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PCC Enrollments Show Increase for Fall Term
Photos and Story by Mark Evertz
At the end of the fourth week of fall term, enrollment is up at Portland Community College, the largest postsecondary institution in Oregon. The full-time-equivalent enrollment, which adds up full- and part-time enrollments to get an equivalent full-time figure, is up 2 percent from fall term 1996. The number of enrollments, or headcount, is up slightly, 0.4 percent from last fall. There are 35,111 students taking classes fall term at the end of the fourth week of the term.
The enrollment picture reflects increases in two-year-degree training programs, up 3.8 percent from last fall. However, lower division courses that students take in order to transfer to four-year schools, are down slightly, 1.1 percent from last year at the same time.
"After several years of declining enrollments in some of our two-year training programs, it appears that we’re turning it around," says Brian Davis, dean of engineering and mathematics at Portland Community College. Davis notes the increased demand from businesses for skilled and technically adept employees. He also says many of PCC’s training programs have added more flexibility to their offerings. "For example, many of our engineering tech students are enrolled part-time or are taking classes in the evening."
By campus, at Sylvania in Southwest Portland, both the full-time-equivalent count and the numbers of students taking classes is down slightly — 1 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively. There are 11,920 students taking classes at Sylvania, versus 12,156 last fall at the same time.
At Rock Creek Campus in Washington County, the reverse is true. The enrollments have jumped both in full-time-equivalent figures and in the number of students signing up for classes. Full-time-equivalent enrollments are up 8.5 percent. Headcount is up 6.7 percent, from 4,783 last fall to 5,104 this fall.
Cascade Campus in urban North Portland also shows strong increases. The full-time-equivalent enrollment is up 2 percent. Headcount has risen a healthy 8.3 percent. There are 5,065 students taking classes this fall versus 4,675 last fall at the same time.
PCC’s Open Campus, which offers continuing education and lifelong learning classes in community locations throughout the metro area, shows solid increases in full-time-equivalent enrollments, up 3.3 percent from last fall. The headcount is down slightly, by 327 students. There were 17,487 taking classes last fall versus 17,160 students this fall.