When Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz accepted the job of University of Houston-Downtown President, he pledged to visit local high schools within a 50-mile radius of the institution. In recent months, President Muñoz has kept his word, meeting with prospective Gators and discussing the advantages of UHD.
So far, Muñoz has visited more than 20 high schools and engaged with more than 2,100 students, parents and administrators. Among the high schools he’s visited are Eastwood Academy, Austin High School, Worthing High School, East Early High School, Heights High School, Waltrip High School, Booker T. Washington High School, North Shore Senior High School, and others.
Accompanying him on these visits are members of UHD’s Admissions team, including Ceshia Love, director of admissions. According to Love, these trips further connect the University with the community and help spotlight pathways to UHD.
“Meeting with local high school students demonstrates UHD’s commitment to the community by embodying the adage, ‘It takes a village to raise a child,’” Love said. “We serve as the village that understands and embraces our responsibility to improve access to higher education.”
Accessibility is one subject addressed by President Muñoz when meeting with high school students. He also points out UHD’s affordability and proximity.
During his visit to Booker T. Washington High School, he noted that UHD is just a few miles away, and is the fifth most affordable institution of higher learning in the state.
“Let me repeat that,” he said. “The FIFTH least expensive four-year university in Texas. Cost is an issue for many college students and their families, and at UHD, we’re committed to graduating students on time and with little to no debt. ”
Muñoz also spotlights the smaller class sizes, convenient campus location, innovative academic programs, and award-winning faculty.
“At UHD we create a private, liberal arts environment with a public school price tag,” he told a group of 200 students at North Shore High School. “What you can expect at UHD is a championship attitude. If you come here, we are committed to making sure you succeed.”
Also in attendance at these visits are college deans, who enlighten students on the academic opportunities at UHD. During his trip to Booker T. Washington High School, Dr. Leigh Van Horn, interim dean of the College of Public Service was in attendance. Dr. DoVeanna Fulton, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, visited North Shore High School and hand-delivered acceptance letters to future Gators. More than 100 acceptance letters have been distributed during these visits so far.
“These visits are just a start,” Muñoz said. “I plan on meeting as many Houston-area students as possible and connecting them and their families with UHD. It’s important that they know what our University can offer them, and it’s equally crucial that they’re aware of what they can offer to UHD.”