University of Houston-Victoria sees growth in enrollment even amid pandemic
16 Sep 2020
By: Tracey Maness - Houston Chronicle
Higher education institutions across the nation have seen a decrease in enrollment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the University of Houston-Victoria has experienced a more than 9 percent growth in its preliminary enrollment.
On Wednesday, Sept. 9, the university reported its preliminary enrollment as approximately 4,970 students, which is a 9.2 percent growth over fall 2019’s enrollment, according a news release. The University of Houston-Victoria at Katy reported that it had approximately 2,340 graduate and undergraduate students enrolled from Harris and Fort Bend Counties.
“UHV’s increase in enrollment is an encouraging sign for the university,” UHV President Bob Glenn said in the news release. “Throughout the pandemic, it has been a pleasure to see how the university’s faculty and staff came together to continue serving the needs of our students, and our upward enrollment is a sign that our students took notice.”
Karla Hernandez DeCuir, senior director of enrollment management and external affairs at UHV Katy, said the campus usually has roughly 800 in-person students each semester. Since the pandemic, the university has dropped the number of in-person courses and offered students more online classes using synchronous or asynchronous learning. So DeCuir said very few UHV Katy students have in-person courses this semester.
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UHV’s three academic schools have experienced growth in their undergraduate and graduate preliminary enrollment over fall 2019. The release stated that the School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development, for example, had a 12.1 percent increase in undergraduate students and an 11.2 percent increase in graduate students.
UHV students are taking heavier course loads, too. They were enrolled in more than 46,800 credit hours, for a 6.9 percent increase over last fall, according to the release.
The news release stated that a 21.3 percent increase in transfer students and a 3 percent increase in continuing undergraduate students compared to fall 2019 has partly fueled the enrollment growth. An increase in graduate enrollment has also contributed.
“UHV has been attractive to Katy-area residents because of its convenient location, the variety of programs that it offers in Katy and online, as well as its affordability,” DeCuir said.
She said the university is one of Texas’ most affordable universities. Together with Houston Community College, UHV Katy offers a program called Start in Katy, Finish in Katy that helps students spend less than $25,000 to earn both an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree.
“The off-campus instructional site in Katy brings access to higher education at an affordable price close to home. Now, more than ever, Katy residents are looking for a way to continue their education while staying close to home, to their families and to their jobs,” DeCuir said. “The Katy area continues to grow and as it continues to bring new employers to the area, residents wish to take advantage of those job opportunities while continuing their studies.”
The University of Houston-Victoria at Katy offers more than 50 degree programs. Business administration, computer science, counseling, criminal justice, digital gaming, education, history and psychology are just some of the options. For more information, visit www.uhv.edu/katy.