For some El Pasoans, the name “UTEP” doesn’t strike the idea of prestige.
“UTEP was not my first choice it never was,” said UTEP senior Hector Soltero.
But as the university evolves, students like Soltero have seen the big changes this university has undergone.
“Throughout the years I have been here, this is going to be my third year here. I think I have seen a lot of improvement, I’ve seen more organization involvement and more student involvement,” said Soltero.
UTEP continues to bring national attention to the Sun City as it’s made top ranks in many different polls.
In 2011 UTEP was ranked the top school in the country for most bachelor's degrees awarded to Hispanics by the Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine.
Last year, HispanicBusiness.com ranked UTEP as the best business school, and this year, Washington Monthly Magazine ranked the university as the 7th best school in the nation in terms of research and service to the community.
“If we are getting recognized by the nation as being number 7 I think that we do deserve it,” said Soltero. “We are getting to point where we should be recognized nationally,”
Dr. Diana Natalicio agrees. She believes the increase of students at UTEP in partly due to this national attention
“UTEP’s growing reputation has led to more new students more transfers over the past several years,” she said. “We are going to have more research, more facilities, more beautiful new facilities, and a new research building one of these days. We are sure about that.”
Dr. Natalicio said last year UTEP set a new record for student enrollment of 22,740 and expects to see higher numbers this fall.
“We are going to see a UTEP that everybody in this community will be very, very proud of,” she said. “They are proud of us today, and they will be proud of us tomorrow.”