UC Riverside is one of the few universities in the country that graduates as many minorities as non-minorities, according to studies released today by a nonprofit education policy advocacy group.
The Washington, D.C.-based Education Trust published two reports indicating that UCR ranked among the top U.S. public universities where black and Hispanic students graduate at roughly the same rate — or better than — whites.
“When it comes to students of color, success builds on itself,” said UCR Chancellor Timothy P. White. “Our faculty and staff maintain an unyielding commitment to the idea that diversity is a source of academic excellence.”
According to statistics on the student body’s ethnic makeup in the 2009-10 academic year, UCR was 40 percent Asian, 28 percent Hispanic, 17 percent Caucasian and 8 percent black, with smaller percentages listed as Native American, “other” and “international.”
Education Trust’s first study — “Big Gaps, Small Gaps: Some Colleges & Universities Outpace Others in Graduating African-American Students” — showed that, based on research between 2006 and 2008, an average 66.9 percent of black undergraduate students earned their degrees, compared to 62.4 percent of whites.
The second study — “Big Gaps, Small Gaps: Some Colleges & Universities Outpace Others in Graduating Hispanic Students” — showed that during the same three-year period, an average 63.4 percent of Hispanic students graduated from UCR.
Only 20 public universities and colleges made Education Trust’s list of schools with the “smallest” white-Hispanic achievement gap, and UCR was among the top five.
Thirty-three public universities and colleges made the list of schools with the smallest white-black gap, and UCR was in the top 25.
“Through our freshman transition programs and other student support services, we strive to ensure that students from all backgrounds can achieve success,” White said. “We intend to continue to improve in these areas.”