COCC Community Impact

Dental Assisting StudentsCentral Oregon Community College (COCC) is a vital life-force to the health and growth of the Central Oregon community. Since 1949 (the oldest community college in Oregon), COCC has been impacting many aspects of the lives of Central Oregonians through contributions to the community, the economy, and ultimately, the quality of life.

"The community college system is Americas contribution to world education. For centuries, education was for the elite. But community college is for everyone, said COCC President James E. Middleton. We take people where they currently are, to where they want to be."

COCC has campuses in Bend, Redmond, Madras and Prineville and served 17,904 credit and non-credit students in 2012-13. The COCC District encompasses all of Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson Counties, as well as the southern part of Wasco, and northern portions of Klamath and Lake Counties.

Benefit to Community
COCC is a pathway to life-long success for individuals who then impact the growth of Central Oregon businesses and other organizations, thus the economy. Every student touched by COCC, whether through degree or certificate programs or by Community Education classes (including community learning, professional development, customized training, business counseling and training through the Small Business Development Center or online courses), impacts the community.

Education is vital to a growing economy, said Roger Lee, executive director for Economic Development for Central Oregon. COCC's commitment to collaborating with area business to ensure Central Oregon has a knowledgeable workforce is outstanding. EDCO is proud to partner with COCC.

Some facts about COCC's impact:

  • COCC is the primary local educator for healthcare front line employees such as first responders, nurses, medical assistants, dental assistants, pharmacy techs, vet techs, massage therapists and health information technicians.
  • 205 caregivers from St. Charles Health Systems listed COCC as their educational institute, taking courses from 1978 through 2013.
  • 80% of first responders (police, fire, paramedics) nationwide are trained at community colleges.
  • 1,500 students (13% of enrollment) were from outside the COCC district (state average is 9%).
  • $10 million was contributed to the local economy from out of district students in 2012.
  • 100 courses in more than a dozen fields are offered by Community Learning (classroom and Ed2Go online courses) each term to develop/increase job skills.
  • $41,600 is the mid-career income for someone who earned an associate degree at a community college; 36% more income than for a person with just a high school diploma.
  • Students gain $7.70 for every dollar they invest in their community college education.
  • 1,873 hours of free business counseling provided through the in the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in 2012-2013.

Research from Economic Modeling Systems International (EMSI), in September 2012, proves that COCC is an economic mainstay in Central Oregon. Reports from COCC show that during the recent Great Recession, the College helped keep construction jobs and contracts active, when many areas lost employment in the construction field.

According to the EMSI report:

  • $229.6 million each year in added income from the increased worker productivity from skills learned at COCC over the years.
  • $34.8 million in income to the COCC District economy generated by COCC operation (2012).
  • Credit student enrollment from 2006 to 2010 doubled.
  • $21 million in payroll for 2013-14 for its 119 full time professors, 47 adjunct professors, 130 part time instructors, and the administrative and support staff ; COCC is a top 20 Central Oregon employer.
  • $5.9 million was spent in locally purchased supplies, materials and services in 2013-14.

Madras Campus ConstructionConstruction impact:

  • $41.58 million bond measure passed in 2009 to build five new facilities and enhance existing resources/infrastructures; a total of 15 projects in Bend, Madras, Prineville and Redmond.
  • $105 million in construction projects in a 10-year period, adding to the local economy.
  • Local contractors, architects, designers and subcontractors were used almost exclusively on these projects.

Quality of life:
Many people move to Central Oregon for the natural beauty and recreation, but find its the quality of life that keeps them here. At COCC students can learn a new language, learn something that is out of their comfort zone or take courses that help them keep up with ever-changing technology. Additionally, the many cultural events COCC offers, such as the Nancy R. Chandler Visiting Scholar program, and other events, broaden perspectives and stimulate conversations.

"We view COCC as a benefit for all residents in Central Oregon. We are a hub for social interaction by sharing ideas and different perspectives, which allows a better understanding of the world around us," said Matt McCoy, vice president for administration at COCC.

Students who attend COCC benefit from increased earning potential and improved lifestyles. Communities in Central Oregon benefit from enhanced job and educational opportunities, a highly-skilled work force, higher business revenues, plus a reduced tax burden. Activities at COCC encourage new business, help with expanding existing businesses, contribute to long term economic growth and inspire us to excel. All of these facets lead to a society where people receive less government assistance, are more socially engaged and participate more as leaders in the community.

"Education changes peoples lives, not only for themselves or their families, but for the collective good of the community," stated President Middleton.