Please note: This was published over a year ago. Phone numbers, email addresses and other information may have changed.
PCC, State's Community Colleges Take Case to State Capitol
Photos and Story by James Hill
SALEM – Students, board members, faculty and presidents from Oregon’s 17 community colleges will converge in Salem for Community College Day at the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 31. College advocates will meet with state legislators to discuss rapid statewide enrollment growth and the problems associated with a lack of funding. Community college enrollment has grown sharply over the past six years and state funding, which makes up more than half of college operating revenues, has not kept pace. Portland Community College, Oregon’s largest post-secondary school, watched its enrollment jump by 8.2 percent, setting a record for growth. For the 1999-2000 academic year, 96,869 students took classes at PCC."All of the colleges have been working hard during the interim to meet with their local legislators in their home districts," said Andrea Henderson, executive director of the Oregon Community College Association. "But we hope this event will tie it all together in Salem and remind legislators that community colleges are a vital statewide asset."In addition to meeting with legislators, college representatives will conduct a number of demonstrations between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to illustrate the many roles community colleges play in Oregon. Lawmakers and the general public will learn more about how colleges train high-tech workers, health care providers and other professionals. In addition, they will learn about distance education via the Internet, adult basic skills education; and the wide variety of services colleges provide to the state’s businesses and industries. Plus, visitors and legislators will be entertained by a full orchestra, representing community college music programs, during the noon hour.