Nov 10, 2009

After record spring and summer enrollment, Oregon State University - Cascades Campus has posted a 19.8 percent growth in the number of students taking classes this fall, the largest percentage increase in headcount enrollment of any campus in the Oregon University System.   OSU-Cascades' growth reflects a 26 percent increase in full time equivalent enrollment* (FTE).

The campus is now home to a record 611 students, with an additional 162 students taking courses at Central Oregon Community College and admitted in a degree program through OSU-Cascades, for a full contingent of 773 students.

Our growth is the result of a number of factors including the need for a university presence in Central Oregon, OSU-Cascades' growing reputation, and our partnership with COCC, said Vice President Becky Johnson.  Recent discussions about OSU-Cascades' enrollment indicate we could reach 3,500 students by 2025.  To get there, we need to sustain this growth and continue to develop academic programs that reflect the needs and values of Central Oregonians.

The new enrollment total includes increases across all degree programs.   Graduate programs lead the growth with a 49 percent increase, fueled partly by the addition of a graduate degree in secondary education.   There are currently 114 students pursuing master's degrees in counseling and teaching at the campus.  

OSU-Cascades' focus on diversity within the student body also got a boost, with the number of racial and ethnic minority students making up 10 percent of the student body.   

The campus saw an increase in male students, with the male share of the student body now at an all-time high of 41 percent.  The 30-49 age bracket represents the largest increase amongst age groups.  Adult degree completers and transfer students increased 20 percent over 2008, with an increase of six percent among students transitioning from COCC.  Local high schools are well represented within the student body; six percent of enrolled students graduated from a Central Oregon high school.  

The economic downturn has caused many people to return to school.  However, the growth is also a result of recruiting efforts targeting adult degree completers, transfer students and many local high school students, said Jane Reynolds, director of enrollment services.

* Full-time equivalence (FTE) measures the total credit-bearing activity of a campus. The definition varies depending on the level of the student. The full-time equivalent for an undergraduate is assumed to be 15 term credit hours (or 45 annual credit hours). For a master's and professional level students, the number is 12 credit hours (36 annual credit hours).

Posted November 10, 2009.