(Credit-seeking student headcount at COCC is up 11.1 percent from 2022 | Photo courtesy of COCC)
With the first day of fall term just days away, Central Oregon Community College (COCC) is currently set to begin the new academic year with an 11.1 percent increase from 2022 in credit-seeking headcount. COCC’s total student headcount — including noncredit students — is up 21 percent.
Classes begin Monday, September 25, and 3,700 students are currently enrolled to take one or more for-credit classes across COCC’s four campuses. Notably, new student applications — including new college students, those returning after an absence, along with transfer and current high school students — have jumped by 13.2 percent since 2022.
“It’s very encouraging to see this positive enrollment growth after several years of pandemic-driven decreases,” said Alicia Moore, vice president of student affairs. “We suspect the growth is the result of a combination of many factors, including our new career-specific programs, a record amount of COCC Foundation scholarship dollars available to students, more flexibility with how our classes are delivered, and likely some changes in the labor market, too.”
Additionally, the college’s Redmond and Madras campuses have both seen significant enrollment increases, said Tyler Hayes, COCC’s registrar and director of admissions. At the Redmond campus, headcount is up 14.9 percent from last year, while the Madras campus is seeing close to an 87 percent leap in the same category. COCC’s total student headcount for fall 2023 is 4,452.
“We continue to bring more academic opportunities to our branch campuses and I think our enrollment this fall is reflecting that,” said Hayes. “Students can now take more transfer-degree courses on their ‘home’ campus without having to commute long distances or spend so much money on gas. We also offer more specific degrees and certificates just in Redmond, like our new community health worker certificate or our veterinary technician program.”
Another bright spot for COCC’s fall term is the nearly-filled-to-capacity 320-bed Wickiup Hall, on track to welcome 306 students — 96 percent of the facility’s capacity — on move-in day this Thursday, September 21.