"The success of our African-American students reflects the long-term efforts of our faculty and staff to improve retention and graduation for all of our students."
—Lawrence G. Abele
FSU leads nation among research universities in undergraduate degrees to African-Americans
by Barry Ray
The most recent issue of the journal Diverse: Issues in Higher Education reports that Florida State University is among the very top schools in the United States at producing minority graduates.
The magazine's May 31 issue uses 2005-2006 data to rank the top 100 producers of minority undergraduate degrees. For all disciplines combined, FSU ranks fifth in degrees awarded to black undergraduates with 931. That is a 15 percent increase over 2004-2005.
FSU is the No. 1 producer in the United States of African-American baccalaureates among "Doctoral Universities with Very High Research Activity"—the highest classification for research universities as provided by the nonprofit Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
"The success of our African-American students reflects the long-term efforts of our faculty and staff to improve retention and graduation for all of our students," said Lawrence G. Abele, FSU's provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs. "This also is the second recognition of our success, as FSU was recently recognized for being one of the few universities in the country whose minority and majority students graduate at the same rate."
"As this ranking shows, FSU has a strong commitment to admitting and retaining minority students," said Karen Laughlin, dean of Undergraduate Studies at FSU. "We are proud of the many ways that we support these students and provide them with the environment and the tools they need to be successful."
Within specific academic disciplines, FSU ranked highly in several categories for numbers of African-American students earning baccalaureate degrees. These include social sciences (fourth); English (eighth); engineering (13th); and physical sciences (14th).
Florida A&M University, a historically black university that also is in Tallahassee, was first for all disciplines in the Diverse: Issues in Higher Education rankings, followed by Howard University, Georgia State University, and Southern University and A&M College. Florida International University is the top baccalaureate producer of Hispanic students for all disciplines; FSU ranks 26th.
FSU has been recognized before for its success in producing minority graduates. A January 2005 report from The Education Trust cited the fact that FSU has virtually closed the gap in graduation rates between African-American and white students.