The University of Houston-Victoria is participating in the new national Voluntary System of Accountability project as another way to provide accountability and greater transparency to the public about all aspects of the university.
"UHV has always embraced transparency and accountability, and this project will further enhance the information we can get to the public," UHV President Tim Hudson said. "We want students, parents, guidance counselors and other stakeholders to be able to easily compare UHV with other universities and make the right choices about higher education."
The project involving 302 public universities so far was announced Friday and is a partnership between two Washington, D.C.-based organizations, the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). It is funded by the Lumina Foundation for Education.
As part of the project, a new Web site, www.collegeportraits.org, will launch today. The site provides access to basic information about participating university's student characteristics, costs, student experiences and learning outcomes. UHV already has its College Portrait on the site.
Web site visitors can view a sample College Portrait, which includes descriptions and explanations of the data contained in each report. An interactive map allows users to locate participating colleges and universities by state and includes links to each institution's College Portrait, Web site and e-mail address to request admissions information.
Each College Portrait is divided into three sections: Student and Family Information, Student Experiences, and Student Learning Outcomes. The data posted includes total number of students, percentage of students receiving financial aid, faculty to student ratios, campus crime statistics and more. A College Cost Calculator allows students to estimate the net cost of attending a participating college or university.
"UHV offers quality degree programs and concentrations at an exceptional value," UHV Provost Suzanne LaBrecque said. "Our College Portrait will allow even more people to learn about all the positive attributes of UHV."
Since the College Portrait report format was unveiled in November, nearly 60 percent of the 520 institutions that belong to NASULGC and AASCU have agreed to participate. More than 194 already have posted a College Portrait.
"No one should be surprised that public higher education has taken the lead on accountability," said Constantine W. (Deno) Curris, president of AASCU. "Our institutions have a long history of commitment to public accountability and learning outcomes. College Portrait is being unveiled at a time when severe financial constraints for both families and state governments increase our obligation to provide dependable, accurate information in keeping with our public trust."