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A team of researchers and data scientists at Academic Influence (AI) recently published the “Most Influential Historically Black Colleges & Universities” list. According to AI, their study found that the people affiliated with a historically Black college and university (HBCU) are ultimately what makes it great.

The who’s who lists for the 30 historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) included astronauts, aviators, actresses,  comedians, educators, engineers, journalists, mathematicians, lawyers, lobbyists, the first White House Chief Usher of African descent, talk show hosts, television producers, rappers, and songwriters. And there was no shortage of HBCU alumni who went on to win awards at the Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) STEM Conference.

They include Donnie Cochran (the 1989 Black Engineer of the Year), Frederick S. Humphries (Lifetime Achievement Award winner at BEYA 2001), Stephen W. Rochon (Stars & Stripes award winner, BEYA 2007), and Freeman A. Hrabowski III (the 2013 Black Engineer of The Year).

According to AI, HBCU faculty and alumni have been influential in education, social work, literature, law, medicine, mathematics, chemistry, computer science, physics, and business.

In the engineering field, faculty and alumni at Florida A&M, Hampton, Morgan State, Norfolk State, North Carolina A&T State, Tuskegee, Virginia State universities have been most influential.

Nearly one-third of the 30 HBCUs have ABET-accredited engineering schools that are also all part of the Council of Engineering Deans of HBCUs and AMIE (Advancing Minorities’ Interest in Engineering), a non-profit organization that fosters partnerships to attract, develop, recruit and graduate minorities in engineering.

HBCUs with ABET-accredited engineering schools in the Most Influential HBCUs list

  • Alabama State University
  • Florida A&M University
  • Hampton University
  • Howard University
  • Jackson State University
  • Morgan State University
  • Norfolk State University
  • Tennessee State University
  • Tuskegee University
  • University of the District of Columbia
  • Virginia State University

“For many students, HBCUs have established themselves as their preferred educational destination. Students today want more than a degree—they want a college experience that meets their personal needs. And more are finding what they want in an HBCU,” says Dr. Jed Macosko, academic director of AcademicInfluence.com and professor of physics at Wake Forest University.

HBCUs remain a critical source of education, community, and opportunity for Black students and a diverse cross-section of Latino, Asian, and white students.

According to the latest data from the National Center for Education Statistics, 51 public HBCUs and 50 private, nonprofit HBCUs provide degrees at every level of higher education. At the time of writing, 38 HBCUs offered associate degree programs, 83 offered bachelor’s degrees, 52 conferred master’s degrees, and 27 granted doctoral degrees.

AcademicInfluence.com is a technology-driven rankings site dedicated to students, researchers, and inquirers from high school through college and beyond, offering resources that connect learners to leaders.

Click here to see the complete list of the top 30 Historically Black Colleges & Universities.

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