San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

September 16th, 2010
Texas State nears HSI status

STAFF REPORT

Texas State continues its steady growth by all measures of enrollment as it moves closer to attaining federal designation as an Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI).

The university announced overall enrollment of 32,586 for the 2010 fall semester, an increase of 5.8 percent over the fall 2009 enrollment of 30,803 and an increase of 11.3 percent over the fall 2008 enrollment of 29,105.

Hispanics comprise more than 25 percent of the Texas State undergraduate student body for the first time ever. If the university sustains 25 percent Hispanic enrollment, it will be eligible for additional federal funding as a federally designated HSI.

University spokesman Mark Hendricks said the university expects to receive the designation officially once the enrollment numbers are certified by the state and federal governments. Hendricks said the process could take up to a year, adding that the additional federal funding “could be in the neighborhood of $5 million.” The university had originally aimed to achieve HSI status in 2012.

Of 27,476 undergraduates, 6,961 are Hispanic and 1,738 (six percent) are African-American.

“It has been our goal to become a Hispanic Serving Institution,” Texas State President Denise Trauth said. “Now, it is time we direct our efforts toward becoming the best HSI in the state. It is not enough to recruit talented students from all ethnicities – we must also continue to retain those students and see that they graduate.”

Texas State has the fifth highest graduation rate in Texas. University officials said that graduation rate holds steady among students of all ethnic groups. Trauth said that will remain a university priority.

“We are proud that the enrollment at Texas State is reflecting the true face of Texas,” Trauth said. “As demographics change in our state, it is important that our institution keeps pace with that change in order to better serve the higher education needs of our citizens.”

Texas State also announced rises in graduate student enrollment and in enrollment at the university’s Round Rock Higher Education Center.

Graduate enrollment now stands at 4,387, an increase of 4.6 percent over last year after a 12.1 percent increase a year earlier.

A total of 1,984 students are attending classes at the Round Rock campus, up 14 percent from last year. This year, the university opened its doors to the first class of nursing students at the Texas State St. David’s School of Nursing in Round Rock with 98 students in the opening class.

Freshman enrollment is 3,930, up 7.1 percent from 3,667 in fall 2009. The freshman class is the largest and most diverse in Texas State’s history. Diversity among entering freshmen reached 39 percent, with 28 percent of the class being Hispanic. A record 3,611 transfer students also enrolled, up 9.4 percent from 3,301 transfer students a year earlier.

“We are pleased to have achieved another record enrollment,” Texas State Provost Perry Moore said. “I believe our climbing enrollment numbers indicate very strongly that we have an excellent reputation among the state’s students, parents, teachers and counselors. The academic experience of our students is very important to us.”

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0 thoughts on “Texas State nears HSI status

  1. A key issue for our new council and mayor ought to be addressing the traffic generated by these additional students. Especially on Aquarena Springs. There have been a few ideas and solutions promised by engineering such as adding a north-bound I-35 exit ramp just north of Aquarena to take some vehicles out of that intersection. There was a plan to create an additional left turn lane for cars turning left from Aquarena to the north bound I-35 frontage road. Neither of those has come to pass. The speed limit on Aquarena needs to be reduced to 35 mph all the way from I-35 in to town.

    TxState needs to step up to the plate as well and create even more parking, preferably remote with shuttle service to keep cars out of town.

  2. A LOT of those cars are going from Aquarena, to Sessom, to LBJ/Craddock/RR12. With the university putting more and more dorms and garages on that side of campus, this is going to increase even more. The solution, which nobody seems to want to discuss, is a connector from Craddock, to IH35 on the north side of town.

    Failing that, put a center turn lane on Sessom, at least, and two right turn lanes onto Sessom, from Aquarena.

    The second left turn lane is a TxDOT issue, although, having been in the middle of it, I believe the reason they haven’t approved it, is because we (the city) have not done an adequate job of demonstrating/convincing them of the problem. Our traffic issues are not typical, because of the way they are impacted by class times (and trains) and the “standard” methods for measuring traffic (like 24 hour counts), don’t paint a very clear picture.

    I suspect this is also why (in part) the traffic light synchronization project has been a bit of a bust.

  3. RR crossings, whether at-grade or by overpass are a prized commodity and should be studied and considered for their highest and best use to solve our transportation issues. There are at least two that are squandered through underuse. They should be relocated as part of an expensive and audacious traffic solution. Yarrington needs to connect over to Craddock as you suggest or it is truly a bridge to nowhere. I’m convinced it can be done in an environmentally responsible way.

  4. Bob, I am not sure if railroad crossings can be relocated. If you mean closing one, and opening a new one somewhere else, I want to say that UP requires us to remove two at-grade crossings, for every one that we add.

    I could be “misremembering” and I could be misunderstanding you.

    We could certainly do ourselves a favor by getting rid of the crossing at the end of Post (returning to the old road alignment), although this presents other challenges. Eliminating the two crossings at Patton would give the residents some relief from the whistle and eliminate some problematic cut-through traffic, but it might cause some other access headaches for the people who live there. There are a couple of others that come to mind, but they are a little more complicated. Not sure where I would add any.

  5. I think the key to solving the traffic problem created by all the new students is for TX State to do like lots of other universities and not allow freshmen to have cars during the year that their required to live in the dorms. This would also create more bike-friendliness, since many students would resort to biking as a primary mode of transportation, and would potentially alleviate some town/gown tensions by encouraging students to become more fully integrated in the community.

