Central Oregon Community College announced double-digit enrollment growth Tuesday, reversing a trend.
“Since the pandemic, we’ve been seeing decreases,” Director of Admissions Tyler Hayes said. “Which is why it’s so exciting to see positive growth.”
He says the trend is national. Community colleges across the nation are seeing increases in enrollment. COCC attributes the growth to flexibility and affordability.
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“In this economy and with this labor market students are recognizing that value,” he said.
“Instead of paying, you know, upwards of ten, $20,000 per term, you could be around $5,000, or $1,500 per term,” said Ryan Crouter, a second-year education student at COCC.
Crouter also works on campus at the bookstore. This week, he’s been prepping for the incoming wave of students.
“Paramedic, aviation, there’s a culinary program. There’s just tons of different options,” he said. “I think it draws a big range of students from all over the world with just the amount of programs we have.”
Numbers on all COCC campuses are up, but the most significant increase is in Madras — an 87% jump.
“We’re going to be offering nursing, nursing assistant, and medical assisting programs in the coming year, so we’re seeing students start to take their prerequisites out on that campus this year,” Hayes said.
COCC expects even more students to trickle in before classes begin Monday.
“We’re excited to provide those opportunities and be accessible to students and help them succeed,” Hayes said.