Preliminary figures released by the Office of Admissions and Records at The University of Texas-Pan American show 7,667 students enrolled for the first summer session, a nearly 17 percent increase over last year's enrollment.
Dr. John Edwards, vice president for Enrollment and Student Affairs, credits the increase on marketing and recruitment efforts targeting freshmen and transfer students. He also credited partnerships with community colleges - which have eased the transfer process to the University - and the work of the University's academic deans and provost for their prompt response in adding courses, sections and seats to allow more students to register.
"Enrollment increases take an entire university community working together to benefit our students," Edwards said. "That concerted effort is obvious at UT Pan Am."
The University's enrollment has been steadily increasing since 1997, after decreasing temporarily in 1994 due to the opening of the Rio Grande Valley's new South Texas Community College system, said Ted von Ende, executive director of Institutional Effectiveness.
"UTPA is doing its part to help achieve the increase in participation targeted by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's Closing the Gaps plan for higher education," von Ende said.
University officials expect the fall 2002 enrollment to surpass previous enrollment records at UTPA.
"The quality of our students has improved significantly over the past two years, and it's beginning to show in our students' success," said Dr. Rodolfo Arévalo, UTPA provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. "Most of the growth this summer can be attributed to more of our students continuing to take courses during the summer months, after a successful fall and spring semester."
Arévalo said increasing student financial aid opportunities for summer attendance also helped.
"I believe that word is getting out that UTPA helps students be successful with its support programs and dedicated faculty," he said.
Registration continues for fall and the second summer session. The second summer session begins July 11, and fall classes will start August 26.