UHV’s fall enrollment sees new international, graduate student growth
Preliminary enrollment figures show more graduate and international students attending the University of Houston-Victoria this fall than the previous year as well as an increase in the amount of semester credit hours taken.
As of Wednesday, UHV has 4,424 total students enrolled, an increase of 1.7 percent over final enrollment last fall.
“It’s always exciting when enrollment increases, and the university grows,” UHV President Bob Glenn said. “Recruitment, retention, faculty and staff are key, and with the momentum of new buildings coming, we hope to continue making UHV a destination university.”
In addition to increased total student enrollment, the university has 132 international students, an 11.9 percent increase from the final international student enrollment last fall. UHV International Programs has organized events and revised programs to improve recruitment.
“Despite the national trend of lower international student enrollment, UHV has not experienced a decline,” said David Cockrum, UHV interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Ludmi Herath and her staff have done an outstanding job at recruiting and keeping international programs successful.”
The university saw growth in graduate student enrollment as well. UHV has 1,145 graduate students enrolled, a 6 percent increase compared to final figures last fall.
“We have plenty of students who are employed full time, so our graduate programs offer online or face-to-face courses to help with that,” Cockrum said. “With UHV’s flexibility, students are able to determine a schedule that is best for them and excel in the courses at their own pace. Students really value that, and it shows.”
The university also has an increase in returning students. UHV has 3,330 returning students, an increase of 6.2 percent compared with fall 2017 final figures. The university has made strides in retention through the launch last fall of University College, which helps freshmen and sophomores transition to a university experience. Also, academic advisors and Student Life encourages retention by helping students get involved and become invested in UHV’s campus community, Cockrum said.
“Our success coaching program and Success Center, amongst other things, have helped with retention,” said Beverly Tomek, dean for UHV University College. “Success coaches engage in advising students, providing encouragement and reaching out to returning students to get them enrolled. They and each school’s academic advisors are the backbone of retention.”
The Honors Program is another factor in retention. The program offers additional challenges that keep students engaged and allow them to conduct research into topics in their major fields of study. Ultimately, proactivity of academic support and guidance for the students pays off, Tomek said.
All three of UHV’s academic schools have seen growth in either undergraduate or graduate enrollment from fall 2017. The School of Arts & Sciences saw a 2.6 percent increase in graduate enrollment and 1.1 percent increase in undergraduate enrollment, while the School of Business Administration increased 9.9 percent in graduate enrollment. Undergraduate enrollment for the School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development increased 4.3 percent, and graduate enrollment increased 2.6 percent.
In addition to enrollment increases, students are enrolled in more credit hours. As of Wednesday, students are taking a total of 41,314 credit hours, a 2.6 percent increase from the previous fall.
UHV opened in 1973 with about 350 students. The university first exceeded 3,000 students in fall 2008 and then crossed over the 4,000-student mark in fall 2010.
Final enrollment figures will be released later in the semester after certification from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to 70 bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree programs and concentrations in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as a teaching center in Katy, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities, and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.