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Tech Ranked Among Tops For Minority Opportunities

SOCORRO, N.M. January 4, 2011 – Yet again, New Mexico Tech is included in another national ranking. This time, Forbes magazine ranked universities for serving minorities in science and engineering.

New Mexico Tech ranked 20th in the nation for providing quality educational opportunities for minorities.

The Forbes study focused on universities that confer a high percentage of degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (known colloquially as STEM).

Producing more graduates with STEM degrees is an important goal for any college, reporter Natalie Doss wrote. The majors with the highest starting and mid-career salaries are nearly all STEM degrees, according to Payscale.com's 2010-2011 College Salary Report.

“So far higher education hasn't done a good job of helping two big groups succeed in STEM: women and members of racial or ethnic minorities,” Doss wrote for Forbes. “A report from the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering showed that only 12.5 percent of the engineering bachelor's degrees awarded in 2006 went to underrepresented minorities, including blacks, Hispanics and American Indians.”

Some U.S. universities are successfully graduating women and minorities with STEM degrees. Doss and Forbes set out to determine the schools that are getting it right.

The student excluded schools where the student body is almost entirely female or minority students.

The Forbes ranking of the best colleges for minorities in STEM compared blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians (groups typically underrepresented in STEM) to whites and Asians (groups typically well-represented in STEM).

“STEM careers are great careers; we know that, and we get that message across to them [the students],” said Dr. Thomas Mans, professor of social science and director of college assessment at Saint Mary’s College in Minnesota. “The campus environment is really supportive. There is this sense that part of our mission is to find kids with potential and to make it work for them when it may not have worked for them somewhere else.”

Forbes’ Top 20 Universities – Minority Opportunities
1    Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
2    Westmont College
3    Colorado College
4    Christopher Newport University
5    University of Colorado Denver
6    St Mary's College of Maryland
7    Texas Tech University
8    University of Massachusetts-Lowell
9    Tulane University of Louisiana
10    Georgia Southern University
11    Louisiana State University
12    Florida Institute of Technology
13    New Mexico State University

14    Texas A & M University
15    California State University-Chico
16    Davidson College
17    University of Florida
18    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
19    University of Miami
20    New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech