Campus: San Diego State University -- September 14, 2005

San Diego State University Ranked No. 4 in Nation Among Top Graduate Engineering Programs for Hispanics

The College of Engineering at San Diego State University is No. 4 in the nation for Hispanics, according to new rankings by Hispanic Business magazine.

"We are benefiting from a long history of working hard and successfully to attract and graduate an increasingly diverse student body in a field of study where Hispanics are historically under-represented," said College of Engineering Dean David Hayhurst.

"It is especially gratifying to have so many of our Hispanic graduates come back each year to mentor and support our new students," Hayhurst said.

The September 2005 edition of Hispanic Business listed the graduate engineering program at San Diego State as No. 4 among the top 10 graduate engineering programs for Hispanics - the first year the magazine has ranked engineering schools. Hispanics make up 17.7 percent of graduate engineering students at San Diego State.

The magazine lauds the university's student support programs and pre-collegiate outreach initiatives, also pointing out that San Diego State is one of the nation's top universities for undergraduate degrees awarded to Hispanics overall (San Diego State ranks 9th in the country this year).

Theresa M. Garcia, director of the university's acclaimed MESA (for Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement) Engineering Program, said on-campus student support programs such as MESA have proven vital to bringing diverse students to San Diego State.

"We're able to welcome Hispanic students as family, provide them the support they need academically, introduce them to mentors, prepare them for internships and help them grow professionally," Garcia said.

"Many are the first in their family to go to college and first in forever to even consider engineering, math or science," Garcia said. "Not only do we have engineers who have graduated from San Diego State come back each year and mentor our students, we also have current students mentor new students to show them that, yes, this can be done."

In addition to MESA, the College of Engineering sponsors a Faculty-Student Mentoring Program to provide one-to-one support to help students achieve their college and career goals. The university's chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers each year hosts career networking events for current students and an "Engineering in the Barrio Summit" and other events to motivate junior high and high school students to become the next generation of engineers. Engineering alumni are among the program's more generous contributors.

The top 10 graduate engineering programs for Hispanics named by Hispanic Business are: University of El Paso at No. 1, Georgia Institute of Technology (2), University of Central Florida (3), San Diego State (4), Michigan State University (5), Rice University (6), University of Texas at Austin (7), West Virginia University (8), Iowa State University (9) and University of California at Irvine (10).

Contact: Renee Haines, (619) 594-4298,

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