CSUN ranks high in master’s degrees awarded to Latinos

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A recent study from the National Center for Education Statistics ranked CSUN as one of the top universities in the nation in handing out master’s degrees to Latinos, with a concentrated number of diploma recipients studying business, health and education.

According to data from the N.C.E.S., CSUN ranked 19th in the nation for the total number of master’s degrees awarded to Latinos, which totaled 178 during the 2002-03 school year.

Seventeen percent of master’s degrees awarded at CSUN during that year were given to Latinos, making for the 10th highest percentage of Latino master’s recipients in the country.

The statistics also indicate there is a greater number of master’s degrees being issued to Latinas than to Latinos males.

Of the 178 total Latinos who received their master’s degrees from CSUN during the 2002-03 school year, 131 were female.

This trend is not exclusive to CSUN.

In 23 of the top 25 colleges, female graduates outnumbered male graduates in terms of Latino master’s degree recipients.

“Nationwide, more females are pursuing graduate degrees than male students, not just (at) CSUN,” said Hedy Carpenter, associate director of Graduate Studies, Research and International Programs at CSUN.

The school that awarded the highest total amount of master’s degrees to Latinos during 2002-03 was Florida International University, with 716 degrees.

The school with the highest percentage of Latino master’s recipients, compared with the rest of the student body, was the University of Texas-Pan American, with 82 percent.

The Colleges of Education, Business and Economics, and Health and Human Development produced the greatest number of Latino graduate students during the 2002-03 academic year, said Andrew Mary, an NCES statistician.

Eighteen of the top 25 schools that issued master’s degrees to Latinos were located in California, Florida and Texas, all of which have high Latino populations, Mary said.

“We admit a lot of Latino and Latina students (into this college),” said Stan Charnofsky, who teaches graduate-level courses in the College of Education.

Many students, including Latinos, enter the field of education because they feel they want to help others, Charnofsky said.

“They want to be helping other people and (giving) back to society,” he said.

Charnofsky, who is also the CSUN Marriage and Family Therapy Program coordinator and a psychologist, said one attractive part about the College of Education is that upon completing the program for a master’s degree, students are awarded a “pupil personnel credential” which allows them to become counselors in several different areas, including K-12, college or career counseling — all careers that pay well, he said.

Nationally, the three academic programs that have awarded the most master’s degrees to Latinos are education, business and public administration, according to the N.C.E.S.