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Education in Houston

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Education in Houston

Healthcare and scientific research

Houston is the seat of the internationally renowned Texas Medical Center, which contains the world's largest concentration of research and medical schools, four nursing schools, and schools of dentistry, public health, pharmacy, and virtually all health-related careers. It is where one of the first—and still the largest—air emergency service, Life Flight, was created, and a very successful inter-institutional transplant program was developed. More heart surgeries are performed at the Texas Medical Center than anywhere else in the world.[2]

Some of the academic and research health institutions at the center include MD Anderson Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, UT Health Science Center, Memorial Hermann Hospital, The Methodist Hospital, Texas Children's Hospital, and University of Houston College of Pharmacy. The Baylor College of Medicine has annually been considered within the top ten medical schools in the nation; likewise, the MD Anderson Cancer Center has consistently ranked as one of the top two U.S. hospitals specializing in cancer care by U.S. News & World Report since 1990.[3][4] The Menninger Clinic, a renowned psychiatric treatment center, is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine and The Methodist Hospital System.[5] With hospital locations nationwide and headquarters in Houston, the Triumph Healthcare hospital system is the third largest long term acute care provider nationally.[6]

Higher education

Four separate and distinct state universities are located in Houston. The University of Houston is a nationally recognized Tier One research university, and is the flagship institution of the University of Houston System.[7][8][9] The third-largest university in Texas, the University of Houston has nearly 40,000 students on its 667 acre campus in southeast Houston.[10] The University of Houston–Clear Lake and the University of Houston–Downtown are stand-alone universities; they are not branch campuses of the University of Houston. Located in the historic community of Third Ward is Texas Southern University, one of the largest historically black colleges and universities in the United States.

The University of Houston System's annual impact on the Houston-area's economy equates to that of a major corporation: $1.1 billion in new funds attracted annually to the Houston area, $3.13 billion in total economic benefit, and 24,000 local jobs generated.[11][12] This is in addition to the 12,500 new graduates the UH System produces every year who enter the workforce in Houston and throughout Texas. These degree-holders tend to stay in Houston. After five years, 80.5 percent of graduates are still living and working in the region.[12]

Several private institutions of higher learning—ranging from liberal arts colleges to a nationally recognized research university—are located within the city. Rice University is one of the leading teaching and research universities of the United States and ranked the nation's 17th best overall university by U.S. News & World Report.[13]

Three community college districts exist with campuses in and around Houston. The Houston Community College System serves most of Houston. The northwestern through northeastern parts of the city are served by various campuses of the Lone Star College System, while the southeastern portion of Houston is served by San Jacinto College, and portions in the northeast are served by Lee College.[14] The Houston Community College and Lone Star College systems are within the 10 largest institutions of higher learning in the United States.

Primary and secondary education

A 2007 Money survey stated that 91.1% of the students attending schools within the city limit go to public schools and 8.9 percent go to private schools.[15]

Public schools

Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center is the headquarters of the Houston Independent School District.
Lamar High School, in central Houston, is of Houston ISD
Clear Lake High School, in southeast Houston, is of the Clear Creek ISD

All public school systems in Texas are administered by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). There are many public school districts serving the city of Houston. The largest school district serving the city limits is the Houston Independent School District, which serves a large majority of the area within the city limits. A portion of west Houston falls under the Spring Branch and Alief independent school districts. Aldine takes parts of northern Houston. Parts of Pasadena, Clear Creek, Crosby, Cypress-Fairbanks, Fort Bend, Galena Park, Huffman, Humble, Katy, Klein, New Caney, Sheldon, and Spring independent school districts also take students from the city limits of Houston.

The North Forest Independent School District served portions of Houston until its July 1, 2013 closure, when it was absorbed by Houston ISD.[16]

There are also many charter schools that are run separately from school districts, but are administered by the Texas Education Agency. In addition, public school districts—such as Houston ISD and Spring Branch ISD—also have their own charter schools.

