BEND - The new Oregon State University Cascades Campus that is under development in Bend will offer community college students throughout the state another option to consider next fall if they plan to continue their education at a four-year university.

Although it's still awaiting funding approval from the Oregon legislature, the OSU branch campus already is developing its administrative structure, programs are evolving and the first of hundreds of applications for admission are beginning to roll in.

An upcoming open house in May will help recruit new students, and a groundbreaking ceremony has been held for the new $5.4 million building on the campus of Central Oregon Community College that will house most operations of the new institution.

"We're really getting ready to go," said Linda Johnson, the OSU director for Central Oregon Programs. "Transition teams from OSU and COCC have been working closely on such tasks as student and enrollment service programs, improving infrastructure, identifying new faculty and deciding on the use of office space."

But most encouraging, Johnson said, has been the early response of prospective students.

"So far, we've already mailed out more than 700 applications to interested students, and we're quite optimistic that we'll be able to meet our first-year enrollment goals of about 250 FTE students," Johnson said. "Any community college student who is planning to attend a four-year school may wish to consider the many course and degree options that this new institution will feature."

Information on programs offered, scholarships or applications can be obtained by calling (800) 291-4192, or accessing the OSU Cascades Campus web page through the OSU home page. Work is also under way to manage and administer a $3.5 million fund that has been pledged towards OSU scholarships at the OSU Cascades Campus.

A full course schedule for fall, 2001, is now being finalized and about 110 courses will be offered by OSU and its partner institutions of higher education. The OSU Cascades Campus and its primary partners, Eastern Oregon University and Oregon Institute of Technology, will initially provide 13 bachelor's degrees and nine minors, expanding in numbers and graduate degrees as enrollment grows.

Building on a strong base of courses and degrees in the liberal arts and sciences, the OSU Cascades Campus will also offer applied or professional degrees in computer science, business administration, health, education, engineering, information technology, nursing, natural resource management, environmental science, agriculture and many other fields.

Click photos to see a full-size version. Right click and save image to download.


Linda Johnson, 541-312-8361