University of Texas at Tyler

by admin on December 24, 2009

in Education, Schools

Just off the Southeast corner of Loop 323 in Tyler, tucked away in a wooded area is the beautiful, peaceful campus of the University of Texas at Tyler. I used to work at TJC and UT Tyler, and I always noticed the difference just passing through the entrance to UT Tyler. I could almost smell the sense of academic purposefulness that hung in the air. Everyone was going somewhere, moving forward, studying intently. The vast majority of students I came into contact with seemed to be serious about getting their education and succeeding in their chosen field. Maybe this has something to do with UT’s starting point as a higher education center serving Juniors, Seniors, and Masters students. In 1997 they expanded to include general courses for Freshmen and Sophomore students. Perhaps the mature student body in UT’s early beginnings helped draw successive students who were also striving for academic excellence.

UT’s small class sizes are a huge plus. Even though UT is continuing to expand its programs and grow its student body (about 6,000), they still maintain a 1:16 staff to student ratio, which gives UT a private-school feel at a public school price.

UT boasts four professional colleges and one traditional college of arts and sciences that together offer over 90 academic degrees. They are accredited to award bachelors, master’s and doctoral degrees. Many courses are also offered on-line. UT Tyler makes its courses available to students living near its two remote campuses in Palestine and Longview. On-site professors, ITV (Interactive Television), and internet courses make getting a degree much more cost effective and convenient for students in those areas.[ad#large-blog-block]

Among the professors and courses I experienced (education, psychology, business, biology, literature, counseling), across the board, every one displayed a high level of professionalism and enthusiasm for their area of expertise, but no tolerance for anything they viewed as academic laziness. So UT is not the place to come if you are hoping to just squeak through to get a degree. The sense I got from UT’s professors is that they have a willingness to answer questions and an open door policy, but you had better keep up.

Up until a few years ago, UT didn’t provide much of a place for student life or extracurricular programs, which maybe helped their academic atmosphere, but was probably hurting their growth. The expansion of their NCAA Division III intercollegiate athletic program in the past five years has drawn more students and stirred up a sense of school spirit within their student body as well as within the community.

The new Herrington Patriot Center, the largest building on campus, at 127,312 square ft, serves a dual purpose as an athletic and academic building. The HPC is the university’s answer to the lack of student life activities, providing fitness classes, recreation and therapy pool, backetball/vollyball courts, and a student lounge. Student life seems to be getting more attention at UT.

Many Tylerites have attended one or more musical or stage performances at UT’s Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center, a classy cultural center for the fine arts in Tyler. The Cowan Center also frequently hosts well-known speakers, such as former President Bush, drawing the public onto campus, and putting UT Tyler on the map.

UT continues to reach for the far horizon and make valuable contributions to society, as it intensifies its focus on its research program. Federal, state, and private funding for this research helps cover the latest scientific equipment, pays for more faculty, and makes UT more appealing to first-rate graduate students.

If you are looking for an excellent, affordable education with a private-school feel, check out UT Tyler.

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