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Level Enrollment Trend Continues at PCC
Photos and Story by Mark Evertz
Portland Community College’s enrollment pattern is holding level, according to reports from the college’s Institutional Research office for winter term. The report is prepared at the end of the fourth week of each term.
It shows that winter term enrollments are up slightly — 1 percent — from the same time last year with 29,926 students taking classes versus 29,633 in 1996. However the number of full-time enrollments has decreased, from 4,933 to 4864, a 1.4 percent drop.
The numbers indicate that while more students are taking PCC classes part time, and using PCC’s services, there are less full-time students attending. One explanation for the enrollment decrease is that it is a reflection of the economic picture: When the economy is strong, fewer students are in school training for careers. Conversely, when the economy is less rosy, community college enrollments climb.
A snapshot of the winter term enrollment around the district is as follows: At Sylvania Campus in southwest Portland, both full-time-equivalent enrollment and per- student enrollment are down 4.3 percent from the same time last year. There are 10,712 students enrolled winter term 1997 compared to 11,189 in 1996. At Cascade Campus in North Portland, while the per-student count is down 3.7 percent, from 3,461 students winter term last year to 3,333 this year, the full-time student enrollment is up slightly, 1 percent. At Rock Creek Campus in Washington County, enrollment is up .9 percent from winter term last year, with 4,599 registered for classes compared to 4,557 last year. Campus full-time-equivalent enrollment is also up from last year at the same time, 1.4 percent. Open Campus enrollments have seen the largest change from winter term last year, a 9 percent jump from 13,805 last year to 15,048 students this year. The full-time-equivalent enrollment is up just .9 percent, however. The Open Campus offers continuing education, short-term training, literacy and adult basic education, and life-long learning classes in some 200 locations thought the Portland metropolitan area.