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Texas Tech Receives Top Marks in Retaining Diverse Students

The university is a model for others due to high degree attainment by Hispanic and African-American students.

Written by Callie Jones

Texas Tech has managed to raise graduation rates for Hispanic and African-American students by more than 18 percentage points.

Texas Tech has managed to raise graduation rates for Hispanic and African-American students by more than 18 percentage points.

Texas Tech is a model for other universities to follow due to high degree attainment by Hispanic and African-American students, according to a recent study by The Education Trust.

In a summary of the findings, Texas Tech is one of only four universities mentioned. The others are Virginia Commonwealth University, Stony Brook University, and the University of Southern California.

Interim President Lawrence Schovanec said that the study reveals Texas Tech’s commitment to educational inclusion.

“One of our priorities as university administrators and faculty at institutions of higher learning is to provide educational opportunities,” Schovanec said. “Education is an essential piece to our future goals and endeavors as a society, as is enhancing learning opportunities for all those seeking higher education.”

The study’s findings are documented in two briefs, “Advancing to Completion: Increasing degree attainment by improving graduation rates and closing gaps for Hispanic students” and “Advancing to Completion: Increasing degree attainment by improving graduation rates and closing gaps for African-American students,” The study is based on results from College Results Online and includes data from 2004-2010. In that time, Texas Tech has managed to raise graduation rates for Hispanic and African-American students by more than 18 percentage points.

Moreover, Texas Tech is featured as a case study in the Hispanic report, which describes how the university has significantly increased its graduation rates among Hispanic students.

The report states that Texas Tech did a significant job of closing the gap between completion rates for Hispanic and white students, and therefore ranks among the “Top Gap Closers.” Nationally, the graduation gap between Hispanic and white students is more than 14 percent, which is only about a 1.4 percent improvement from 2004-2010. Between 2004 and 2010, the Hispanic population at Texas Tech has grown by more than 30 percent. In 2004, almost 16 percentage points separated graduation rates between Hispanic and white students. In 2010, only 4 percentage points separated the difference in graduation rates for Hispanic students and white students.

Texas Tech was ranked 21st among the “Top 25 Gainers in Hispanic Student Graduation Rates among Public Institutions, 2004-2010,” and 18th among “Top 25 Graduation-Rate Gap-Closers among Public Institutions, 2004-2010.”

Texas Tech also fared well with its African-American student population as well, ranking ninth in the “Top 25 Gainers in Black Student Graduation Rates among Public Institutions, 2004-2010,” increasing its graduation rate by more than 18 percentage points.

Juan Muñoz, vice president for institutional diversity, equity, community engagement, and vice provost for undergraduate education and student affairs, is cited throughout the study and attributes Texas Tech’s success to efforts on behalf of the university to create a climate that supports efforts and initiatives to advance equity and excellence at Texas Tech.

“This recent affirmation by The Education Trust which recognizes the result of diversity and inclusion efforts at Texas Tech is most welcomed, but not entirely surprising,” said Muñoz. “As an emerging national research university, Texas Tech is proud to serve as a national model of educational equity and academic excellence. Through a deliberate and strategic leveraging of organizational assets, Texas Tech has achieved unprecedented student diversity and success. This recognition underscores our school’s motto, that regardless of one’s background, from here it’s possible.”

Mary Nguyen, higher education research and policy analyst at The Education Trust, commended the universities cited in the summary of the findings.

“These institutions are increasing their success rates among students of color without becoming more exclusive and serving fewer of these students,” Nguyen said.

The Education Trust is a research and advocacy organization that promotes high academic achievement for all students at all levels.

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Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Community Engagement
Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Community Engagement

The Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Community Engagement is dedicated to create and support an environment that allows all members of the university community to be academically and professionally successful.

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