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Enrollment at PCC at Steady Tick
Photos and Story by Mark Evertz
As of the end of the fourth week of winter term, enrollment is up again at Portland Community College, the largest postsecondary institution in Oregon. The full-time equivalent enrollment, which adds full- and part-time enrollments to get an equivalent full-time figure, is up 2.6 percent from winter term 1997.
The number of enrollments, or headcount, is up 2.5 percent from last fall. There are 30,666 students taking classes at PCC winter term.
The enrollment picture shows an increase in lower-division classes, the courses that students take in order to transfer to four-year schools, up 2.4 percent from the same time last year. It reverses a trend in the past several years of flat or dipping enrollments in these classes. There is also growth in enrollments in two-year training programs, up 2.1 percent from last winter.
"The increase in transfer classes is the news," said Susan Bach, director of Institutional Research. "This area dipped in enrollments for several years, even while our enrollments in technical and professional training programs increased slightly."
She added, "Overall, if you look at our enrollment for the last 20 years, we had a trough in the mid-80s and a comparable trough in the mid-90s. So, it looks like were climbing up again."
By campus, at Sylvania, both the full-time equivalent and the numbers of students taking classes are up 3.4 and 5.3 percent respectively from the same time last year. There are 11,277 students taking classes at Sylvania versus 10,712 last year.
At Rock Creek Campus, enrollment is up 5.3 percent in transfer classes, while professional and technical classes are down 2.5 percent from last winter. Headcount is up 3.7 percent; 4,769 students are taking winter term classes.
At Cacade Campus, the enrollment in professional and technical courses has soared, up 10.5 percent from last year at the same time. However, transfer courses are down, 3.1 percent from last year at the same time. There are 3,723 students taking classes winter term versus 3,333 last winter, a solid 11.7 percent increase.
PCC’s Open Campus, which offers continuing and lifelong learning classes in community locations throughout the metro area, shows an increase in full-time equivalent enrollments, up 2.6 percent from last year at the same time. Headcount has dropped very slightly, 0.7 percent. There are 14,942 students taking classes through the Open Campus this winter.