Enrollment up at most colleges around the area

By Mary Alys Cherry

While enrollments at Texas colleges have slowed down during the recession, most have continued to grow – especially those in the University of Houston System.

UH-Clear Lake, typical of all UH campuses, enrolled 8,301 students this fall, compared to 8,188 last year.

The UH Main Campus had 40,747 this year, compared with 39,824 for the 2011-12 school year. And, UH-Victoria grew from 4,330 to 4,398, while UH-Downtown increased its enrollment from 12,918 last year to 13,916 this year.

The University of Texas at Austin also registered an increase from 51,145 last year to 52,213 while the enrollment at Texas A&M-College Station increased from 51,895 to 52,378, making it the largest university in the state.

However, the community colleges did not fare so well, most showing a slight dip as the long recession began taking its toll.

San Jacinto College’s enrollment was 33,106 this year, compared with 33,382 this year. Ditto for Alvin Community College, from 5,393 last year to 5,190 this year; and College of the Mainland, which enrolled 4,007 this year, but had 4,168 students last year.

Houston Community College dipped from 51,413 last year to 47,784 this school year, and Lee College dropped from 6,416 to 6,216.

The Texas community colleges were typical of community colleges all over the country as students had to balance the desire to get an education with the need to earn money. Rising tuition costs and rising transportation costs prevented many from continuing their education.

In other college news,

College of the Mainland in Texas City has named Dr. Beth Lewis as its seventh, and first female, president, coming from Northeast Lakeview College, where she was vice president of academic affairs.

Earlier, Lewis, who has 25 years experience in higher education and instruction, served as dean of academic affairs at Blinn College in Brenham. She has a B.A. in English from UT in Austin and a M.A. in English, and a Ph. D in Educational Leadership from Sam Houston State University.

Texas A&M at Galveston opened two new dorms this school year, each with 294 beds when construction on the $29 million project was concluded this summer.  Current enrollment is about 2,000.

UTMB at Galveston has more than 2,900 students enrolled – 900 in the school of medicine — and just graduated more than 200 physicians

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