ENROLLMENT GAINS CONTINUE AT UNT HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER, FOLLOWING SYSTEMWIDE TREND

September 24, 2004

UNT Health Science Centerâ??s total enrollment continued to grow this year despite increases in tuition costs due to state budget cuts.

Total enrollment grew to 1,021 students this fall from 1,014 students in fall 2003, according to the registrarâ??s office.

â??This shows sustained commitment to growth in our student numbers, which has been slowed somewhat by our reduction in state funding, but the increase still indicates more education for more students,â? said Ronald Blanck, DO, president of the health science center.

The Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine showed the greatest increase in students, topping the 500 mark at 501. This is the first time in the history of the institution that TCOM enrollment has surpassed 500.

The Physician Assistant Studies program enrollment increased from 81 students last year to 82 this year.

â??With the shortage of physicians in Texas and the nation, the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine has tried to keep pace by expanding the number of seats in our medical school,â? said Marc B. Hahn, DO, TCOM dean. â??In addition, TCOM has continued to serve a unique role in Texas with our curricular focus on primary care and rural medicine.â?

The School of Public Healthâ??s enrollment was down from last yearâ??s high of 244 to 233. Fernando Trevino, MPH, PhD, SPH dean, said that he expected that trend to change with the addition of new faculty and the opening of the new Center for BioHealth. Trevino, however, emphasized the need for slower, measured growth for the school, which will celebrate its five-year anniversary this year.

“We are excited about the popularity of the PA career,” said Henry Lemke, PA-C, MMS, director of Physician Assistant Studies program. “Last year we received over 450 applications, far exceeding the number of spaces we could offer. A limited number of available clinical training sites prevents us from increasing the class size even more.”

Enrollment numbers for the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences increased by eight students to 205 from last yearâ??s high of 197.

â??The figure is not as high as I wanted,â? said Thomas Yorio, PhD, GSBS dean, â??but we have more students than Texas A&M University or Texas Tech, which is pretty good.â? The programs at Texas A&M and Texas Tech are older then the health science centerâ??s program.

The health science centerâ??s enrollment increase followed a UNT systemwide trend, with enrollment growing slightly on the Denton campus by 0.8 percent and on the Dallas campus by 10.8 percent. Enrollment numbers at all three campuses are at all-time highs.

All enrollment statistics are unofficial until they are verified by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board later in the fall.

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Contact: Kay Colley, 817-735-2553, 817-980-5090 (cell)

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