State-operated charter schools

Since 1995 the state of Texas allowed the formation of state charter schools.[17] In 2006, over 25% of charter schools in Texas were located in Greater Houston.[18] In 2006, Todd Ziebarth, a researcher of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, said that charter schools may have as many as 15% of the market share of students in Greater Houston. During that year Houston Independent School District (HISD) officials estimated that 12,000 to 13,000 pupils living within the HISD boundaries attend state charter schools. In 2006 around 10,000 students attended HISD-affiliated charter schools.[17]

Private schools

Houston has numerous private schools of all types, including non-sectarian, Jewish, Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Protestant, and Muslim. The Texas Education Agency has no authority over private school operations; private schools may or may not be accredited, and achievement tests are not required for private school graduating seniors. Many private schools will obtain accreditation and perform achievement tests as a means of demonstrating that the school is genuinely interested in educational performance. The Houston area is home to more than 300 private schools and several are well-known. Many of the schools are accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by Texas Private School Accreditation Commission (TEPSAC). In addition, Houston area Catholic schools are operated by the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

Around 1993 increasing numbers of parents in Greater Houston sent their children to private schools. Dick Ekdahl, the executive director of the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS), said that a more robust economy, a negative perception of public schools, and increased interest in religious education caused enrollment at private schools to increase. Stephanie Asin of the Houston Chronicle said "[t]here is no central authority over private schools so collecting enrollment statistics is difficult."[19] She added "local headmasters indicate that enrollment is increasing in their schools and believe that holds true throughout the state's estimated 750 private schools. ."[19] In 1988, the 35 schools of ISAS had a combined enrollment of 16,895. In 1992 the same 35 schools had a combined enrollment of 18,504.[19]


The greater Houston area is home to a large [22]

Public libraries

Jesse H. Jones Building of the Houston Public Library

Residents of Houston are served by the Houston Public Library and the Harris County Public Library. The Houston Public Library has 36 branches throughout the city, plus the Central Library, located Downtown. The Harris County Public Library has 26 branches (3 of them in Houston), primarily serving areas outside the city limits of Houston.

See also


  1. ^ "Texas Medical Center – Largest Medical Center (Video HD (English))". Texas Medical Center. Retrieved 2009-03-28. 
  2. ^ "Texas Medical Center". Retrieved 2007-02-06. 
  3. ^ "Institutional Profile". Retrieved 2007-02-21. 
  4. ^ "Rice and Baylor College of Medicine extend MOU". Rice University, News & Media. Retrieved 2009-10-11. 
  5. ^ "Quick Facts About The Menninger Clinic"., The Menninger Clinic. Retrieved 2009-03-27. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Bonnin, Richard. "Carnegie Foundation Gives University of Houston its Highest Classification for Research Success, Elevating UH to Tier One Status". University of Houston. Retrieved 2011-02-08. 
  8. ^ "UH achieves Tier One status in research". Houston Business Journal. January 21, 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  9. ^ "UH takes big step up to Tier One status". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  10. ^ Khator, Renu (October 4, 2011). "State of the University: Fall 2011". University of Houston. Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  11. ^ TRESAUGUE, Matthew (2006-05-17). "Study suggests UH degrees are crucial economic factor". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2011-05-31. 
  12. ^ a b "The Economic Impact of Higher Education on Houston: A Case Study of the University of Houston System" (PDF). University of Houston System. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  13. ^ "Rice University, Best Colleges 2009". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 2009-03-27. 
  14. ^ "About Lee College." Lee College. Retrieved on May 6, 2013.
  15. ^ "CITY STATS Houston, TX 2007." Money.
  16. ^ Barajas, Erik. "North Forest ISD officially closes today." KTRK-TV. July 1, 2013. Retrieved on July 1, 2013.
  17. ^ a b Radcliffe, Jennifer and Gary Scharrer. "Decade of change for charter schools / Experts say spotty success keeps them from competing with traditional system." Houston Chronicle. Sunday December 17, 2006. B1 MetFront. Retrieved on November 7, 2009.
  18. ^ Spivak, Todd. "The Also-Rans." Houston Press. March 2, 2006. Retrieved on April 20, 2009.
  19. ^ a b c Asin, Stephanie. "GOING BY DIFFERENT BOOKS/More private institutions get the call". Houston Chronicle. August 8, 1993. Section C, Page 1. Retrieved July 21, 2011.
  20. ^ Radcliffe, Jennifer. "Experts: Home-schooling doesn’t add up across Texas / Home-school is so popular, some are getting suspicious". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  21. ^ Brian D. Ray, Ph.D. (Jan 3, 2011). "Homeschool Population Report 2010". NHERI. Retrieved 27 November 2012. 
  22. ^ "Houston-area Homeschool Classes". HAHC. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 

External links

  • 2007 Greater Houston High School Ranking Report
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