In the State of Texas, higher education is education and economic development. In 2000, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) adopted a plan called Closing the Gaps by 2015. WithTexas’ rapidly growing population and the diversifying of its economy, it is important thatTexas make the strides to improve and advance the state’s 146 public and independent institutions of higher education.
In the plan adopted in 2000 and modified in 2005, the THECB laid out four distinct goals:
- Participation Goal – To increase the participation in higher education by adding an additional 630,000 more students compared to the 2000 enrollment numbers.
- Excellence Goal – To increase the number of nationally recognized programs or services offered at colleges or universities inTexas.
- Research Goal – By 2015, increase the level of federal science and engineering research and development obligations toTexasinstitutions to 6.5 percent of the obligations administered to the institutes of higher education across the country.
- Success Goal – To award 210,000 undergraduate degrees, certificates, and other identifiable student successes from high quality programs.
It is estimated that if Texas is able to achieve these goals, the state’s economy will see an increase of $489 billion in total spending, $194 billion in gross state product, and $122 billion in personal income levels, as well as the creation of 1,023,00 new jobs by 2030. To help meet these goals,Texashas 146 public and independent institutions of higher education across the State ofTexas. Currently there are thirty eight public four-year universities and upper-division centers, thirty nine independent four-year college and universities, fifty public community college districts ( with multiple campuses) and a number of public health institutes, two-year colleges and independent junior colleges. It is anticipated that the State ofTexaswill receive $8.08 on every $1 the state invests in to higher education.
According to recent statistics released by THECB, the student enrollment inTexas institutions of higher education has increased by 485,932 students or 48.7 percent, totaling 1.50 million students in the Fall of 2010. The Fall 2010 enrollment increased by 84,500 when compared to the previous Fall. This represents the second largest enrollment increase. With these increases in enrollment, the state is well positioned to meet its goal of adding 630,000 students by 2015.
Texas A&M University Corpus Christi is doing its part to increase student enrollment numbers in the State ofTexas. In the Fall of 2010, Texas A&M University-CC enrolled 10,032 students, marking the first time the University broke the 10,000 student enrollment threshold. Texas A&M University-CC has again grown by enrolling approximately 10,204 students for the Fall of 2011 school year. Recently, Texas A&M University-CC ranked 21st among regional public universities in the West and 2nd in the State ofTexas, according to the U.S. News and World Reports rankings.
As our communities, economies and state continues to grow and adapt, so will our institutions of higher education. If you have questions regarding any of the information mentioned in this article, please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office. As always, my offices are available at any time to assist with questions, concerns or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).