CSUN Earns High National Rankings for Degrees to Minorities and Social Mobility

New CSUN graduates celebrate at Commencement 2014 in May on the Oviatt Library lawn. Photo by Lee Choo.

New CSUN graduates celebrate at Commencement in May 2014 on the Oviatt Library lawn. Photo by Lee Choo.

Two rankings released in early October lauded California State University, Northridge for its high rate of conferring degrees on minority students, as well as its graduates’ overall social mobility.

Diverse: Issues in Higher Education website ranked CSUN No. 16 on its 2014 list of Top 100 Degree Producers among institutions that confer the most undergraduate degrees to students of color. The rankings considered all minority groups and specific disciplines, as well as examining institutions’ degrees with all disciplines combined.

CSUN has a long history of welcoming underserved communities. The university was one of the first in the nation to establish ethnic studies programs, including Chicana/o Studies, Africana Studies and Central American Studies.

The annual Social Mobility Index, sponsored by CollegeNet, this month ranked CSUN fifth in the nation for its impact on the improved earning power and economic prospects of its graduates. The index considered tuition and economic background of the student body — the most critical factors in access to higher education — as the key variables, as well as graduation rate, early career salary and the institution’s endowment.

The mobility index aims to spark higher education policy changes within the United States to help narrow the nation’s growing gap between rich and poor.

“I am happy to see that CSUN’s faculty and staff are being recognized for the great work that they do with underrepresented students,” Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Harry Hellenbrand said of the rankings. “Advancing so many students to higher degrees and higher salaries indicate the value that we add.”

With an enrollment of more than 40,000 students, CSUN is one of the largest universities in the United States. In addition to its ranking for awarding bachelor’s degrees to minority students, CSUN ranks fifth nationally in awarding master’s degrees to Hispanic students and enrolls the largest number of deaf and hard-of-hearing students of any U.S. state university.

CSUN’s 171 academic programs and engaged centers enjoy an international reputation for excellence. The university partners with more than 100 institutions of higher education in 22 countries around the globe and attracts the largest international student population of any U.S. master’s-level institution. Situated on a 356-acre park-like setting in the heart of Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley, the campus features modern educational buildings and world-class LEED Gold-certified performing arts and recreational facilities recognized as among the best in the country. CSUN is a welcoming university that champions accessibility, academic excellence and student success.

For more on the rankings, visit socialmobilityindex.org and diverseeducation.com/top100.

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