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Online Numbers Soar As SHSU Sets Another Enrollment Record

Oct. 8, 2013
SHSU Media Contact: Julia May

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Sam Houston State University has enrolled a record-setting 19,214 students for the 2013 fall semester, according to 20th class day figures released by the university.

“We are pleased to welcome so many new and returning students to Sam Houston State University,” said SHSU President Dana Gibson. “Providing a quality education at an affordable cost, combined with how well our students do in the marketplace following graduation, has made SHSU attractive to many academically talented students. We will continue to offer an educational experience that will help our students grow, both personally and intellectually, and prepare them for success in their careers.”

The city of Huntsville always notices a surge in its population each year between the middle of August and the following May. However, instead of walking across campus to attend class in a traditional setting, a growing number of SHSU students will log on to their computers from their homes, a coffee house, or a park bench—as long as they have an appropriate wi-fi or cellular connection.

The percentage of students enrolled in online classes increased dramatically this fall as SHSU continued to offer more online undergraduate and graduate courses to meet the demands of record enrollment and student preferences.

In fact, 12 percent of SHSU students are taking 100 percent of their classes online this fall. In addition, the number of 100 percent online students increased 55 percent for undergraduate students and 20 percent for graduate students over fall 2012.

“SHSU Online responds quickly to emerging student needs for online degree programs and courses,” said Associate Vice President for Distance Learning Bill Angrove.

“The number of degrees available online has been steadily increasing over the past four years. At present, the university offers 25 degree programs completely online. They include three undergraduate degrees, 22 master’s degrees, one doctoral degree, and almost two dozen graduate and professional certificates,” he said.

In addition to providing high-quality, convenient, and affordable online courses to students in Texas, SHSU is increasing its presence nationwide as a recognized name in online education. This fall the total number of fully online students reached 2,303, with students spread across 38 states.

“Students are choosing SHSU online programs and courses for a number of good reasons,” Angrove said. “Our online courses are taught by outstanding full-time faculty members committed to excellence in teaching and their commitment is complemented by interactive courses designed with a high quality look and feel that is consistent throughout a degree program.

“SHSU Online provides outstanding technical support to students and faculty which improves the online educational experience,” he said. “The combination of outstanding faculty, intellectual rigor, quality course design, and exceptional technology support makes SHSU’s online courses an outstanding value for undergraduate and graduate students alike.”

SHSU Online’s focus on quality and value in online education has not gone unnoticed. Once again this year, as in years past, the university achieved high results in US News & World Report’s rankings of online education programs. In addition, AffordableCollegesOnline.org ranked SHSU the most affordable online university in Texas, and the fourth most affordable in the nation in its “Most Affordable Online Colleges” report.

SHSU also ranks in the top 25 in the Guide to Online Schools’ 2013 Online College Rankings. In addition, the university has been honored, for the second year in a row, as a “Military Friendly School,” a recognition of its status among the top 20 percent of colleges, universities, and trade schools that are doing the most to help U.S. military service members, their spouses and veterans as students.

“Attention to quality and excellence in course development and technology support helps explain why student participation in online courses offered by SHSU continues to grow,” Angrove said. “Also, SHSU has committed to optimizing the university’s website for search engines and providing improved usability for prospective students. This commitment should help SHSU Online to see even greater growth in the future.”

 

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