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Summer Enrollment at PCC Shows Strong Gains
Photos and Story by Mark Evertz
At the end of the fourth week of summer term, enrollment at Portland Community College is substantially greater than last year at the same time. The full-time-equivalent (FTE) enrollment, which adds up full- and part-time enrollments to come up with a count, is up 9.2 percent. The number of students taking classes, college head count, has also increased, up 7.9 percent from summer term last year. There are 17,166 students enrolled in summer classes, compared to 15,902 last year at the same time.
"Over the course of two summers, we’ve had 15 percent growth," said PCC President Dan Moriarty. Moriarty noted that the variety of offerings, the flexibility and the many different PCC locations appeals to the community. He also said it seems summer school enrollment for returning residential students from other colleges has played a factor in the growth.
"The challenge," he added, "is whether we can accommodate the demand during the year, because of the ‘no-growth’ funding from the state that has been in place the last five years." Moriarty said the flat, or no-growth, funding position set by the state strains the college’s ability to add more classes and sections to accommodate the need. "However, it’s very encouraging to see the demand that is there for our services and programs and it also says a lot about our community and the commitment to education," he said.
A closer look at the numbers reveals strong growth in college transfer courses, up 12.3 percent from last summer at the end of the fourth week. English as a Second Language enrollments also have seen a surge, up 32 percent from last year at the same time.
By campus, Sylvania Campus in Southwest Portland shows a 5.6 percent increase in full- time-equivalent enrollments, but a 1.2 percent decrease in head count. At Cascade Campus in North Portland, there is a 5.3 percent FTE increase in enrollment and a significant 18.6 percent increase in head count. Summer school last year at Cascade saw 1,174 students on campus. This summer there are 1,392 students taking classes. At Rock Creek Campus, between Hillsboro and Beaverton in Washington County, there are substantial increases in both full-time-equivalent and head count enrollments from last year at the same time. The FTE count is up 20.9 percent from last year at the same time.
Head count increased 24. 6 percent. PCC ‘s Open Campus shows solid gains as well. The Open Campus provides continuing education and life-long learning in some 200 metro locations, including the college’s three training centers. The Open Campus FTE enrollment is up 12.3 percent from last year at the same time; head count has increased 10.4 percent.
Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary school in the state, serving approximately 82,000 students each year. Summer term ends Sept. 6. Fall term will begin Monday, Sept. 22.