University of Arizona College of Medicine and the James E. Rogers College of Law have been named as two of the nation’s 10 best graduate programs for Hispanics by Hispanic Business magazine.
In its September issue, the publication ranked the UA College of Medicine ninth in the nation for Hispanic students, moving up from 11th last year. The magazine ranked the Rogers College of Law as the fourth best law school in the nation for Hispanic students, up from ninth place last year.
The magazine used five distinct variables in ranking the graduate programs – including the number and percentage of Hispanic students and faculty, the programs and services geared toward recruiting and mentoring Hispanic students, the student retention rate and the school’s standing in U.S. News and World Report rankings.
For many years, the UA College of Medicine and the Rogers College of Law have offered a variety of academic, professional and social support services for Hispanic students.
Since 1969, the College of Medicine’s Office of Outreach and Multicultural Affairs has aimed to meet the health care needs of Arizona’s diverse population by recruiting, retaining and supporting students who are underrepresented in health care fields through a variety of outreach programs.
The office is led by Dr. Ana María López, associate dean of outreach and multicultural affairs and medical director of the Arizona Telemedicine Program.
López and her team are charged with strengthening the office’s existing programs and developing new ones to address the complex issues of health care disparities and diversity in the 21st century.
“It is our goal to study and develop best practice models that will meet the health care needs of Arizona’s increasingly diverse population. Through funded efforts such as the ‘Improving Teacher Quality’ partnership with the Sunnyside School District, the Consortium of Hispanic Centers of Excellence and the summer Frontera program, we continue our efforts to support the workforce needs of our state,” López said.
The James E. Rogers College of Law consistently ranks among the nation’s 10 best law schools by Hispanic Business, and is recognized as a closely knit community that supports students during their three years in law school and beyond.
The college operates the BRIDGE Program, which was originally designed for non-traditional and first-generation law students. It is now open to all entering first-year students and provides them with a thorough orientation to the study of law.
In partnership with the Arizona Minority Bar Association, the College of Law manages a writing program that helps second year students secure work experiences in law firms, where they can practice drafting legal documents and gain exposure to private sector working environments. In addition, the college’s Career and Professional Development Office offers personalized assistance to all students with services that range from career counseling to job fairs and interviewing opportunities.
An active Student Bar Association sponsors dozens of social and educational events throughout the year, serving as the umbrella association for more than 30 other student groups, one of which is the Latino Law Student Association, known as LLSA.
Organized in 1993, LLSA has grown to become one of the largest and most active groups on campus, coordinating community service initiatives such as high school mentoring and outreach to Hispanic youth. LLSA also brings high-profile speakers to the UA and frequently collaborates with other campus units to engage students interested in law careers.
Toni Massaro, dean of the Rogers College of Law, notes that faculty and staff work hard to make sure that “each student has the support that he or she needs to become a leader in the profession and in the community. That has been our tradition and is our ethic.”
Still, she notes, a great part of students’ success and achievement can be attributed to the atmosphere where their legal education takes place. “We have excellent programs and support mechanisms that address the needs of a diverse student body, but I think our students most value the collegiality and peer support that they find here,” Massaro added.