UTPA enrollment makes a record jump this spring

UTPA enrollment makes a record jump this spring
University of Texas-Pan American
News
Thursday, February 13, 2014 - 2:03pm

Preliminary Spring 2014 enrollment figures at The University of Texas-Pan American show a record 18,821 students enrolled, up 6.4 percent since Spring 2013.

"This is the largest enrollment ever in a Spring semester at UT Pan American," said Dr. Magdalena Hinojosa, senior associate vice president for Enrollment Services. "It is encouraging news for the University, which is intent on closing the gaps in access and success for students, particularly Hispanics. We have also worked diligently to meet the needs of those alums and others who are already in the workplace to pursue graduate education, which can lead to greater job opportunities, a higher income and a better quality of life."

Hinojosa said UT Pan American's large Fall 2013 freshman class - 20,053 - and an increase in undergraduate retention have made a significant impact in Spring 2014 enrollment. Graduate enrollment has also increased significantly with the addition of new online programs, particularly in the accelerated online format.

The enrollment in master's degree programs rose from 2,032 in Spring 2013 to 2,308 in Spring 2014, a 13.6 percent increase. Online enrollment (at least one class) increased 22.5 percent - from 3,968 in Spring 2013 to 4,859 in Spring 2014. The biggest jump came in online fast track programs, which increased 513.9 percent.

In addition to a master's in business administration online fast track program, first offered in Spring 2013, UTPA also starting offering in Spring 2014 online fast track master's programs in public administration and special education.

"We have had great response to the three programs that are currently offered that way and will be offering a fourth beginning in May. In addition, we partnered with Region One through their GEAR UP grant to offer the MA in History and MS in Biology to cohorts of high school teachers," said Dr. Cynthia Brown, vice provost for Graduate Studies. " We are working to attract students for high-demand degrees by delivering these in formats that are convenient for them."

All seven of the University's colleges saw increases in student enrollment. The largest increase of 14.6 percent was in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, which saw its enrollment go from 1,696 in Spring 2013 to 1,947 in Spring 2014. The College of Health Sciences and Human Services continues to have the largest college at UTPA with 3,974 students. Last year, that college enrolled 3,800 in the Spring.

All enrollment figures are based on 12th class day figures and won't be official until the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board verifies them as approved.

UT Pan American's newest retention efforts include a Bronc Mentoring Experience initiated in Fall 2013 for students conditionally admitted to the University. The program paired each first-year mentee with a well-trained student mentor they met with regularly who supported their transition to college through hands-on activities designed to help them develop life skills, academic success strategies and opportunities for diversity and leadership development. The proteges were also required to participate in two hours of tutoring a week at the Learning Assistance Center or the University Writing Center.

"Out of 264 proteges, 41 made the dean's list at the conclusion of the Fall 2013 semester and 92.8 percent were retained from Fall 2013 to Spring 2014," said Rebecca Gadson, assistant dean of students.

The Spring enrollment results reflect the continued commitment the University has to improve the quality of life in the Valley said UTPA President Robert S. Nelsen.

"We have become the University of choice for many students who see we offer a quality education, supportive faculty and staff and a whole range of new possibilities opening up at UTRGV," he said. "Being a Bronc has never been more exciting."

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