The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

Five surprising facts about COCC enrollment

Photo by Benjamin Enyart

As enrollment rates around the country drop, there is a team that is working behind the scenes to recruit new students and create a thriving learning environment. Here are some facts about admissions and records that you will find interesting or may leave you scratching your head.

1. Enrollment around the entire country has been dropping at smaller schools

After peaking in 2010, enrollment numbers at colleges around the country have steadily declined. According to, fall term enrollment numbers dropped 14.7% from 2020 to 2021. 

Sofia Stranieri, Admissions Coordinator at Central Oregon Community College said, “[The drop in enrollment is due to COVID-19, and the fact that more jobs are offering on-the-job training. The pandemic is going to take years to recover from. Worker shortages are forcing employers to lower their degree requirements.” She also added, “Life expenses are taking priority over higher education.” COCC even hired Sarah Hopkins, a second Admissions Coordinator, to boost these numbers. Between Stranieri and Hopkins, they spend almost 12 weeks on recruiting trips as well as all of the numerous local activities they do recruiting students.

(Sofia Stranieri) Photo by Benjamin Enyart

2. There is one faculty member for every 15 students at COCC

This means the average class size is around 17 students, according to Stranieri. Of these faculty members, 118 are full-time, 94 are part time and only 35 are adjunct faculty. This is great to know as many colleges are switching to more and more adjunct faculty to cut costs.

3. The average student age at COCC is 25.3 years old

According to, or the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators estimates as of 2015, almost 40% of college students are non-traditional returning students. COCC reflects this with their diversity in ages and students going to school both online and at the campus locations in Bend, Madras, Prineville, Redmond and online.

4. Women make up a larger percentage of the student population than men do

At COCC, there were 6,649 credit taking students. Of those, 3,488 (52%) identify as female while 2,907 (43.7%) identify as male and 254 (3.8%) did not specify. According to, a study done by the National Center for Education Statistics, the average female enrollment at colleges was 9,201 compared to just 6,650 males in 2020. While they didn’t specify on why this is happening, it is a trend that is being seen around the country.

5. Career and Technical Programs are on the rise

At COCC, 24.7% of students are in job training and technical programs that help them transition directly to the workforce. With housing costs and inflation ravaging the middle and lower class, finding ways to make ends meet may be increasingly difficult. COCC offers a wide variety of these programs ranging from auto technician training to Pharmaceutical and Phlebotomy. Students are able to get degrees while working and transition from school to the workforce in as little as three months. So as the workplace adapts, so does the college landscape. 

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