Enrollment at the University of Houston-Victoria rose to a record 3,173 students this semester, a 14 percent growth over fall 2007.
"This growth, which is substantial to say the least, is proof positive that UHV is meeting the needs and exceeding the expectations of the students we serve," UHV President Tim Hudson said. "This rapidly expanding student body is a credit to the faculty, staff and administrators who continue to set new standards of excellence at our institution."
UHV released preliminary fall enrollment numbers earlier in the semester that showed the university had exceeded the 3,000-student benchmark for the first time.
The strongest growth rates were recorded in the School of Business Administration and the School of Nursing.
Business enrollment grew 28.1 percent, adding 284 students divided fairly evenly between undergraduate and graduate programs. The school is the largest of the four at UHV with just under 1,300 students.
"We're continually developing innovative new programs and improving our existing offerings, which draw a growing number of students," Interim Dean Jifu Wang said. "In addition, many students tell us that the quality of our student services and online support influenced their decisions to enroll."
Through its strong online programs, the school affords working professionals the opportunity to earn advanced degrees through flexible schedules, he said. The school also offers unique programs like the Global Master of Business Administration and the Master of Science in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship, and has signed a number of international agreements, most recently with institutions in China.
The School of Nursing reported a jump of 77.8 percent, driven largely by the start of graduate-level courses in the school. Some 40 students signed up for graduate classes this fall.
"This school has grown faster than anticipated because word is spreading in the nursing community about the great opportunities that UHV has made easily accessible to working nurses in Victoria and Sugar Land," School of Nursing Dean Kathryn Tart said. "This rapid growth means we are making great strides in alleviating the national nursing shortage and improving the quality of care for patients across our area."
Fall also marked strong growth in minority student ranks, with Hispanic student enrollment increasing by 11.8 percent and black student enrollment growing 28.5 percent.
"The concentrated efforts we’ve made to recruit students from underrepresented populations in our area are beginning to bear fruit," said Denee Thomas, manager of the Letting Education Achieve Dreams, or LEAD, program. LEAD recruits and assists minority students, disadvantaged students and first-generation college students, especially from the area’s Hispanic population.
Hispanics represent one of the highest population concentrations and fastest-growing demographic groups in the area but have some of the lowest educational attainment levels.
UHV hopes to greatly increase its Hispanic enrollment so student demographics better represent that of the communities served by UHV, Thomas said.
The data released today also reveals some interesting facts about UHV:
- UHV has a reach well beyond the community for which it's named, with only about one in seven students living in Victoria County and more than 50 percent of students living in the Houston area. Eleven students have addresses outside of the United States in countries like China, Guatemala and Taiwan.
- Women outnumber men by nearly 2:1 (2,131 to 1,042).
- Enrollment is almost evenly divided between undergraduate and graduate students (1,614 to 1,559). However, undergraduate enrollment grew at a much faster rate than graduate enrollment (14.5 percent vs. 2.7 percent.)
- The School of Business Administration is the largest school with 1,295 students, followed by the School of Education & Human Development with 907, the School of Arts & Sciences with 843 and the School of Nursing with 128.
- The UHV student body is diverse with ethnic breakdowns as follows: white – 51.1 percent; Hispanic – 17 percent; black – 15.4 percent; Asian – 9.5 percent.