It appears that students of all ages are increasingly taking advantage of the educational opportunities at Columbia Gorge Community College.
In particular, last year saw a dramatic rise in class enrollments for the Hood River Indian Creek campus, which opened in the fall of 2008.
According to the 2009-10 school year student profile data collected by Columbia Gorge Community College, total full-time equivalent student enrollment for the entire college increased by 16.5 percent over the previous year, to an all-time high of 1,269.
For the Hood River campus, this last year's FTE increased dramatically by 26.5 percent and Hood River residents accounted for 31 percent of total college enrollment.
Both increases are well ahead of the 3 percent annual growth target predicted by the college.
As many students are enrolled with less than full-time status, the college keeps track of the number of credit hours enrolled by each student and then compiles the part-time data into full-time equivalent (FTE) data. This assists colleges in creating uniformity for planning and reporting process.
Although the unduplicated headcount decreased by 2.4 percent to 4,905 students during this period, statistics demonstrate that more credits are being undertaken by individual students, leading to the overall increase in FTE numbers.
Individual headcounts did increase for credit students by 9.3 percent, from 1,983 to 2,186.
Credit students usually represent those individuals pursuing college or technical degrees, versus those taking classes for enjoyment or single-skill development.
Hood River campus enrollment figures for the period list 798 full-time students and 1,388 part-time students.
The types of courses undertaken by CGCC students across campuses were distributed as follows:
• 48.4 percent of FTE generated from lower division transfer courses (generally indicating degree-pursuing students).
• 34.1 percent generated from career-technical courses (generally indicating certificate or license-seeking students).
• 16.0 percent generated from pre-college courses (generally indicating high school completion and college entry requirement completion students).
• 1.6 percent generated from adult continuing education and non-reimbursable courses.
While the age range of CGCC students covers individuals aged 11 to 84, the average age of full-time students is 28.3. The average age of all students enrolled is 36.8.