Thursday, October 09, 2014

HBCUs as the Most Productive Undergraduate Sources of Black Doctorates in Science & Engineering

Last update: Thursday 10/9/14 @ 4:19 pm
In June 2013 I posted a note on this blog titled, "HBCUs Produce the Most Black Alums Who Receive Doctorates in Science and Engineering." My note analyzed data presented in a March 2013 NSF report, Baccalaureate Origins of U.S.-trained S&E Doctorate Recipients. The NSF data identified the number of black alums of all accredited colleges and universities who subsequently received research-oriented doctoral degrees. My analysis showed that 21 HBCUs were surprisingly more productive than most non-HBCU colleges and universities. (Note: S&E is roughly equivalent to STEM)

The NSF report indicated that 9,202 U.S. recipients of research S&E doctoral degrees between 2002 and 2011 were black. The NSF report also noted that the 85 accredited HBCUs that offered bachelors degrees produced 2,435 black alums who subsequently earned S&E doctorates -- which is 26% of the 9,202 doctorates earned by alums of all colleges and universities. Table 1 (below) is a modified version of Table 5 in my June 2013 note. 

Note: Table 1 refers to the number black alums who receive S&E doctorates as "Yields" ... and it refers to the number of doctoral recipients per 100 black alums as "Yield Ratios"
  • Given that all of the nation's 106 HBCUs enrolled less than 13 percent of all black undergraduates who were enrolled in all U.S. colleges and universities during this ten year period, HBCUs as a whole were twice as productive as might have been expected.
     
  • What's even more remarkable is that the 21 most productive HBCUs -- i.e., 25 percent of the 85 HBCUS that offered bachelors degrees -- accounted for 1,819 of these black doctoral S&E recipients. This represented 75% of the 2,435 HBCU alums and 20 percent of the total 9,202 black alums.
The NSF report also tabulated the number of black alums who received S&E doctorates in four subfields -- Life Sciences, Social Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Engineering.  My June 2013 note analyzed and graphed the dominance of the HBCUs listed in Table 1 as the largest suppliers of doctoral recipients in each of these subfields. I refer readers to my previous note for details. However, I conclude this overview by quoting a few of that note's most telling conclusions:
  • All HBCUs are not the same. They come in a variety of types and sizes, and their performance varies widely on some important metrics.
     
  • The HBCUs in the top 21 were not the 21 largest HBCUs.
     
  • Many non-HBCUs are more efficient sources of black alums who subsequently received S&E doctorates; their yield-ratios are higher, i.e., more S&E doctorates per 100 black alums ... Only one HBCU, Spelman College, made it into the top ten on the NSF list of the 50 U.S. colleges and universities of all kinds that had the highest yield-ratios
     
  • HBCUs can't learn from each other's experience until they acknowledge that some HBCUs are performing much better than others with regards to some important metrics, e.g., yields and yield-ratios. 

Table 1. HBCUs on NSF's List of Top 50 Undergrad Sources of Black S&E Doctorates    
Yield
Rank
HBCUs
(2)
Yield =
Black S&E
 Doctorates
(3)
Fall 2011
Black
Undergrad
Enrollment
(4)
1
Howard University.
220
6808
2
Spelman College
175
1760
3
Florida A&M University
154
10443
4
Hampton University
150
3849
5
Xavier University of Louisiana
126
2101
6
Morehouse College
106
2320
7
Morgan State University
102
5784
7
North Carolina A&T State University
102
7934
9
Southern Univesity and A&M College
100
5414
10
Tuskegee University
80
2327
16
Jackson State University
69
6380
20
Tennessee State University
61
5333
26
Alabama A&M University
50
3936
34
Clark Atlanta University
45
2848
34
Prairie View A&M University
45
5922
37
Tougaloo College
44
917
41
Norfolk State University
41
5568
42
North Carolina Central University
40
5148
45
Grambling State University
39
3857
50
Dillard University
35
1200
50
Fisk University
35
372

Number Top HBCUs
21


Total Black from Top HBCUs
1819