Community Colleges: General Information
Oregon has 17 community colleges. Although community colleges receive state money, each college is governed by a local board. In 2011, full-time equivalent (FTE) community college enrollment was 124,888. Approximately 35.8%` percent of 2010 Oregon high school graduates attended an Oregon community college the year following graduation. However, in the 2010–11 academic year, 61 percent of community college students are older than 24. This reflects the fact that many students are either seeking retraining for different jobs or delaying enrollment in postsecondary education. Average tuition and fees for 2010–11 was $3,720.
Oregon community colleges currently (2011–12) have the third highest tuition in the 15 Western states. Tuition and fees for 2012–13 at Oregon community colleges rose to $4,369 statewide, an increase of nearly 30 percent in five years. According to the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education (June 2011), 68 percent of community college students report that they chose their college because of cost.
Another important factor impacting student enrollment and retention is financial aid. In 2011–12, there were 112,701 community college students eligible for the Oregon Opportunity Grant. However, only 13.4 percent actually received those grant funds.
Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development
The Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development (CCWD) coordinates Oregon’s 17 community colleges. It has responsibility for monitoring the programs, services, and effectiveness of local community colleges and for reporting to the Legislative Assembly. The commissioner is appointed by the State Board of Education.
Direct state support to community colleges is funded in the CCWD budget, primarily through the Community College Support Fund (CCSF). The agency also coordinates and provides statewide administration of the federally funded Workforce Investment Act (WIA), Title IB Adult, Youth, Dislocated Worker programs, WIA Title II Adult Education and Family Literacy programs, Carl Perkins Career and Technical Education Programs, the Oregon Youth Conservation Corps (OYCC) and the General Education Development (GED) program. During the 2009–11 biennium, WIA served over 340,626 adult Oregonians.
The 2011–13 legislatively-adopted budget for CCWD was $568 million. The state provided $418 million from the General Fund and $14 million in other funds. Federal funds amounted to $136 million. In general, state money is distributed to community colleges on the basis of enrollment. The General Fund supports 31 percent of the college costs. The General Fund support is distributed to community colleges through a formula adopted by the State Board of Education. Another 24 percent of college operating revenue is provided through property tax collections. Tuition and fees, which are not included in the state agency budget, are projected to provide the remaining 45 percent of college operating revenues.
The CCWD Web site includes additional information about the department and its programs.
Gerald Hamiliton, Interim Exec. Director
Address: Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development, 255 Capitol St. NE, Salem 97310-0001