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Loma Linda University named among top 15 institutions in nation for conferring degrees to minority students

Diversity Loma Linda University was named among the top 15 educational institutions in the United States for conferring degrees to minority students.

By Midori Yoshimura

Loma Linda University scored high on the national list of “Top 100 Degree Producers,” which lists institutions by the number of degrees conferred to minority students.

The annual rankings were released in the June 9, 2011, issue of Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.

Nationwide, Loma Linda University places among the top 15 institutions in the master’s, doctorate, and first professional degree categories. To determine an institution’s standing, the magazine uses the most recent data (from 2009-2010) reported by each institution.

“This type of national recognition regarding LLU’s efforts to increase the number of underrepresented minority students in the health professions deserves celebration and encouragement in our diversity efforts,” says Juan Carlos Belliard, PhD, MPH, director, Institute for Community Partnerships.

“We are beginning to see the fruits that are a result of the passion and hard work of faculty and administrators on this campus.”

For master’s degrees conferred, Loma Linda University is third for Asian American graduates in health and medical administrative services. The university also ranks tenth for all minority graduates from health professions and related programs. Minority students made up 40 percent of the 2009-2010 graduating class, a 26 percent increase from 2008-2009’s statistics.

Among institutions that grant doctoral degrees, LLU ranks third for Hispanic students, and eleventh for all minority students graduating from health professions and related programs. Minority students made up almost a third of 2009-2010 graduates of health professions and related programs.

For first professional degrees awarded, Loma Linda University ranks ninth among Hispanic graduates. Across all minorities, Loma Linda University is 11th for graduates of rehabilitation and therapeutic professions programs.

This category composed 39 percent of the 2009-2010 graduating class.

Currently, students from more than 80 countries, and almost every state in the nation, are part of LLU’s student body. Programs such as Sí Se Puede, which gives Hispanic teenagers a chance to explore health careers at LLU, demonstrate the university’s commitment to quality education for all.

Organizations such as Black Alumni of Loma Linda and Hispanic Alumni of Loma Linda serve as support systems for current minority students.

“We must use this as an impetus to continue increasing access into the health professions and our university, especially by those communities who do not find themselves represented in the health fields,” says Dr. Belliard. “There is still more work to be done, but this is very encouraging.”

Loma Linda University’s complete rankings can be found at http://diverseeducation.com/top100/ (select “Loma Linda University” as the institution).