BEND, Ore. – The number of students pursuing degrees in fall term at Oregon State University – Cascades increased 2% over the previous year, and students are taking significantly more courses.

“There is a vibrant energy and optimism on campus,” said OSU-Cascades Interim Vice President Andrew Ketsdever. “Our small campus atmosphere, faculty-student mentoring and innovative research continue to give students and families confidence in the quality of education offered at OSU-Cascades.”

The Bend campus enrolls 1,247 students, including 1,043 undergraduate and 204 graduate students. Of those, 44 are non-degree seeking students taking courses for professional development or personal enrichment. Oregon State’s overall fall enrollment totals 34,108 students, up 748 students and 2.2% over last year. OSU is the largest university in the state for the eighth consecutive year with students also learning in Corvallis, Portland, Newport, La Grande and through the university’s nationally ranked online Ecampus degree program.

Among its graduate programs, OSU-Cascades launched a new doctor of physical therapy program this fall at capacity with a cohort of 45 students. The counseling degree program is the campus’s largest graduate program with 73 students. Twenty-nine students are enrolled in the Master of Arts in teaching program. The low-residency Master of Fine Arts in creative writing program has 19 students.

Both undergraduate and graduate students are taking higher course loads than in fall 2020. The average number of academic credits being taken per student this fall increased by 11.4% compared with a year ago, and has increased by 26.3% over the past five years, indicating that OSU-Cascades is attracting more full-time students than in the past, Ketsdever said.

Last year’s enrollment included 152 teachers from local school districts. The K-12 teachers, all non-degree seeking students, were enrolled in an OSU-Cascades course that taught remote instruction skills needed to support student learning and public health during the pandemic.

Fifty-one percent of OSU-Cascades students this fall are from Central Oregon and 81.8% are from Oregon. Students from out-of-state increased 4.7%. In addition, five other countries are represented within the student body.

In total, there are 252 students of color at OSU-Cascades making up 20.2% of the student body. Over the past five years, students of color have increased 4%.

Fall enrollment also includes 256 undergraduate students who are the first in their families to attend college and 159 first-year students. The majority of first-year students, 77.3%, live in the on-campus residence hall. An increasing number of first-year students, 21%, came to OSU-Cascades with enough college credit to enter at the sophomore or junior level, up from 9% in fall 2020. Fifty-five percent of first-year students earned college credit while in high school.

The average unweighted high school GPA of the new first-year class increased from 3.51 to 3.57, with 35% of first-year students having a high school GPA of 3.75 or higher.

Of 541 transfer students at OSU-Cascades, 69% are from Central Oregon. Students from Central Oregon Community College make up 57% of transfer students.

Hayley Halvorsen, who uses they/them pronouns, came to OSU-Cascades from their home in Arroyo Grande, California after earning an associate’s degree in hospitality management. Their original plan was to become a pastry chef, but in the years after graduating they realized baking was a hobby and their professional interests lay elsewhere.

“I’ve been painting, performing and practicing art since I was little,” Halvorsen said. “My creative side pushes me to innovate something new, so the digital arts and film – animation and 3-D imaging – are where I want my career.”

Halvorsen is enrolled in OSU-Cascades’ art, media and technology degree program and taking upper-level courses.

“Up until now I taught myself about design and how to use complicated creative software,” they said. “YouTube was my mentor. It’s great to learn about art history and creative software from faculty who really know it.”

This fall, a new undergraduate degree program in engineering science attracted 20 students while enrollment in an outdoor products program, launched in 2020, tripled from 18 to 54 students. Enrollment in an undergraduate teaching program, also offered starting in 2020, grew from 35 to 62 students.

Twenty undergraduate OSU-Cascades students are enrolled in the OSU Honors College program, a program for high-achieving students with courses that culminate in a required senior thesis. 

Sixty-eight students receiving veterans benefits are enrolled at OSU-Cascades. 

The youngest enrolled student is 16 and the oldest is 79. The average age of an undergraduate student is 25. The average age of a graduate student is 28.

More information about OSU-Cascades fall enrollment is available at osucascades.edu/about/fall-enrollment.

OSU Cascades

About OSU-Cascades:  Oregon State University’s campus in Bend brings higher education to Central Oregon, the fastest growing region in the state. Surrounded by 2.5 million acres of mountains and high desert, OSU-Cascades is a top-tier research university where small classes accelerate faculty-student mentoring. Degree programs meet industry and economic needs in areas such as innovation and entrepreneurship, natural ecosystems, health and wellness, and arts and sciences, and prepare students for tomorrow’s challenges. OSU-Cascades is expanding to serve 3,000 to 5,000 students, building a 128-acre campus with net-zero goals.

Story By: 

Christine Coffin, 541-788-3438, [email protected]

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