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Oregon Progress Board Survey Says Community Colleges Are First Rate
Photos and Story by James Hill
PORTLAND, Ore. – Last month, the Oregon Progress Board announced findings of its biannual population survey, which found that once again community colleges are a favorite public service for Oregon residents.The survey, conducted by the Northwest Research Group in the summer of 2002 and released on Jan. 21, showed that community colleges garnered the second-highest public service rating, just behind providing parks and open spaces. Of those polled, 88 percent stated that community colleges were doing a good job, placing it as the most favorable area of higher education, beating out four-year colleges and universities and K-12.Every two years the Oregon Progress Board releases its population survey, which provides information on perceptions of Oregonians ranging from quality of public service to their sense of community. It provides a wealth of data on income and other household characteristics, including residents’ health insurance coverage, education, commuting, retirement savings, childcare and Internet usage.Other aspects to the report included the revelation that there has been little change in educational attainment since 1996. Thirty percent of residents have attained a bachelor’s degree (up 4 percent) and those without a high school degree rose by 2 percent to 11 percent. More than 80 percent of Oregonians say they are comfortable reading and writing English, but only 63 percent are comfortable solving math problems.PCC is the largest institution of higher learning in the state, serving more than 1,060,000 residents in a five-county, 1,500-square-mile area in northwest Oregon. The college, which enrolls almost 106,000 students annually, has three comprehensive campuses and approximately 200 other locations throughout the district.For more information and in-depth analysis, visit the Web site: www.das.state.or.us/.