Park University is once again ranked among the top 100 colleges and universities in the United States for conferring bachelor's degrees to students of color, according to Diverse Issues in Higher Education magazine.
In its June 7 issue, DIHE ranked Park No. 98 in the nation in the "Total Minority -- All Disciplines Combined" category. Park is the only institution based in Missouri or Kansas to earn a top 100 ranking, and the University is ranked second among schools within the West North Central states of the Midwest region (among Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota).
Park also ranked No. 63 in the nation for bachelor's degrees conferred to African-Americans and No. 76 nationally for bachelor's degrees conferred to Hispanics. In both categories, Park was the highest-ranked college/university in Missouri or Kansas to be ranked, and the University was the second-ranked school within the West North Central states of the Midwest region.
Serving an ethnically diverse student population has, since its beginning, been central to Park's educational mission. Even in its first year, the University enrolled women students as well as men, something that was unusual at the time; and two of the original 17 students were Native Americans. Park was also an early integrator when it welcomed African-American students to live in Park's residence halls in the 1950s.
Providing such access has developed considerable diversity among the student population, with more than 650 international students from 95 countries, and a 42 percent student representation from racial, ethnic and cultural groups typically underrepresented in colleges and universities. The University has repeatedly been recognized as one of the top 100 American colleges/universities in the nation graduating Hispanic, African-American and American-Indian students.
The rankings were based on the magazine's analysis of U.S. Department of Education reports of data submitted by all institutions of higher education across the country. The rankings are based on a review of 2010-11 preliminary data.