Industry demand for its graduates combined with Oregon Tech's #1 ROI ranking among Northwest universities means higher than expected enrollment at its urban campus
June 10, 2013, PORTLAND, ORE. – Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech) opened its urban campus in Wilsonville last fall to expand student access to its high-demand university degree programs close to Silicon Forest industries. At the same time Oregon Tech was rebranding from OIT and potentially faced the challenge of low name recognition in Oregon. One year later Oregon Tech has seen applications for enrollment in its Wilsonville campus programs significantly exceed expectations.
“Students are choosing Oregon Tech because of the return on investment (ROI) that our degrees offer,” says Oregon Tech President Chris Maples, referring to the ranking released in May by Seattle-based compensation company PayScale. “Student success is our focus and you can see the results in the great jobs and professional success that our students and graduates are finding in their major field of study.”
More than 92 percent of Oregon Tech graduates are employed or in highly competitive graduate or professional programs within six months of graduation. Maples attributes the post-graduate success of Oregon Tech students to the university’s focus on sensible growth, rigor, and problem-solving focus based on industry demand and student ambition.
When Oregon Tech moved its four Portland metro area extension operations to a consolidated urban campus, it expanded the program portfolio to include 15 university degree programs at the BS and MS level. Associate Provost Dr. Mateo Aboy expects to offer over 20 high-demand university degree programs by 2017 at Oregon Tech’s Wilsonville Campus.
As an example, last year Oregon Tech Wilsonville started a Master of Science degree in Renewable Energy Engineering, building on the success of their nationally known BS in Renewable Energy Engineering. This program was the first renewable energy engineering program launched in the US and the first to achieve ABET accreditation. Other one-of-a-kind programs and high-demand specialties offered at the Wilsonville Campus include BS degrees in Health Informatics, Clinical Lab Sciences, Optoelectronics, Embedded Engineering, and Geomatics. Oregon Tech rose from a #60 national ranking in US News & World Report Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs for BS and MS universities to #35 during the past year.
“At a time with so much uncertainty in the job market, nearly every one of our graduates is finding a job within their degree program because we build all of our curriculum with industry advisory boards,” says President Maples. “They help us know exactly what they need and give our students hands-on experience to ensure they are ready to start contributing to the workforce in high-paying jobs.”
Students at Oregon Tech also benefit from a more interactive experience made possible with small classes taught by faculty members who have real experience.
“As the different rankings help illustrate, our students are getting an excellent private school education at public school prices. We provide a challenging and supportive educational environment where our professors are primarily focused on student success and we have a 18:1 student-to-professor ratio in our classes” says Associate Provost Dr. Mateo Aboy.
Another surprise was the demand for and participation in campus life events. Because the Wilsonville campus attracts many commuter students who often are already working, the university was unsure what to expect for university pride and community. In addition to strong participation in student government and traditional clubs, Wilsonville students started a few clubs of their own including an Outdoors Club, a Robotics Club, and an Inventors & Innovation Club. Members of one new club will be installing solar panels on the Wilsonville library, applying their knowledge and expertise to help the community.
About Oregon Tech
Founded in Klamath Falls in 1947, Oregon Institute of Technology is one of seven universities in the Oregon University System, and the only public institute of technology in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon Tech provides degree programs in engineering and health technologies, management, communication, and applied sciences that prepare students to be effective participants in their professional, public, and international communities through hands-on learning. Oregon Tech has a full-service, residential campus in Klamath Falls and an urban, industry-focused campus in Wilsonville. Visit www.oit.edu to learn more about Oregon Institute of Technology.