For the first time since 1994, The University of Texas-Pan American is showing a solid increase in enrollment.
As of the first week of classes, headcount enrollment is up 2.4 percent and semester credit hour enrollment, the number of hours for which students enroll, has increased 4.3 percent.
"I am very proud of the enrollment increases for the fall semester, because it shows that our efforts to recruit students and get the message out to the community is being successful," said Dr. Rodolfo Arévalo, provost and vice president for academic affairs at UTPA. "The university is continuing to diversify its curriculum and course offerings so it can better meet the needs of students."
The university is also seeing a tremendous increase in the number of students in the University Scholars program, a merit-based scholarship program initiated last year by UTPA for Valley students who receive college credit, either through Advanced Placement exams or concurrent enrollment at UTPA, while still enrolled in high school. Fifty-two students entered the program this fall, compared to 19 in fall 1998 - a 174 percent increase.
"The significant number of students with impressive academic records indicates that more and more parents and students view The University of Texas-Pan American as their university of first choice," Arévalo said. "The high quality of our science and engineering programs are highly regarded by Valley high schools, and the high number of valedictorians and salutatorians who attend UTPA demonstrates that."
Greatest enrollment gains this fall are at the doctoral level, where headcount enrollment increased by more than 23 percent. Upper-division and graduate enrollment also is up, with enrollment of juniors and seniors increasing by almost 3.8 and 3.7 percent, respectively, and graduate student enrollment up by almost two percent.
Enrollment of special students, those who already hold a bachelor's degree and attend classes for professional enrichment, increased by 7.5 percent, and even freshman enrollment showed an increase of 3.7 percent.
In terms of credit hour enrollment, graduate departments showing the greatest increases include economics and finance; management, marketing and international business; social work; computer science; nursing; music; sociology; and communication.
At the undergraduate level, departments within the College of Health Sciences and Human Services showed the greatest gains, including rehabilitative services, clinical laboratory sciences, and communication sciences and disorders.