ARLINGTON - The University of Texas at Arlington has hit a new high mark with a spring 2010 enrollment of nearly 29,000, up 19.4 percent over spring 2009. And, for the first time ever, spring enrollment has exceeded the fall number.
Among the trends:
The School of Social Work and the College of Liberal Arts also saw strong growth. Additionally, a new University Studies degree plan is helping boost University retention and giving undergraduates another path toward their college degree. A broader array of undergraduate dual credit courses is helping more high school students than ever before get a head start on their college education.
"We're becoming a regional institution of choice because of the number and quality of our programs, particularly in high-demand fields,'' said Donald R. Bobbitt, UT Arlington Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. "Our graduates have excellent economic prospects, and that message is resonating with parents and students, particularly in light of the current economic conditions."
UT Arlington remains one of the nation's best universities for ethnic diversity, as noted by U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges 2010. More than 16 percent of UT Arlington students are Hispanic, and 14.4 percent black - figures that reflect the University's strong recruiting and retention efforts and a desire to help Texas close the gaps between the number of whites and ethnic minorities who attain degrees in higher education.
As of Feb. 3, spring census day for Texas public higher education institutions, UT Arlington enrollment totaled 28,826. The College of Nursing accounted for the majority of the growth, with 4,136 students, up from 2,040 students in spring 2009. Several factors are fueling the dramatic increase, including the increasing demand for registered nurses and advanced practice nurses across the United States.
To meet that demand, the College of Nursing has added faculty and increased teaching capacity in the high-tech Smart Hospital. The College of Nursing also is building a network of partnerships with hospitals across the state through which nurses may earn bachelor's and master's of science in nursing degrees, giving them additional expertise and career opportunities.
"Students clearly are responding to the quality of a curriculum developed by our top-ranked nursing program," said Elizabeth Poster, dean of the UT Arlington College of Nursing. "We are committed to making our curriculum available to new nursing students and nurses returning to school across Texas and beyond through our state-of-the-science, online learning platform."
Similar hybrid learning programs have boosted enrollment in the College of Education and Health Professions, which offers graduate students the opportunity to earn a master's of education through online platforms in addition to campus-based curriculum.
The College of Education and Health Professions also is seeing increased demand in Kinesiology studies and in its Ph.D program in K-16 educational policy and leadership studies, the only such doctoral program in the nation.
Bobbitt said UT Arlington is committed to "meeting Texas students where they are."
"For many students, it's face-to-face instruction. For others, it's a hybrid, online learning environment. And for others, it's a combination of both," he said.
The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.