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Volume 68, Issue 46, Tuesday, October 29, 2002


Cinco Ranch looks to build enrollment

By Josh Gajewski
The Dialy Cougar

The new director of the UH System at Cinco Ranch hopes to expand the school's visibility in West Houston and subsequently increase enrollment.

Kurt Czupryn, most recently the director of residence life at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos before being named Cinco Ranch's director Oct. 15, pinpointed those two items when asked about plans for the facility.

Cinco Ranch, like UHS-Sugar Land, is a teaching center where upper-division students from UH, UH-Clear Lake, UH-Downtown and UH-Victoria can go as an alternative venue.

"We're beginning to develop involvement with community organizations in attempt to expand and increase community awareness that we're here and we have a lot to offer," Czupryn said.

"We're not a household name, but we want people to know what is available and where they can get it. Obviously, we're not going to meet everyone's needs, but a lot of needs can be met with the programs we currently offer," he said.

A total of 619 students are taking courses at Cinco Ranch. 

The target enrollment number for the Spring 2003 semester is 725, and Czupryn said he hopes to see enrollment numbers increase each year considering the space available at the 14-year-old facility, a 36,000-square-foot building located on 10 acres of land in Katy.

Over the next 20 years, the number of people in Texas enrolling in higher education is expected to skyrocket. 

UHS administrators are hoping the other campuses in the UH System will be able to accommodate the students expected to enroll.

In addition to the 619 UH System students enrolled in programs at Cinco Ranch, seven Houston Community College courses are being offered at the Cinco Ranch campus. 

That number will grow to 15 in the spring, Czupryn said.

Many of the UH System students attending Cinco Ranch are transfers from Houston Community College Northwest, which has two campuses (Westgate and Town & Country) holding more than 10,000 students combined.

Czupryn, a Katy resident who commuted to San Marcos while at Southwest Texas State, also held administrative positions at Pittsburgh State University and Lamar University in Beaumont.

He received a Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Nebraska, a master's degree from the University of Arizona and a bachelor's degree from Indiana University.

"We wanted somebody who could really take charge of the site and devote their full energy to developing the site itself," said Sandy Frieden, executive director of UH System Distance Education/CampusNet. "(Czupryn) seemed like just a wonderful match and so far he's proved to be exactly that.

"It's a very tough job I guarantee it, having lived it for a long time. But it's exciting to see these four (main UH) campuses all come together in this shared mission to serve this region (West Houston)."

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