Contact: Di Saunders, Office: 503-725-5714; Cell: 971-219-6869 

PORTLAND, June 12, 2013 – A new resource of highly skilled workers will be helping to fuel Oregon’s economy as the Oregon University System (OUS) campuses award a record 20,900 degrees* over the next week. From La Grande to Corvallis to Ashland, students will collect academic credentials, with an estimated 70-80% of them staying in Oregon to work, start their own enterprises, or continue their education. The System’s seven universities and one branch campus currently enroll more than 101,000 students across the state.

“Every year I’m impressed with how hard our graduates have worked to earn their degrees, and how each has contributed to the diversity and quality of our universities,” said Melody Rose, interim chancellor of the OUS. “Besides focusing on their studies, many of these students had to work, juggle family responsibilities and face many challenges along the path to their degrees. Their skill set now includes not only the analytical but also the practical, from capstone programs to internships to research engagement and other significant experiences. These graduates are prepared to contribute to Oregon in ways that will directly improve our communities and our economy. I’m also thankful to the dedicated faculty and staff who contributed to these graduates’ success.”

These are preliminary degree estimates gathered from the Oregon University System institutions and will be followed by official results from the OUS institutional research office in the Fall. Total graduates are estimated at 11,480 women, 9,402 men, and 7 unknown receiving 21,575 degrees and certificates (some graduates earn more than one degree). Estimates include the following totals: Bachelor’s degrees = 16,295; Masters degrees = 3,836; Doctorates = 433; Professional degrees = 291; and Associate’s Degrees = 67; with Certificates totaling 653; for a total of 21,575 degrees and certificates.

Degree and certificate estimates by campus include: Eastern Oregon University = 758; Oregon Institute of Technology = 773; Oregon State University = 5,378; OSU-Cascades Campus (Bend) = 249; Portland State University = 6,480; Southern Oregon University = 1,277; University of Oregon = 5,290; and Western Oregon University = 1,370.

Bob Kieran, OUS associate vice chancellor for research said, “These are the types of annual increases that the OUS will need if we are to reach the state’s 40-40-20 education attainment goal. Our estimates show a need for about 450 bachelor’s degrees every year, on top of the prior year’s gains, to meet the goal by 2025. Reaching those numbers will mean improved retention and graduation rates. That calls for extensive student support services that lower academic, financial and other barriers and help students stay in school to degree.”

National statistics show that the Oregon’s public universities are among the most efficient in the nation, with almost the lowest cost degrees in the country. OUS’ large campuses (OSU, PSU and UO) come in at 47th lowest cost degrees, and the small campuses (EOU, OIT, SOU and WOU) rank 43rd (National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, Completion and Finance Surveys).

*Includes Bachelors, Masters, Doctorates, Professional, and Associates Degrees (certificates not in this number).

The Oregon University System (OUS) makes college a reality for Oregonians statewide by keeping higher education accessible, affordable and high quality. We integrate Oregon’s public universities with the entire PreK-20 education system to ensure student success. OUS’ higher education offerings meet the needs of Oregon’s economy today and in the future, contributing to the vitality of the state and the success of more than 20,000 graduates a year. For additional information, go to