By Marilyn Robles
Graduate studies enrollment has doubled since 2009, but the lack of separate accreditation limits growth for the present time, administrators say.
Dr. Josephine Sosa-Fey, director of graduate studies and research, said since Texas A&M-San Antonio is accredited through Texas A&M-Kingsville, the university’s ability to expand and provide new programs is limited at the moment.
“It does limit us,” Sosa-Fey said. “Surely, once we get accredited we absolutely would be able to expand on what we can offer students.”
The university applied for accreditation in July 2012. The accreditation committee will visit in July, and if the university reaches all benchmarks, could receive accreditation as early as December. The university’s current relationship and accreditation through A&M-Kingsville allows this university to move through the accreditation process at a faster rate.
The accreditation process, once finalized, puts the university in a better position to enable new programs and move ahead with existing programs, Sosa-Fey explained.
The graduate studies program at A&M-San Antonio started with 586 students during the Fall 2009 semester.
From Fall 2009 to Spring 2012, graduate studies registration has almost doubled. During spring 2012, A&M-San Antonio registered 1,100 graduate students.
The university enrolled 1,105 graduate students registered as Census Day.
Students have 10 graduate programs to choose from, with various concentrations. The programs include a M.A. in English; MBA (Master’s in Business Administration); M.P.A. (Master’s of Professionals in Accounting); M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education; M.Ed. in Special Education; M.A. or M.S. in Bilingual Education; M.A. in Educational Administration; M.A. in Counseling and Guidance; M.S. in Reading; and a M.S. in Kinesiology.
While there are no current plans to expand the graduate program beyond current enrollment, Sosa-Fey says the program is on its way to success.
“Realistically, given that we’ve only been in existence for a few years, we’re on the right track to grow,” Sosa-Fey said.
John Harper, first year MBA candidate, also holds high expectations for the graduate programs in the future.
“I do believe that it will continue to grow,” Harper said. “It’s a very good education, and I think over time it’s going to be much better and larger.”