georgia Tech's continued efforts to create an educational environment where minority students can thrive," said Dr. Gary May, chair of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and founder and director of Facilitating Academic Careers in Engineering and Science (FACES), a program designed to encourage minority engagement in engineering and science careers. "Georgia Tech's performance over the past decade in producing African-American engineers at all degree levels has been phenomenal."

One of Tech's most successful minority recruitment projects is FOCUS, an annual event designed to attract the country's finest minority undergraduates to its graduate programs. Each year, African-American students from more than 80 colleges and universities across the nation attend the three-day series of lectures, tours, panel discussions and social events. The event, which is held annually during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, is now in its 16th year.

In addition, Georgia Tech has a solid relationship with the historically black institutions in the Atlanta area that make up the Atlanta University Center, which include Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morris Brown College, Spelman College, Morehouse School of Medicine and the Interdenominational Theological Center.

Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, a publication that covers minorities in American higher education, used statistics collected by the U.S. Department of Education to compile the rankings edition. The special report identifies the top 100 minority degree producers among institutions of higher education and is the only national report of U.S. colleges and universities awarding degrees to African-American, Latino, Asian-American and Native-American students.

The report was released as a two-part series spotlighting undergraduate and graduate statistics. Graduate and professional degree statistics appear in the July 12 edition of Diverse. Undergraduate statistics were released in the magazine's June 1 edition.