  6. Kelly I thought you were going to say, “the key to solving the traffic problem is …for Tx State to …step up to the plate..” I feel that a lot of our town’s problem is not so much the students,but that we have this massive land-hungry, ‘pro-growth on steroid’ entity smack in the middle of our town. As they herd in more and more students , while raising credit and student fees, they (the University) don’t directly contribute to property taxes and upkeep of our infrastructure. It was recently reported that they were even exempt from rising sewage rates that residents will pay.
    If our town really benefited financially from the University, we would be a wealthy community by now.

  7. There was a simple but fairly great idea proposed to me last night, by a local citizen, concerning cleaning up our city streets and our river while also adding to our revenue.

    It was proposed to have our on-duty park rangers and downtown police, severely crack down and dispatch special littering citations for anyone seen leaving their trash behind or even throwing it into the river, or otherwise onto the streets and sidewalks downtown at night, or out in the neighborhoods, if and when witnessed.

    A 200.00 or 300.00 fine (500.00 maximum allowed ?)…..

    and a couple of weekends of community service,….crews picking up trash around these areas in San Marcos under supervision.

    As a business owner downtown, I pick up trash each and every morning/day along my storefront street.

    There is no end to it.

    As a member of the Main Street Board, I have been told that an allowance or solution for regular trash pick-up every morning or even each week is just not in the city parks budget.

    With some policy such as this in effect, either we would have a more beautiful, cleaner city pretty quickly as the word got out about the “zero tolerance” littering policy in San Marcos,….

    or, we would have a steady revenue stream, and a non-ending source of maintenance help to keep our downtown streets and storefronts, our neighborhoods and our one-of-a-kind river looking great.

    This is a ridiculously simple idea, but it’s a progressive start toward a new direction.

    With your help folks…..

  8. Mr. Newman, are you seriously posting about trash in a thread that has NOTHING to do with trash? Come on, dude, if you are going to campaign, just go all out and spam every single thread here. We are not so dumb as to not see through this veiled attempt.

  9. A “zero-tolerance” policy on littering. I like that. I think that’s something even the students could get their arms around. Do it Dave.

  10. Eric;

    Actually it has to do with a student population of 32,586 which is a new record in San Marcos.

    And with that sizable figure of student population, comes an impact, spreading over many aspects of our lives here in our city.

    Litter is just one of them.

    Traffic would be another.

    Peaceful, quiet neighborhoods would be yet another.

    Having lived here off and on for 30+ years, and having been a student here myself, I have been on both sides of the fence, believe me.

    Additionally, I have been posting here on Newstreamz for a few years now.

    The fact that I am running this term, should not preclude that privilege,….should it?

    And Eric,….I never thought you to be dumb, even for a moment.

  11. So dave what your saying is that if we got rid of the students we would get rid of all above said problems with our city? give me a break! our pd wont give out tickets for such a thing… come on people see stop signs as a mere suggestion and dont receive a ticket!.. I think you have lost the student vote with that post…

  12. Elena;

    You know that is not what I am saying,….i.e. get rid of the students.

    In fact it was a student that made the above suggestion,……to me.

    The police should give out tickets for running stop signs, and they do….( I know, because I received one myself a year or so ago, for not stopping quite enough.)

    And they should indeed give out citations for throwing trash on the ground in our city and in our river, since there are laws against that as well.

    Would you disagree with that ?

    As I have stated in the past, simply enforcing the laws that are already on the books here in San Marcos would solve many of our problems.

  13. You can see what is being filed there is a Texas Courts website (www.courts.state.tx.us/courts/mn.asp) that gives you the data on cases filed and cases disposed. For Jan 2009 to Jan 2010 SM court took in 2.1 million in revenue. Someone is getting tickets.

  14. Kenny, that number looks pretty impressive, in a vacuum. Unfortunately, it isn’t really. I have a spreadsheet, from the police department, which clearly shows that 70-80% of stops result in verbal warnings. That was a year or so ago, but I have gotten no sense that anything has changed. Hell, a coworker was laughing it up the other day, because he watched a “Cops” knockoff on TV the other day, which happened to feature SMPD, with a kid in a Mustang, smoking his tires down the road, right in front of one of our officers. The joke? Not that the kid got a verbal warning, but that my coworker said to his wife, when the kid got pulled over, “watch this, I bet he gets a warning.”

    If you use that same link you provided, you will see that Schertz (population 30,000), collected $2.8 million. 60% of our population and 133% of the fines. Selma (population 5,000) also collected $2.1 million. Castle Hills (population 4,000) collected $1.1 million. Shavano Park (population 2,000) collected $500k.

    The sad thing is, the stops are already happening, I asked for a 0 tolerance policy for people running stop signs and doing more than 5 mph (or 10) over the limit on neighborhood streets, after a drunk totaled his car in my front yard (there have been many of those incidents in our neighborhood, as recently as a couple of weeks ago). Not even more presence (which I have tried to get MANY times), just stricter enforcement. Even that was shot down.

    Of course, if you make enough noise, you run the risk of heavy-handed enforcement for a short period. The answer is consistent, even-handed enforcement.

    Again though, I don’t believe it is a student issue. The problems with enforcement go way back and this population increase really isn’t very large. We’re talking about 2500 people. Yes, any population increase will likely lead to an increase in various issues, but we have had those issues for years and would need to address them, even if the university announced a 5% *decrease* in enrollment.

  15. Bicycles would solve all the traffic & parking problems in San Marcos. Although, I would immediately argue there isn’t a “traffic & parking problem” but a driving problem. Thousands of more bicyclists and pedestrians roaming San Marcos means thousands of fewer cars clogging our town.

    The answer is right in front of us.

  16. If you are saying that we need more officers doing traffic enforcement, you’ve got my vote. I’ve only been pushing for that for about 5 years or so.

  17. I get it, you need people dedicated to working traffic. If you are are taking reports I imagine it is hard to get time to do traffic and get the crime reports completed.

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