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COCC’s fall term gearing up as early head count falls


Bobcats from as far and wide as Texas, Minnesota and Hawaii will start arriving at Central Oregon Community College’s Wickiup residence hall for “Move-in Day” on Thursday, with fall term for the school commencing next Monday.

“Right now, we have 285 students expected to move in but are still processing applications,” said Stephanie Bilbrey, COCC’s housing marketing coordinator. The residence hall is a 320-capacity building and college officials expect the number of students choosing that option to increase in the coming days.

This year, Bobcat Orientation, held 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday includes a “support system” session to help prepare family and friends for their role in the educational process.

Preliminary enrollment numbers for fall term show the college’s head count tallied at 4,438, down 4.66 percent from last fall. New first-time student numbers are at 986, up 12.3 percent. In addition, there are 367 transfer students joining the college and some 423 returning to their studies after an absence.

For more information, contact Ron Paradis, executive director of College Relations, at 541-383-7599.

Meanwhile, the COCC Foundation is offering $1.6 million in scholarship funds this academic year, a record-high in available scholarship funding for the organization. The boost in scholarships will impact more than 400 deserving local students at the two-year college.

Zak Boone, executive director of the Foundation since 2016, points to the many partners of the Foundation and a successful fundraising campaign this year for the unprecedented achievement. “This dollar figure represents the work of faculty, staff, board members, donors, business partners and countless others,” he said. “The COCC Foundation is humbled and privileged to make this scholarship funding available to our amazing students.”

Community commitment to the mission of the Foundation comes in the form of direct donor support, participation in annual fundraiser dinner events–including the upcoming “Anthony’s Feast at the Old Mill,” held on Oct. 16–and by attendance at a series of visiting scholar presentations and talks.

The COCC Foundation awards scholarships based on a combination of academic promise and financial need, according to Boone. One recent Foundation scholarship recipient, Olivia Serna, received her associate degree in criminal justice this year while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. “The Foundation scholarship allows students to thrive, relieves their stress and motivates them to excel in the classroom,” she said. For the 2017-18 school year, COCC scholarship recipients maintained an average GPA of 3.31, compared with a 2.9 GPA of the general student population.

“Not only do Foundation scholarships relieve the upfront financial costs of attending COCC,” said Boone, “but just as importantly, they allow many of our students to earn their degree entirely debt-free. We know education changes lives, but we also know that investing in our students not only allows them to pursue their dreams, but often has a beneficial financial ripple effect for their entire family.”

Started in 1955, the COCC Foundation supports COCC and its students, to help ensure that the college is a vital, accessible and premier educational resource. The Foundation achieves this by providing financial assistance to students, fiscal support for college programs and by leading capital campaigns in support of needed college improvements.

For more information, contact the COCC Foundation at 541-383-7225.

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