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Oregon Tech increases on-campus and first-time freshmen enrollment; maintains student retention at 80%

Nov 01, 2018
Individual campus growth totaled nearly 2 percent at the Klamath Falls campus (2,218), and 5 percent at the Portland-Metro campus (870)

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First-time undergraduate enrollment at the Oregon Institute of Technology, “Oregon Tech,” for fall 2018 grew 9 percent in new freshmen over fall 2017, and both of its campuses in Klamath Falls and Portland-Metro also grew since last year. Enrollment of students continuing their education at Oregon Tech remained stable, verifying the positive impact of Oregon Tech’s expanded retention efforts.

Individual campus growth totaled nearly 2 percent at the Klamath Falls campus (2,218), and 5 percent at the Portland-Metro campus (870), an all-time high. Students of color have continued to increase over the years and are now 30.5 percent of Oregon Tech’s student population. Transfer student numbers are down from last year, likely related to community college enrollment, and reflecting a typical trend during periods of low unemployment when some students return to the workforce. Oregon Tech is continuing to serve an impressive number of Oregonians again this year, 76.5 percent of the total student population. Enrollment increases as well as campus staff initiatives have positively impacted on-campus housing occupancy on the Klamath Falls campus, which reached the highest level ever (586). In addition, Oregon Tech’s top ranked Online Education Program recorded a 15 percent growth in enrolled student credit hours relative to last year.

“We are pleased that students and their families are choosing Oregon Tech for their collegiate careers,” said Oregon Tech president, Dr. Nagi Naganathan. “First-time freshmen bring a special value to the diversity on our campuses, and we also place high value on providing an education and support system that retains those students through graduation. Our graduate success rate boasts 97 percent of our graduates employed or pursuing graduate school within six months of earning their degrees, and netting top starting salaries in Oregon, now averaging $58,000.”

The 5,341 students enrolled at Oregon Tech for the 2018-19 academic year reflects on-campus growth, but a preference for later than usual registration of dual credit students at high schools this year impacted total enrollment, which is down from last year’s high of 5,490. Healthy on-campus enrollment this year is attributed to refinements in Oregon Tech’s strategic enrollment procedures to right-size the enrollment among its various programs, and focused efforts on retaining continuing students.

Erika Veth, Oregon Tech’s associate vice president of strategic enrollment management, also expressed her team’s interest in maintaining, and growing university retention. “While our Admissions Office continues to work with high school and community college students, our Retention Office supports and learns from current students and faculty to ensure that the systems are in place to see students through to their graduation,” Veth said. “This includes providing a peer texting program to proactively reach students before they are at-risk of losing ground academically or dropping out; and providing adviser/mentors who are with students from freshman year to senior year, in addition to their program faculty advisers.”

Dr. Nagi Naganathan, said, “The quality of this incoming class will ensure that Oregon Tech remains one of the top public universities in Oregon, and is yet another mark of excellence. As we extend ourselves as ‘industry’s university,’ Oregon Tech will continue to grow because of the value proposition we offer both graduates and employers.”

Highlights from the fall 2018 enrollment report include:

  • Fall-to-fall retention of first-time students remained steady from last year, with 80 percent of students returning to the university this fall.
  • The headcount at the Klamath Falls campus is up from 2,182 last year at 2,218.
  • Enrollment at Oregon Tech’s Portland-Metro is up to 870 this fall from 827 last year.
  • Online Education program recorded an increase of 15 percent in enrolled student credit hours relative to last year.
  • Oregon residents make up 76.5 percent of its student body, non-residents 21.7 percent and international students 1.8 percent.
  • Men make up 51.3 percent of the student population, and women 48.7 percent.

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About Oregon Institute of Technology

Founded in Klamath Falls in 1947, Oregon Institute of Technology is the premier polytechnic institution in Oregon. Oregon Tech provides bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in engineering, health technologies, business, technology, communication, and applied sciences that prepare students to be effective participants in their professional, public and international communities through applied, relevant learning and professional practice. Oregon Tech has a central, residential campus in Klamath Falls; an urban, industry-focused campus in Portland-Metro (Wilsonville); an Online campus; and offers degrees at Boeing Seattle and at other sites. Visit www.oit.edu to learn more about Oregon Institute of Technology.
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