HUNTSVILLE – The effects of COVID-19 are still being felt as they enroll at Sam Houston State University.
The Huntsville-based university announced a total enrollment of 21,679 on Monday, down 1.1% from 2020. However, President Alisa White is optimistic to see an increase in key demographics.
“We’re seeing great strides in areas where we’ve been very strategic,” said White. “SHSU is recruiting many non-traditional students in support of the state’s educational goals, as well as those looking to advance their education beyond the bachelor’s degree.
“Our story is much better than the hard times our students could have had last year. I am grateful for the great work by many teams on campus who did an incredible job over the summer breaking down barriers for students who really wanted to come to Sam Houston State. “
Sam Houston State University’s unofficial fall 2021 student count shows strategic populations, including first-time freshmen – 2.2%, first-time transfer students – 3.11% – and graduate students – 5.5%.
Through scholarships, scholarships, undergraduate employment, money management coaching, and many other services, Sam Houston State aims to help ensure college degrees for students of all economic backgrounds.
Like the many freshmen who arrived on campus this fall, Rolando Gonzalez is enrolling for college for the first time while doing a bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems. Thanks to the generous support of the Smith Hutson Fellowship Program at SHSU, Gonzalez was able to overcome financial hurdles and fulfill a dream he had previously thought impossible.
“This program gave me the opportunity to envision a better future for my family and to bring myself closer to my professional goal. It gave me all the resources to aim for greatness during my years at Sam Houston, ”he said.
SHSU Enrollment Success team, specialized in recruiting transfer students, assists with degree searches and course transfer to help students understand which credits apply to specific degrees and which courses are required to achieve their goals .
Gloria Moctezuma-Palma, new to SHSU, is a psychology student who has just left Lone Star College and is happy to be finally on the way to a four-year degree. She is almost 30 years old with two small children, runs a small car dealership and also teaches as a substitute teacher. Like many at SHSU, she is a first-generation student – the first in her family to graduate from college.
“My parents immigrated here from Mexico, where they only attended elementary school. Although I am a non-traditional student, I feel blessed to graduate, ”she said.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, master-level employment is expected to grow nearly 17% through 2026, the fastest of any educational level. Employment in doctoral and specialist professions is expected to increase by around 13%.
The community and social service is one of six occupational fields that are expected to have the most vacancies for graduate professions. Most advice centers are expected in this area.
Tamisha Thomas is a first-generation student and is starting a Masters in Consulting at SHSU this semester.
“I’ve always wanted to be a therapist and my ultimate goal is to get my PhD,” says Thomas.
Thomas understands the need for more mental health professionals and aims to build their own counseling center in the future and provide affordable, sliding-fee therapy services to patients in need.
An additional advantage of a master’s degree at SHSU is the opportunity to take part in graduate assistants – paid student employment opportunities exclusively for doctoral students. Thomas is currently working as a research assistant in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion department at the University of Education.
Since 52% of the students at SHSU are first-generation students and 60% are classified as “at risk”, it is clear that university solutions today have to be designed in such a way that they offer everyone opportunities.
“At Sam Houston State, we share a common goal – to develop the full potential of all students, help them prepare for life, and provide world-class teaching and tools for a great future,” said White.