University College Experiences Record Enrollment Growth

by STEVE PETERSON

September 19, 2011

Texas Tech University’s University College is enjoying record enrollment growth, with the number of degree-seeking students increasing by 219 percent since the Fall 2010 semester.

The unique degree programs offered by University College, along with the option to take coursework online or at one of Tech’s five regional sites, contribute to the jump in enrollment. The flexibility of University College’s offerings are not only appealing to on-campus students looking to individualize their degree plan but also to the non-traditional college student, since courses can be taken in Lubbock, online, or at the regional sites.

“With the availability of online courses and resources close to home, I’ve been able to work a full-time, 40 hours per week job while getting my degree,” said Kenny Bosher, a Bachelor of Arts in University Studies student from Tech’s Waco site.

Besides the main campus, Tech operates regional sites in El Paso, Fredericksburg, Highland Lakes, Junction, and Waco. Each of these sites provides individuals in those respective regions the opportunity to pursue an education at Tech without having to uproot their lives.

Kristl Ferguson, a Bachelor of Science in University Studies student, lives in Fredericksburg and enjoys the convenience of the regional site.

“Living in Fredericksburg, and working full-time make it virtually impossible for me to take courses in San Antonio or Austin, and have to make the 60-90 minute commute,” she said. “I was very excited to discover a regional site of an accredited and reputable school here in town. I am very grateful that Texas Tech has a presence in Fredericksburg.”

University College offers four programs leading to bachelor’s degrees which include the Bachelor of Arts in University Studies, the Bachelor of Science in University Studies, the Bachelor of Arts of General Studies, and the brand new Bachelor of Science in Wind Energy.

The Bachelor of University Studies degree allows students to earn either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree by choosing three areas of concentration. These areas of concentration take the place of the typical degree plan’s single college major, and provide University Studies’ students the chance to customize their degree plan.

Similarly, the Bachelor of Arts of General Studies degree also requires students to choose three areas of concentration. In this program, though, two of the concentrations must be from the College of Arts and Sciences.

The Bachelor of Science in Wind Energy (BSWE) is a brand new program offered by Tech, and is the only undergraduate-level wind energy degree program offered in the nation. The BSWE will prepare students for careers in the quickly-growing wind energy field. This degree is currently only offered on the main campus in Lubbock.

University College’s online and regional site programs are set up for providing the best service to students, who might otherwise be limited in finding the time to pursue a college education.

“If not for Tech, I don’t think that it would have been possible for me to attend a distant university, and even if so, the price of fuel and the loss of income due to decreased work hours would have made it prohibitive,” said Lenard White, a Bachelor of Science in University Studies student at Tech’s Fredericksburg site.

1,041 degree-seeking students are enrolled in University College as of this fall, significantly higher than the 475 enrolled at this time last year. The flexibility and personalization of the baccalaureate programs should continue to appeal to future students looking for educational opportunities that can accommodate their individual situations or to students interested in a career in wind energy.

“I highly recommend that anyone looking for a degree – but struggling with either time, money, or both – to explore the opportunities with Texas Tech’s distance education,” said White. “You’ll be glad you did. I know I am.”


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