Texas State University hits record setting student enrollment
With the 19th consecutive year of record setting student enrollment, Texas State University continues to expand with the help of the Campus Master Plan.
The Campus Master Plan is a document that students, faculty, staff and residents collaborate on. It shows what projects people want the university to pursue over the next 10 years. The university also consults with professionals to undertake each project.
The Campus Master Plan takes about 18 months to be completed, and is the guide for where the new buildings, sidewalks, transportation, dining, parking and many more features will be constructed. To give feedback about the campus, visit www.txstate.masterplan.com.
According to Texas State’s Office of Institutional Research website, student enrollment at Texas State is 37,979.
The new master plan is still being drawn up, but Director of Media Relations Jayme Blaschke said making the campus more accessible for everyone is one area of focus.
“One thing they are looking at is to make the university more pedestrian-friendly by developing more corridors on campus and to make the entire campus more accessible,” Blaschke said.
Another thing being taken into consideration with all the student growth is transportation issues.
“We need to accommodate all the growth of the university, whether it’s with increased shuttle bus or more pedestrian and bike-friendly traffic,” Blaschke said. “We also take into account the traffic flows around the university to make that movement of people and commuters more efficient.”
Eric Algoe, vice president for finance and support services, encourages individuals to share opinions online about potential projects and resources that could accommodate the growing student population.
“I really stress that this is our university, especially our students, and such an important part of your life is spent here at the university. So I really encourage folks to go to the master plan website and give their input,” Algoe said.
Dalton Head, music freshman, enjoys the large classrooms and large number of students that attend Texas State.
“I like big classes because it’s easier to keep to yourself, and you can just sit and listen, but in small classes the professors try to get you more involved instead of just lecturing, and it’s good to have more people on campus,” Head said. “It opens opportunity to meet a lot of different types of people.”
Luke Johnson, biology junior, thinks there are pros and cons to the growth of the university.
“I think it’s cool we are turning into a bigger campus because having more people is a good thing, but it’s also bad because it means more traffic and construction,” Johnson said. “I’m not sure if Texas State has the capacity to grow that much more.”
Johnson thinks that class sizes are appropriate, but would like each class to have more than one time when the class is offered.
“I think we need more options because a lot of my classes only have one available time, and I think that if you need these classes to graduate then they should offer more than one time, because if your schedule conflicts, then that’s a big issue,” Johnson said.
Changes that happen at the university not only affect students, but also professors. Dr. Shirley Ogletree, psychology professor, has been teaching at Texas State University for forty years, and said she has seen a significant increase in class size throughout the years.
“When I first started, we didn’t have any lecture hall classes I think our biggest class was maybe 70 students, and now, sometimes, we have close to 400 in a class,” Ogletree said.
One thing that has negatively affected her as a professor, in terms of student population growth, is that she misses out on the personal conversations.
“In a way, one of the sad things I guess, is that I don’t get to meet students individually because my class sizes are bigger, and they come by less often so I learn less names,” Ogletree said.
Even though she has less personal time with students, Ogletree said the growth has sparked more diversity within the student body.
“We’ve become a more diverse student body, and I think it’s wonderful,” Ogletree said. “I think it’s boring if we are all the same. You learn more about the world and more about people, so I think that exposure to more diversity is a really good thing.”
Algoe said the changes people should expect to see throughout the next ten years will consist mostly of fine-tuning rather than big changes.
“I don’t think you’ll see a significant departure but you will see refinement,” Algoe said. “What we knew going into this master plan is that it wasn’t going to be as obvious as the last master plan.”