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Spring Term Enrollment Figures Show Healthy Hike at PCC
Photos and Story by Mark Evertz
Enrollment at PCC is on the rise. After several years of flat and declining enrollments in the mid ’90s — which had followed intense growth in the early ’90s –PCC’s enrollment seems to be on the upswing. The recent spring term increases follow several terms of steady growth at the college.
Enrollments this spring are up 4.8 percent from last year at the same time with 33,575 students enrolled at the end of the fourth week of the term. Full-time-equivalent enrollment, which adds up part- and full-time enrollments to get a full-time count, is also on the rise, 3.7 percent from last year at the same time. The spring term ’98 full-time-equivalent enrollment stands at 5,189, versus 5,004 last year.
"We had predicted the enrollment increases toward the end of the decade, based on demographics and several other factors," said Dan Moriarty, PCC president. "As we move into the next century, PCC will continue to be a popular community choice for education and training. We are currently planning for the additional students."
A snapshot of the overall enrollment picture shows solid increases in PCC’s non-traditional training and education programs, including a 29.8 percent hike in English as a second language classes, an 11.2 percent increase in apprentice courses, and a 16.8 percent increase in self-improvement community education classes. Lower-division college transfer classes are up 2 percent from last spring at the same time. Professional and technical training programs remain unchanged from the same time last year.
By campus, Cascade in North Portland has experienced the largest boost in students, a robust 11.8 percent surge from last spring. There were 4,775 students registered at the end of the fourth week of the term. The full-time-equivalent enrollment is also on the upswing, 4.8 percent from last spring. Cascade’s largest increase is seen in its professional and technical training programs, up 18.9 percent from last year.
Sylvania Campus, the college’s largest campus which is located in southwest Portland, also shows an increase in students, although not as dramatic as Cascade. The headcount has increased 2.6 percent from last year at the same time — 10,786 students enrolled at the end of the fourth week as opposed to 10,517 last spring. The full-time-equivalent enrollment is up very slightly, 0.6 percent from last year. College transfer and professional technical classes at Sylvania show flat enrollments, both at 0.4 percent increases from last spring.
At Rock Creek Campus in Washington County, the figures are also up in both headcount and full-time-equivalent enrollments. There are 4,642 students taking classes at the end of the fourth week of the term, versus 4,419 last spring, a 5 percent increase. The full-time-equivalent count shows a 2 percent increase from last year. Lower-division college transfer classes have seen a 7 percent hike in enrollments while the professional and technical programs have undergone a slight dip, 2 percent from last spring.
Open Campus, which brings training to approximately 150 community locations across the district, including both credit and non-credit classes, shows strong increases this term. There is a 5.7 percent increase in headcount enrollment, with 17,479 individuals taking courses, versus 16,544 last year at the same time.
A look at Open Campus full-time-equivalent enrollments shows a solid boost from last year, a 9.7 percent increase. Increases are seen in alternative high school programs, English as a second language, short-term training, community education offerings and lower-division college transfer classes.
Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon, with a 1996-97 annual enrollment of 83,860 part- and full-time students. Last year, between 34,000 to 40,000 students enrolled each term.