The University of Houston–Clear Lake (UHCL) is a state university, and is a separate and distinct component institution of the University of Houston System. Its campus spans 524-acre in Pasadena, with a satellite campus in Pearland. Founded in 1971, UHCL has an enrollment of more than 8,000 students. The institution will begin offering freshman and sophomore classes in fall 2014.
The university serves students in four academic schools. UHCL offers nearly 90 degree programs: 40 bachelors, 44 masters, and one doctoral. Awarding more than 2,100 degrees annually, the university's alumni base exceeds 50,000.
In 1961, NASA announced that the Manned Spacecraft Center would be located in Houston just off the shores of Clear Lake. Early in the development of the Manned Spacecraft Center, a demand for graduate studies grew within NASA and the nearby space-related industries.
In 1964, the University of Houston (UH) began offering courses in physics, math, and various engineering programs to NASA employees at the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC). On September 10, 1965, MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth formally requested that the University of Houston give immediate consideration to the establishment of a permanent graduate and undergraduate educational facility in the Clear Lake area. UH President, Philip G. Hoffman, replied that "…it would be difficult for us to be unresponsive to vital needs of the MSC and its staff," but indicated that "the acquisition of appropriate land in the Clear Lake City area would be of crucial importance to this project."
Humble Oil responded by donating 50 acres (200,000 m2) of land in the Clear Lake City development to the University of Houston for the establishment of a permanent undergraduate and graduate facility. A total of 487 acres (1.97 km2) would be donated from the Friendswood Development Corp. to become the University of Houston at Clear Lake City.
In 1968, the Coordinating Board, Texas College and University System authorized the University of Houston to build the Clear Lake Graduate Center (CLGC) on the original 50-acre (200,000 m2). In addition, the Coordinating Board called for the creation of a stand-alone university in Clear Lake to offer upper-division and graduate-level programs adjacent to CLGC. Four years later in 1971, the 62nd Texas Legislature passed House Bill 199 authorizing the creation of the University of Houston at Clear Lake City as a separate and distinct degree-granting institution.
The Clear Lake Graduate Center opened in January 1972. The first phase construction of the Bayou Building for the University of Houston at Clear Lake City (UH/CLC) began early in 1974. On June 1, 1974, the Clear Lake Graduate Center facility became part of UH/CLC and took on the name "Arbor Building." The Bayou Building opened in September 1974 and classes began at UH/CLC under the leadership of the institution's founding president, Alfred R. Neumann. The first-class day enrollment was 1,069 students with 60 professors comprised the charter faculty.
In 1977, the 65th Texas Legislature established the University of Houston System that included UH/CLC as a component institution. The University of Houston at Clear Lake City was renamed University of Houston–Clear Lake on April 26, 1983. During the 73rd Texas Legislature in 1973, an unsuccessful attempt was made by the City of Pasadena to change the institution's name to the University of Houston at Pasadena.
In January 2011, Senate Bill 324 was filed in the 82nd Texas Legislature for the institution's downward expansion by adding freshman and sophomore course offerings. The bill was passed and signed into law by Governor Perry on June 17, 2011. The university will begin offering freshman and sophomore classes in fall 2014.
The University of Houston–Clear Lake (UHCL) is one of four separate and distinct institutions in the University of Houston System. The institution is separately accredited, offers its own academic programs and confers its own degrees, and has its own administration. UHCL is a stand-alone university; it is not a branch campus of the University of Houston (UH). Although UHCL and UH are both component institutions of the University of Houston System, they are separate degree-granting universities.
The organization and control of the University of Houston–Clear Lake is vested in the Board of Regents of the University of Houston System. The Board has all the rights, powers, and duties that it has with respect to the organization and control of other institutions in the System; however, UHCL is maintained as a separate and distinct institution.
The president is the chief executive officer of the University of Houston–Clear Lake, and the position reports to the chancellor of the University of Houston System. The president is appointed by the chancellor and confirmed by the Board of Regents of the University of Houston System. As of 1995, the president of the university is William A. Staples. The UHCL administration is located in the Bayou Building.
The University of Houston–Clear Lake (UHCL) is a stand-alone university; it is not a branch campus of the University of Houston (UH). Although UHCL and UH are both component institutions of the University of Houston System, they are separate degree-granting universities.
The campus of UHCL is located on a nature preserve adjacent to the community of Clear Lake City. The campus consists of four classroom buildings: the Bayou, Arbor, Delta, and Student Services and Classroom buildings. Additionally, the campus includes a physical plant maintenance facility, the University Forest Apartments, and the headquarters building of the Environmental Institute of Houston.
The majority of the 524-acre (2.12 km2) UHCL campus lies within the corporate limits of Pasadena, while only the part of campus south of Horsepen Bayou lies within the city of Houston. The campus sits in a bottomland hardwood forest adjacent to the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center and the Armand Bayou Nature Center and is home to a wide range of wildlife including alligators, wild turkeys, bobcats, and whitetail deer.
The vast majority of classroom space is located in the Bayou Building, which is the largest building on campus. It also houses the campus book store, several computer labs, and all of the university's science laboratories. The Delta Building houses the Computer Science and Engineering program as well as many computing labs and classrooms. The Arbor Building was constructed in 1971 and was the first building on campus. It is home to UHCL's acclaimed studio art programs. The Student Services and Classroom Building was completed in 2005 and houses business and education classrooms. A large part of the facility is dedicated to student service functions, including the Dean of Students' office, the registrar, cashier, and financial aid offices. The Fitness Zone workout facility on the second level of the SSB has cardio and weight training equipment for student use.
The Bayou Building is also home to the Alfred R. Neumann Library. UHCL’s library, the 80,000-square-foot (7,400 m2) Neumann Library contains over 480,000 volumes, 1.8 million microform items, and over 1000 journal and periodical subscriptions. The library has online access to over 100 subscription-only research databases and the Texshare interlibrary loan service which allows students to check out items from any academic or public library in Texas. Additionally, the library houses the university archives, which includes the NASA Johnson Space Center History Collection.
The University of Houston–Clear Lake (UHCL) is separately accredited, offers its own academic programs, and confers its own degrees. UHCL is a stand-alone university; it is not a branch campus of the University of Houston (UH). Although UHCL and UH are both component institutions of the University of Houston System, they are separate degree-granting universities. Students who graduate from UHCL will have diplomas under the name University of Houston–Clear Lake.
UHCL is an upper-level university and does not offer lower-level division courses. Most of the students attend area community colleges to complete their basic curriculum requirements. Each students is admitted to a specific degree program after obtaining at least 54 semester hours of college credit with a 2.0 grade point average or has earned an associate's degree. The institution has proposed downward expansion and is expected to add freshman and sophomore classes by fall 2014.
The university is organized into four academic schools: the School of Business, the School of Human Sciences and Humanities, the School of Science and Computer Engineering, and the School of Education. The School of Business has the largest undergraduate enrollment and awards the most bachelor's degrees annually.
UHCL awards the undergraduate degrees Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Social Work (BSW). At the graduate level it awards the degrees Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Business Administration, Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA), and Doctor of Education (EdD). The EdD program in Educational Leadership, initiated in January 2007, is the first doctoral degree program offered by the university.
UHCL is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Many of the university's Schools and academic programs have individual accreditation through other governing bodies such as the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the American Chemical Society (ACS),the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).