President Freeman Hrabowski in the New York Times

UMBC’s efforts to increase the number of minority students pursuing degrees and careers in science and engineering were highlighted in a December 6 column in the New York Times.

In “The Country Can Learn a Lesson From These Students,” Brent Staples, a member of the Times editorial board, writes about the national shortage of students pursuing degrees in these fields, noting that “…only about 6 percent of young college graduates in this country have degrees in science or engineering, as opposed to about 10 percent in many developed nations. The numbers are far worse for minorities: only 2.7 percent of young African-American college graduates and 2.2 percent of Latinos.”

Staples notes that President Freeman Hrabowski recently chaired a committee for National Academies that examined this problem and sets the goal of “nearly doubling” the percentage of science graduates and “at least” tripling the percentage underrepresented minorities receiving these degrees,

Staples says President Hrabowski “leads by example at UMBC, which now produces more minority scientists than any predominantly white institution in the country.”

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