CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University is home to a record 19,362 students this school year, and within that population are higher-than-ever numbers of minority students, a larger percentage of graduate students and big increases in the newly enrolled.
The new enrollment total represents growth of less than 1 percent from last year’s total of 19,236. That growth took place, however, in a year in which enrollment declined at four of the seven institutions in the Oregon University System.
OSU officials say the new mix of students is squarely on target with the university’s enrollment goals, as well as the mission and values of Oregon State.
“OSU has much to celebrate in reviewing the accomplishments reflected in the size, quality and make up of the Fall 2006 new student class,” said Kate Peterson, assistant provost for enrollment management. “The enrollment objectives established in the 2008 Enrollment Initiative were met with few exceptions.”
OSU’s focus on diversity within the student body got a boost with solid growth in the number of racial and ethnic minority students: 2,806 this year or 14.5 percent of the student body, a 2.9-percent increase from 2,727 last fall.
Graduate students as a percentage of the overall student body grew to 21.4 percent, up from 18.5 percent last year. That was fueled in part by 10.5 percent growth in new graduate student enrollment over that of last fall. The university also experienced increases in new undergraduate, new graduate and new international students.
The university charted particularly strong growth in the number of students taking courses online via the E-campus program. Undergraduates taking only E-campus courses grew from 624 last year to 701 this fall, and the number of students at all levels enrolling in only E-campus courses grew from 984 to 1,080. Such courses provide educational access to place-bound students around the state, as well as time-strapped individuals often juggling work and other obligations with their studies.
OSU Cascades grew, as well, with 495 students enrolled this fall, up from 491 last year. However, an additional 148 students were admitted to OSU Cascades through its degree partnership agreement with neighboring Central Oregon Community College (COCC), bringing the total number of OSU students being served at OSU Cascades to 643. Those 148 students, currently studying at COCC, are projected to transition to OSU Cascades upon completion of their first- and second-year coursework.