The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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CSUN ranks 12th in degrees earned by minorities

In a study conducted by ‘Diverse Issues in Higher Education,’ CSUN was ranked among the top 100 colleges and universities nationwide for minority students.’ The June 12th issue placed CSUN in the 12th position for baccalaureate degrees awarded to minority students for the 2006-2007 academic year.

Hispanics, in particular, have a higher probability of successfully completing their undergraduate degrees than other minorities as reported in a story by AScribe Newswire.’ ‘Diverse Issues in Higher Education’ placed CSUN eighth for the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded to Hispanics, 26th for the number of degrees awarded to Asian Americans, 79th for degrees awarded to blacks, and 85th for those awarded to Native Americans.

For the 2006-2007 academic year, degrees awarded to minority students accounted for approximately 43 percent of the students graduating as reported in ‘Diverse Issues in Higher Education.” ‘ There were a total of 2,521 bachelor’s degrees awarded with 872 to men and 1,649 to women.

The high ranking of the university has some obvious positive social outcomes.’ ‘There are great opportunities for all students that attend CSUN,’ said Javier Hernandez, director of Student Outreach and Recruitment at CSUN. ‘It is a diverse campus. There is something to learn for different individuals. Anytime a university campus can reflect its geographical area it can only be positive for the community.’ We have a geography that lends itself to our campus being diverse.’

It is still too early to be able to approximate the 2007-2008 degree awarded positioning on the national scale (early October is usually when the surveys are released), but the enrollment for that year at CSUN amounted to 26.4 percent Hispanics, 8 percent blacks, 8.2 percent Asian-Americans and 0.5 percent American-Indians.

Isabelle Abusleme, a biology major, feels the differences in cultures on the campus brings some undoubtedly favorable interactions.

‘It gives more diversity,’ said Abusleme.’ ‘It brings more things to the table.’ My cousin was an international student here and told me that there were many Latino students here. Everyone is driven here, it’s breaking the stereotype.’

CSUN Provost Harry Hellenbrand understands that there are a number of elements that come into play when ranking universities nationwide on an issue like minority student success rates.’

‘Well I did a study on this myself over the summer,’ said Hellenbrand.’ ‘Northridge (CSUN) is the most diverse university in the western United States.’ It’s kind of a world institution. There is an interesting balance of ethnicities. There are an incredible amount of Armenians, who are not a traditional ethnic group. Now if you go back 10, 15, or 20 years, the students were entirely white.’

‘The San Fernando Valley is what New York City was in the 1940s, it is the melting pot of the world and our students are a reflection of that,’ said Hellenbrand.’ ‘It is always one of the top schools in the U.S. for the number of Hispanics coming in and graduating.’ ‘ Northridge offers arguably the best Chicano Studies program in the country.’ African-American enrollment showed an 11 percent increase from 8 percent last year to 9 percent this year.’

The Chicano Studies program is not the only flourishing department of the university.’ ‘ The Pan African, Asian and Jewish Studies along with the Armenian minor of track program are also nationally distinguished.

As far as who got ranked first in previous years for minority student graduation, Hellenbrand mentioned that it is always a toss between the same universities, some of which include: California State University, Los Angeles, California State University, Long Beach and Texas State University, San Marcos.

Hernandez said perhaps the key reason for CSUN’s success rate amongst minorities lies in its committed faculty.

‘Our staff does a tremendous job and our community knows it,’ said Hernandez.

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