“Diverse Issues in Higher Education” analyzed data from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics to rank universities according to on-campus diversity in June 2009.
This year Cal Poly’s rankings improved in several categories: from No. 6 to No. 4 in agriculture degrees awarded to Hispanics, from No. 47 to No. 36 in computer and information sciences degrees awarded to Asian Americans and from No. 79 to No. 78 in all degrees awarded to Hispanics.
It also ranked for the first time as:
No. 5 in architecture degrees awarded to all minorities
No. 5 in architecture degrees awarded to Asian Americans and Hispanics
No. 29 in mathematics and statistics degrees awarded to Hispanics
No. 37 in agriculture degrees awarded to African Americans
But the magazine worsened the school’s rankings in five areas:
No. 5 to No. 6 in agriculture degrees awarded to Asian Americans
No. 9 to No. 12 in engineering degrees awarded to minorities
No. 12 to No. 14 in engineering degrees awarded to Asian Americans
No. 9 to No. 19 in engineering degrees awarded to American Indians
No. 50 to No. 53 in degrees awarded to Asian Americans
The CSU system “prides itself on creating access to higher education,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed in a press release. “Our trustees, presidents, faculty, staff and students have worked to create welcoming and inclusive campuses – resulting in a university system that reflects the rich diversity of the state of California.”
But Cal Poly doesn’t come close to matching California’s diversity.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported that in 2007 that African Americans made up 6.7 percent of the California population, compared to only 1.1 percent of Cal Poly undergraduates, according to a fact sheet updated in July 2009 on the CSU Mentor Web site.
36.2 percent of Californians were of Hispanic or Latino origin in 2007, compared to 11.4 percent of Cal Poly undergraduates in 2009.
I attended a homogeneous high school; about 10 percent of my graduating class came to Cal Poly, so it wasn’t a big change when I moved to San Luis Obispo, where 65.2 percent of the undergraduate population is white, according to CSU Mentor.
Have you found that your classes are diverse? Does it depend on your major or year? Should Cal Poly be concerned about racial diversity on campus and if so, what should the school do?