205 Trends in Atmospheric Science Degrees in Underrepresented Groups

Monday, 11 January 2016
Marlene Kaplan, NOAA, Silver Spring, MD; and T. Christenson

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is committed to building a workforce that is both highly skilled and reflects the diversity of the Nation. To assess the demographic trends in areas of critical need to the Agency's mission, NOAA's Office of Education examined National Center for Education Statistics BS, MS and PhD degree completion data from 1993 to 2013 in Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology. Degree completions at all levels have shown significant increases despite periods of high variability over this time period (71% for B.S. degrees, 28% for M.S. degrees, and 67% for Doctoral degrees). Graduation rates among groups traditionally underrepresented in these areas have also increased over this time period, although degree completion rates remain low. Bachelor degree completions in Atmospheric Science/Meteorology among Hispanics showed a six-fold increase from 1995 to 2013 while for non-Hispanic Blacks the rate nearly doubled. Increased completion rates of MS degrees were more modest and showed high variability. Doctoral degree completion rates were low for non-Hispanic Blacks (4 per year in 2012 and 2013) and Hispanics, (2 per year in 2012 and 2013), respectively, however none were completed in 1993 for either group. The top producers of BS, MS and PhD degrees, respectively, for non-Hispanic Blacks in Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences during this time period were Jackson State University (53 B.S.) and Howard University (15 M.S. and 9 PhD). Meanwhile, Texas A&M University (41 B.S., 4 M.S.) and Florida State University (35 B.S., 9.M.S, 3 PhD) graduated the most Hispanics in these areas.
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