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Summer Term Enrollment Jumps 9.6 Percent at PCC

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Summer term enrollment figures for Portland Community College show a hefty increase of both full-time equivalent students and total headcount at the college’s campuses, training centers and community locations. The college Institutional Research office reports a 9.6 percent increase in headcount and a 7.7 percent increase in full-time equivalent (FTE) student enrollments after the fourth week of summer term, when figures are submitted to the state. FTE enrollment is the total number of full-time and part-time students combined to make a full-time equivalent student count.

These figures continue the steady increase in enrollments at Portland Community College with 19,604 students taking classes summer term, up from 17,892 the previous summer. The summer term FTE enrollment count is 2,103, up from 1,953 during summer term 1998.

According to college officials, a number of factors may be at work. Shirley Anderson, dean of instruction at the college’s largest campus, Sylvania Campus, said, "We try and look at when students most often want to attend. We also took a closer look at course offerings and how we scheduled those offerings."

She added, "Because we don’t offer as many (summer) classes, we have more scheduling ability because of the capacity there are more rooms available. We’ve also changed the format. We have courses running for four, five, eight, 10 and 12 weeks. At Sylvania, we are offering a year’s worth of classes in one summer in languages, sciences, mathematics.

"We’ll also have students home from the university who need to pick up a class. Because of our concentrated offerings, they can come one month for that one term and they’re done A student can complete a three- or four-credit course and still take a vacation say, in August."

At Sylvania in Southwest Portland, FTE is up 6.4 percent from last summer at the same time. The headcount has increased 1.9 percent to 5,508 students.

Linda Reisser, dean of students at Cascade Campus, said, "We’re using many of the same

strategies (as at Sylvania Campus). We’re looking more closely at the schedule of offerings, listening more carefully to student wishes. For example, the lower division transfer area at Cascade did a large survey of 900 students last year," to help find ways to help students stay in school and school.

Cascade Campus in North Portland has seen increases of 20.3 percent in its FTE enrollment and a 23.8 percent in headcount. There are 2,071 students attending Cascade this summer.

At the Rock Creek Campus, Sherry Robinson, dean of students, echoes Reisser’s comments. "We’re working more closely with students in the admissions and advising area We’ve increased our enrollment, yet we have fewer courses at Rock Creek this summer." Robinson attributes the increases at Rock Creek to helping students put together a schedule that meets their needs.

At Rock Creek Campus, enrollments in FTE are up 8.2 percent and headcount has gained 16.2 percent from summer term last year. There are 1,408 students taking classes at Rock Creek, located between Beaverton and Hillsboro in Washington County.

The Open Campus experienced strong gains as well, where students take short-term and upgrade training as well as personal enrichment classes at employer sites, community locations and PCC training centers. Open Campus FTE enrollment has jumped 4.6 percent, headcount 11.3 percent. There are 12,589 students taking classes through the college’s Open Campus this summer.

Portland Community College is a multi-campus system in all or parts of five counties in Northwest Oregon, including Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Yamhill and Columbia counties. Nearly 86,000 students take classes annually.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »

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