Grossmont College among top in nation for awarding degrees to minority students

2020-02-22 | The San Diego Union-Tribune

Feb. 21--Grossmont College has been recognized as one of the top community colleges in the country for the high number of associate degrees it awarded to minorities a couple of years ago.

"Diverse: Issues In Higher Education," a news magazine dedicated to diversity in higher education, ranked Grossmont No. 52 in the country.

The data from Diverse shows that Grossmont awarded 1,395 degrees to minority students in 2017-18, a 30 percent increase over the preceding year.

The magazine says that minority students are those students who self-identified as African American, Asian American, Hispanic, Native American or as part of two or more races. During the 2017–18 academic year, Grossmont awarded more than 4,200 degrees to nearly 1,800 students, the most of any community college in San Diego and Imperial counties, according to the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District that oversees the El Cajon college.

The data was compiled for Diverse by Rhonda V. Sharpe, founder and president of the Women's Institute for Science, Equity and Race. Diverse said it is the only national report on the ability of U.S. colleges and universities to award associate degrees to African-American, Asian American, Hispanic and Native American students.

With nearly 1,000 community colleges in the country, the ranking places Grossmont among the top 5 percent in degree production for minority students.

"This recognition shows that our collective energies toward high, rising and equitable success among all groups, which was recently commended by our accrediting agency, are working for our students," said Grossmont College President Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh.

Diverse found that in 2017-18, 44 percent of 439,482 associate degrees awarded were conferred to minorities, up from 42 percent in 2016-17. More of the magazine's data can be seen at:

The recognition is yet another distinction for Grossmont. Last November, the college was recognized for the second time in a row by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program as one of 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation's signature recognition of high achievement and performance among American's community colleges.

Last October, the college was named a 2019 Champion of Higher Education or the second year in a row by the Campaign for College Opportunity for its work to significantly increase the number of students earning an Associate Degree for Transfer, an associate's degree that guarantees transfer to a California State University institution.