TAMIU Official Enrollment Highest in 32-year History

More Laredo area students are choosing to 'Go Further' at Texas A&M International University this Fall Semester. By doing so, they have become part of an historic enrollment that is the highest in the University's 32-year history.

In its official report to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, TAMIU posted a Fall combined undergraduate and graduate student enrollment of 3,726 The enrollment represents a 10.5% growth in headcount and a 13% increase in Semester Credit Hours (SCH) from last year. State formula funding for the University is based upon SCH levels.

"In a word, the growth is simply astounding," said TAMIU president Dr. Ray Keck, "Since the last funding biennium two years ago, we've seen enrollment increase a phenomenal 22.6% from 3,038 in Fall 2000. As the State of Texas charges us to 'Close the Gaps' and increase participation in higher education, we believe that this semester's enrollment is a great step towards addressing that mandate," he said.

Keck attributed the enrollment increase to a number of factors.

"I think our community and service area are responding to the availability of a regional University. I think our accredited and acclaimed programs are relevant for student needs and can help our graduates to secure brighter futures. The availability of increased funding from the TEXAS Grant program has been a pivotal factor. Most of all, I know that our faculty, staff and students work tremendously hard with like-minded partners throughout our community: donors, high school teachers and counselors, parents, friends and others, to make higher education a reality," Keck explained.

He noted the University has employed an aggressive student recruitment plan for the past two years, which concentrates on building relationships with potential students on their high school campuses.

"Our Enrollment Management Team, headed by executive director Minita Ramirez Enriquez, has put in place a unique program of direct, weekly presence on all high school campuses in Laredo. Such direct collaboration between University and high school is clearly a model for the entire State to follow. Whether students we advise decide to enroll at TAMIU or opt to attend another institution, we want them to earn that degree, help themselves and help their families," he said.

Still, Keck noted, the challenge will be to continue encouraging all students to pursue a higher education.

"As the 'Closing the Gaps' sobering research has revealed, we all have a substantial challenge before us to continue to help all children, students and parents to realize that a higher education is possible, accessible and available. Programs, resources and support are available right at home," he said.

The Closing the Gaps challenge requires that the State bring 300,000 additional people prepared to succeed into higher education by 2015 - beyond the 200,000 student enrollment growth now projected.

He noted some interesting statistics about the University this semester:

Women at TAMIU outnumber men 64% to 36%.

Over 73% of the first-time freshmen enrollment is comprised of Laredo high school students.

The College of Arts and Humanities has the highest enrollment with 1,246 combined undergraduate or graduate students.

The University's most popular undergraduate majors are: Criminal Justice, Accounting, Nursing and Biology.

Nineteen countries are represented in the combined undergraduate/graduate population and 5% of the University's combined enrollments are international students. The student coming the furthest to attend the University this year is from Ghana.

Almost 900 students have been assisted by the TEXAS Grant Program to the tune of over $2.6 million dollars.

The University's ethnic composition reflects the growing diversity of the region it serves: 89.6% are Hispanic, 2.6% African-American, .3% Asian, .1% American Indian or Pacific Islander and 4% White.

63% of first-time freshmen identify themselves as being the first in their family to seek a Bachelor's degree.

The average age of undergraduate students is 24 while graduate students average 32 years of age.

The University's youngest student is 15 years of age, while its oldest is 69.

Of this semester's graduate enrollment 46% of students hold undergraduate degrees from TAMIU.

Early Registration for the Spring Semester at TAMIU will begin Nov. 11-22. Regular registration is Jan. 10, 2003. Spring classes will begin Jan. 13.

For additional information, please contact the Office of the Registrar at 326. 2250, e-mail enroll@tamiu.edu or visit the University's www site at www.tamiu.edu

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu