The list, compiled by TexasOnlineColleges.com, ranks colleges and universities in the state using several factors, including the number of online programs offered, the percentage of online students enrolled, and graduation and retention rates.
Texas Tech University has been named No. 1 among online, Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) in Texas by Texas Online Colleges. The rankings recognize colleges and universities in Texas that provide robust online degree offerings and meet the definition of an HSI as stated by the U.S. Department of Education. Texas Tech achieved its HSI designation in 2019, the result of efforts across the entire university to serve the needs of a diverse and growing campus community.
Fall 2017 was the first time Texas Tech met the Department of Education enrollment criteria to be recognized as an HSI, with Hispanic students comprising 27.8% of the undergraduate student body that semester. By fall 2020, that number had risen to 29.7%. Of the 131 Carnegie Tier One research institutions, Texas Tech is one of just 14 to meet the HSI criteria for designation.
"Texas Tech is honored to be recognized as the Top Online Hispanic-Serving Institution in Texas as ranked by Texas Online Colleges," said Carol A. Sumner, chief diversity officer and vice president of Texas Tech's Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. "As one of the universities designated as both a Carnegie-rated Very High Research Activity institution and an HSI, Texas Tech continues to find ways to serve our community that increase access while providing an educational experience that is second to none, as well as ways to reach beyond its physical footprint to provide opportunities in higher education for all Texans."
The ranking is based on seven key metrics for identifying academic excellence, using data from several sources, including the U.S. Department of Education:
- Small student-to-faculty ratio: Texas Tech has a 21:1 student-to-faculty ratio.
- High number of online programs offered: The university offers 80 fully online degree programs as well as 20 online certificate and certification prep programs through eLearning & Academic Partnerships.
- High percentage of online students: During a typical year, there are about 4,000 fully online/remote and regional students attending Texas Tech.
- High graduation rates: In fall 2020, the university reached a record six-year graduation rate of 63.3%.
- High retention rates: Texas Tech also reached a record first-year retention rate of 87.6%.
- High desirability, or the relationship between the number of applicants to a school, those who were admitted and of those, the number who enrolled.
- Academic influence, based off the number of scholarly contributions made by the institution's faculty in their fields of study and how often they were cited by other scholarly works.
This is Texas Tech's second recognition from the site in recent months. In October, Texas Online Colleges ranked the university as the No. 1 online college in the state based on the quality of academics offered, the number of online programs offered and the number of students who graduate from those online programs. In the same list, Texas Tech also was ranked as the No. 2 best value online college in Texas as well as among the most affordable online colleges in the state.