The Oregon State Board of Higher Education today endorsed Oregon State University – Cascades’ expansion into a four-year university.
The Oregon State University branch campus has existed as a “2+2” model since it was founded in 2001, providing upper-division and graduate courses towards Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. The OSBHE endorsement now allows OSU-Cascades to offer freshman and sophomore courses, providing a full four-year experience for students in what has been the state’s only major population area without the benefit of a four-year university.
The decision to endorse the expansion will enable the branch campus to increase enrollment towards OSU’s obligation in the state’s 40-40-20 goal, by attracting four-year students from within and outside the Central Oregon region, in addition to transfer and 2+2 students. Officials anticipate an enrollment of 3,000-5,000 students by 2025.
The Central Oregon community showed an outpouring of support for the expansion in the weeks leading up to the endorsement. Nearly 60 individuals and businesses made gift commitments totaling $1.575 million to demonstrate local support for a four-year campus, far exceeding the original $1 million goal.