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FTE enrollment grows by more than 14 percent at PCC
Photos and Story by James Hill
For the fourth straight term, Portland Community College has experienced enrollment growth. This summer term, PCC is seeing double-digit growth across most campuses.
Overall the college grew by 9.7 percent in total headcount and 14.3 percent in full-time equivalent (FTE) students after the end of the fourth week; the standard week for reporting enrollment figures. Headcount increased from 19,608 a year ago to 21,516 and FTE surged from 2,404.14 in 2007 to 2,748.19 this summer.
“As the economy continues to slow, it’s apparent people are starting to turn to PCC in greater numbers to start their education or to retrain into a new career,” said PCC President Preston Pulliams. “The growth at the college has been phenomenal. In many areas across the district, we are near capacity now for general classroom use and office space. This presents challenges in meeting the needs of our students’ and educational partnerships.”
The enrollment figures reflect the number of students enrolled at the college for that specific term. These numbers cannot be added to other terms’ totals to get an overall enrollment as many students who are enrolled throughout the year would be counted more than once. FTE is the total number of full- and part-time students added up to calculate full-time students.
The Cascade Campus (705 N. Killingsworth St.) had one of the biggest increases in enrollment.The inner Northeast Portland campus is home to Trades and Industry, Computer Technology and Business Administration programs, along with the Margaret Carter Skill Center, to name a few. It swelled by 21.1 percent in FTE and 18.3 percent in overall headcount. The number of FTEs expanded to 624.17 this year from 515.25 last year while total headcount surged to 4,313, up from 3,645.
By program, Cascade’s paralegal program has seen a jump of 29 percent in the number of students enrolling while multimedia and computer application systems are up by 24 percent and 23 percent, respectively. Although the campus didn’t have any waiting lists, instructors in multimedia did report difficulty in finding seats for students. Overall, the Allied Health and Science Division is up by 32 percent in FTE, the Emergency Services Department by 61.9 percent, Liberal Arts and Mathematics by 13.4 percent and Arts and Professions Division by 6 percent.
“We’re excited that so many people are taking advantage of the wealth of resources we have available here,” said Algie Gatewood, president of the Cascade Campus. “People are beginning to realize, more and more, the importance of education, and that it is the common denominator of success.”
Each of the three comprehensive campuses offers complete paths to an associate’s degree at their respective locations. Here is how they faired:
Rock Creek Campus, 17705 N.W. Springville Road
This campus in Washington County, known for Veterinary Technology, Welding, Landscape Technology and Biology programs, experienced an increase of 24 percent in total FTE and 12.1 percent in total headcount. Headcount grew by 458 students to 4,245 while FTE skyrocketed to 589.97, more than 114 FTE from summer 2007.
Sylvania Campus, 12000 S.W. 49th Ave.
The southwest Portland campus – the largest in PCC’s 1,500-square-mile district and housing such programs as machine manufacturing technology, early childhood education, sign language interpreter and automotive technology – experienced a 10.5 percent increase in student enrollment and 8.3 percent in FTE. The campus grew to 6,682 students, up by 635 from a year ago and by more than 75 FTE.
Southeast Center, 2305 S.E. 82nd and Division
Again, core enrollment at the center increased by more than 25 percent. Credit students surged by 27.8 percent this summer FTE to 81.66, up from 63.9 in summer term 2007.