National website ranks UHV’s COVID-19 response among best in Texas
The University of Houston-Victoria recently was included in the top tier of Texas universities responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with action that benefited and protected students, especially in terms of available online learning resources.
Educate to Career, a national website that ranks colleges and universities based on the economic advantage the institutions offer their students, included UHV in Tier 1 out of four tiers on its ETC College Rankings Results for the COVID-19 Economic Crisis list.
Colleges ranked Tier 1 met the following criteria:
- A physical campus for in-classroom instruction should health authorities allow colleges to open in September
- Software and systems to support distance learning programs
- Faculty experience in teaching online
- Reasonable tuition and fees on a relative basis
“UHV’s focus during the COVID-19 pandemic has been first and foremost on ensuring that our students, faculty and staff are safe and supported,” UHV President Bob Glenn said. “After that, we worked to ensure that students could continue their studies with minimal interruptions or delays. This is a difficult time, but we don’t want our students to give up on their goals, so we are doing everything we can to help them keep moving forward.”
Tier 2 universities have the systems necessary to offer online and face-to-face classes, however, the faculty have less than three years of experience in delivering online curriculum. Tier 3 universities are institutions that place a strong emphasis on classroom education over online teaching and may not have a fully online curriculum, while Tier 4 universities are even more limited in offering online courses.
One of the requirements for Tier 1 universities was that the institution has a history of offering online programs for at least three years. UHV first offered online classes in the mid-1990s with the first fully online degree program in 1999. Because of this history of offering online classes and programs, UHV also has extensive, widespread software and support resources for students and faculty, which have been widely used during the pandemic. The university’s faculty also have experience teaching online.
“UHV is fortunate to have a long history of supporting online learning options,” said Chance Glenn, UHV provost and vice president for academic affairs. “That history gave our faculty and staff the tools they needed to move over to holding all classes online with minimal downtime for our students. I am proud of how smoothly the transition was, and I applaud all of the people who made it possible.”
The switch to online learning is not the only way that UHV has supported its students during the pandemic. The university also offers resources that include its JP’s Market student food pantry, online activities to help students stay connected and destress, refunds on housing and meal plans for students who chose to return home during the spring semester, lowered fees for summer classes, and emergency relief funds to help students get through financial hardships.
UHV’s first summer class session starts June 1, and the university has announced that all summer classes will be offered online. The university will announce a decision as soon as possible about how fall classes will be offered.
The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, 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, 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.