UHV fall enrollment reaches new heights

The University of Houston-Victoria reached an enrollment high Wednesday with preliminary numbers showing the university enrolling more than 4,500 students for the first time.

The increase occurred across multiple categories, including graduate and undergraduate enrollment in addition to a noteworthy increase in the number of new and returning students. Preliminary enrollment figures show 4,607 students enrolled, a 5.2 percent increase from the previous fall’s final enrollment of 4,381.

Bob Glenn

“UHV has made major steps in developing our campus and programs, and that is reflected in our enrollment numbers,” UHV President Bob Glenn said. “It is encouraging to see this continued growth because it is an indication that our hard work is paying off, and students are taking notice.”

In addition to enrollment growth, the university has seen an increase in the number of credit hours. As of Wednesday, UHV students are taking 43,558 credit hours, a 6.5 percent increase from the previous fall’s final figures. All three academic schools saw increases in credit hours. The increase is especially encouraging because it will have a positive financial impact on the university, which will result in a better ability to serve the needs of the communities UHV serves, said Chance Glenn, UHV provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Chance Glenn Sr.

“The true power of a university is measured by how it positively impacts the surrounding community,” he said. “As our students take more credit hours, they help UHV gather more resources to leave a lasting effect on Victoria, Katy and the surrounding area.”

Recent growth has included the August opening of the University Commons student center and the University of Houston-Victoria at Katy, and construction of a new residence hall and a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Building. A building also is being renovated at Airline Road and Laurent Street, and Ben Wilson Street in front of the Victoria campus soon will be improved.

In addition, UHV has 1,210 new students, a 5.7 percent increase compared with final fall 2018 figures. That includes a 46 percent increase in the number of new seniors and a 5.8 percent increase in the number of new freshmen. The university’s number of returning students also increased from the previous year to 3,397, a 5 percent increase from fall 2018.

“An increase in the number of new students is a reflection of the excitement felt on our campus every day as we work toward becoming a destination university,” Chance Glenn said. “That growth, combined with the increase in our returning students, shows that the university is not only reaching new students but is encouraging them to stay and finish their degrees at UHV.” 

Jay Lambert

As enrollment and the number of credit hours has grown, the university has reached a new target in residence hall occupancy this year. As of Wednesday, 632 students were living on campus, a 98 percent occupancy rate – the highest ever – in the UHV residence halls. UHV is constructing the new Don & Mona Smith Hall, an 82,000-square-foot residence hall with 280 beds, and plans to have it ready for students to move in by the fall.

“These occupancy numbers are encouraging as construction on the new residence hall continues,” said Jay Lambert, UHV vice president for student affairs. “Our residence halls are almost full, and even more rooms will be needed as our enrollment continues to grow. It’s a good problem to have, and Smith Hall should be ready just in time to meet that need.”

Jose Cantu

Jose Cantu, the former vice president for strategic partnerships at New Reach Media in San Antonio and vice president for enrollment services at Schreiner University in Kerrville, recently was hired as the UHV vice president for enrollment management. As he settles into his new role, he is excited to see the possibilities in UHV’s enrollment.

“UHV has experienced some good enrollment growth, and I’m looking forward to helping continue that success,” he said. “There are wonderful things happening at UHV.”

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 fall 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 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs 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 an instructional site in Katy, Texas, 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.