University Ranks Third in Nation Among Black Colleges
and Universities in Graduating African Americans with
Baccalaureate Degrees in Physics, Say National Report
and News Magazine
Lincoln University, America's first Historically
Black University, ranks third among the nation's 117 Black
colleges and universities in producing African Americans
with baccalaureate degrees in physics, according to a
national survey and news magazine. Between 1996 and 1998,
which are the most recent years that national and comparative
statistics are available, Lincoln University granted bachelor's
degrees in physics to an average of nine (9) graduates
in each of the three years, according to the American
Institute of Physics. Moreover, in 1999, Lincoln graduated
11 students with degrees in physics.
Out of a total of 3,405 students receiving physics degrees
in 1999, only 160 African Americans nationwide, or five
(5) percent, received bachelor's degrees in physics; another
24 or six (6) percent earned master's degrees in physics;
and ten or one (1) percent were granted Ph.D.'s in physics.
Meanwhile, white students in 1999 received 2,948 or 86
percent of the bachelor's degrees in physics; 329 or 85
percent of the master's degrees; and 603 or 90 percent
of the Ph.D.'s .
The nationwide survey and resulting ranking were reported
in the September 13, 2001 edition of BLACK ISSUES IN HIGHER
EDUCATION (BISHE). During the three-year period of 1996
to 1998, Xavier University of Louisiana led the list of
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) by
averaging 15 graduates with bachelor's degrees in physics;
Southern University & A&M College, also in Louisiana,
was second after averaging 10 graduates.
The magazine says that the number of black students graduating
yearly with degrees in physics has remained low, in comparison
with white students and traditionally white institutions,
because the physics profession needs to "do a better job
at making black students aware of opportunities in physics
before they get to college."
The numbers may reflect a declining interest in physics
in general, BISHE says. At Lincoln University, however,
interest in the physical sciences -- biology, chemistry
and physics -- continues to grow.
"Lincoln University's outstanding physical science
faculty members in the School of Natural Sciences and
Mathematics are to be commended for their longstanding
commitment to academic excellence and encouraging students
to seek their degrees in the physical sciences," University
President Ivory V. Nelson said.
Lincoln University has several other national distinctions.
Lincoln is ranked first in Pennsylvania and second in
the nation in graduating African Americans with baccalaureate
degrees in the physical sciences. Lincoln is the only
university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and one
of but 20 universities nationwide where 40 percent or
more of its physics graduates are women.
The Lincoln Advanced Science and Engineering Reinforcement
(LASER) program is recognized as one of the most successful
pre-engineering and science-training programs in the nation.
It is a national model of success in recruiting and mentoring
students for science careers. First established in 1980
by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA),
and now also supported by the U.S. Office of Naval Research,
the LASER program aims to increase the number of minority
students in aerospace and other engineering fields. In
addition to undertaking a rigorous curriculum, LASER students
also have the opportunity to participate in summer internships
at a NASA site.
Founded in 1854 in southern Chester County, Lincoln University
is a nationally acclaimed institution of higher learning
that provides the best elements of a liberal arts and
sciences-based undergraduate core curriculum and selected
graduate programs to meet the needs of students living
in a highly technological and global society. During its
2000-2001 academic year, Lincoln enrolled 1,842 undergraduate
and graduate students. * * * *