Environmental Scan: Analytical Summary - Research and Planning Office

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  • Population will increase statewide by 27.8% from 2010 to 2040, but Alameda County’s predicted growth rate is less than half (10.9%) of California’s forecasted growth. (California Department of Finance)

  • The Ohlone Community College District is characterized by a culture of attainment. In Fremont, where 47% of students live, 27.5% of the residents aged 25+ possess baccalaureate degrees, and an additional 22.0% also have graduate or professional degrees. Over half (54.8%) of the employed civilian population work as management or professionals. In such an environment, children are expected to attend college, and high standards are expected of schools and colleges. (United States Census Bureau, American Community Survey)

  • The proportion of adults in the district with a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2012 was 44.1% compared to the 41.1% in 2012 in all of Alameda County. In Fremont, the proportion of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher was 49.5% in 2012. These numbers are significantly higher than both the state (30.5%) and national (29.0%) proportions. (United States Census Bureau, American Community Survey)

  • Forty-three percent of district residents are foreign born. In Fremont, 57.7% of the district households do not have English as the first language; that rate is 51.8% in Newark and 62.8% in Union City. Educationally, Ohlone must excel in English and ESL as well as in cross-cultural communication and understanding. (United States Census Bureau, American Community Survey)

  • In Fremont in 2012, 82% of foreign born residents were born in Asia (compared to 76% in the 2007) and 12% were born in Latin America (down from 15% in 2007). (United States Census Bureau, American Community Survey)

  • English was the predominant language in only four of 10 Fremont households in 2012. Other languages spoken at home were Spanish (9.8%), Asian (30.2%) and other Indo-European (16.9%). Of these households, 38.1% of Spanish speakers, 42.2% of Asian speakers, and 23.4% of other Indo-European speakers reported they spoke English “less than very well.” (United States Census Bureau, American Community Survey)

  • The current ethnic distribution within the district is 4.2% African-American, 37.7% Asian, 18.8% Hispanic, 10.1% Filipino, 0.3% Native American, 0.8% Pacific Islander, 24.1% White, and 7.0% Other/multi-ethnic. Comparatively, students at Ohlone College are distributed 3.9% African American, 30.2% Asian, 18.9% Hispanic, 7.3% Filipino, 0.2% Native American, 0.7% Pacific Islander, 21.4% White, and 12.7% Other/multi-ethnic. Whereas the college had been underrepresented for Hispanic students in 2007, currently there are no underrepresented groups.  (United States Census Bureau, American Community Survey; California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office)

  • Hispanic students are the third largest ethnic group on campus at 18.9% of the student population, but are destined to become the second largest ethnic group at the college. In Fall 2013, Hispanics constituted 20.7% of enrollment, compared to 21.5% for White students.  (United States Census Bureau, American Community Survey; California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office)

  • Significant changes are occurring among age groups in Alameda County. From 2000 to 2010, the proportion of residents age 25 to 44 as a share of the county’s population decreased from 33.9% to 30.2% while the proportion of 45 to 64 year-olds increased from 21.7% to 26.2%. Residents age 65+ increased from 10.2% to 11.1%. While the county is aging, the 20 to 24 year-old age range, a prime college-going group, remained essentially the same, 7.0% to 7.1%. (California Department of Finance)

  • Between 2010-2030, the growth rate in Alameda County for school age residents (5-17 years old) will be 7.8%, but only 15.8% of county residents in 2030 will be school age compared to 16.1% in 2010. For college age residents (18-24 years old) there will be a 9.6% decline in numbers between 2010-2030, and college age residents will comprise only 8.2% of the county population compared to a 10.0% share in 2010. There will also be a decline for all working age groups between 25-64 and an almost100% growth for age groups 65+. (California Department of Finance)

  • Although K-12 enrollment in Alameda County schools is expected to grow by only 2.0% from 2013-14 to 2022-23, public high school graduates in Alameda County are projected to increase by 10.3% over the same time period. (California Department of Finance)

  • Almost a fifth (19.0%) of residents age 25 and over in California have less than a high school education. In the district there are varying patterns of high school graduation. For all residents age 25 or over, only 9.5% of Fremont residents lack a high school diploma or equivalent; in Newark, however, 12.3% have not graduated from high school (although this is down from 20.5% in 2007), and 14.2% of Union City residents age 25 or over have not completed 12th grade. (American Community Survey)

  • In 2013, Alameda County had the 8th largest K-12 enrollment of California’s 58 counties, and ranked 4th in numeric growth (up 1,488 students over 2012) but 17th in growth rate (up 0.7%); by 2022 the county will remain the 8th largest, but will be 11th in numeric growth and 26th in growth rate. (California Department of Finance)

  • The college’s projected ten year growth rate of 14.1%, as estimated by the Chancellor’s Office, is 65th among 72 California community college districts, despite a 39.7% projected growth for 18-19 year olds in the county over the same period. This suggests the district is “aging” and families with children are increasingly likely to reside elsewhere in the county. . (National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education)

  • High school enrollments in the district have decreased (-1.9%) in the past five years, and high school graduation rates have improved by 6.4%. Nonetheless, the number of high school graduates have declined by 4.9%, suggesting a smaller pool of college-prepared students and an increased demand for basic skills. English learners and socio-economically disadvantaged students pass the high school exit exam at rates well below other students. (California Department of Education)

  • Of those high school students that do graduate, students from all seven district high schools complete CSU/UC entry requirements at a rate higher than the state average. Approximately one quarter (27.9%) of all district high school graduates enroll at the college. For these students, the college must maintain a strong transfer focus and continue to increase transfer opportunities, programs, and articulation. (California Department of Education)

  • Mission San Jose High School continues to rank academically as one of the top high schools in the state, but only 16% of their graduates enroll at Ohlone after graduation. Conversely, in Fall 2013, 477 Mission San Jose students were concurrently enrolled at Ohlone, preparing themselves for universities after high school graduation.

  • Four district high schools have an Academic Performance Index score below the state’s target of 800, but all six increased their API between 2008-09 and 2012-13. Ohlone College students are diverse academically as well as ethnically and culturally. (California Department of Education)

  • Seven and a half percent (7.4% in Fremont, 7.5% in Newark, and 8.2% in Union City) of the district population aged 16 to 64 reports a disability. Ohlone will need to provide appropriate assistance to students with disabilities who enroll. (United States Census Bureau, American Community Survey)

Economy and Housing

  • In the United States, it takes two incomes to provide the standard of living that one income provided 30 years ago. Work time, family time, and traffic congestion all conspire to impact attendance at community colleges by working-age adults. (Warren, E. and Warren, A. The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers are Going Broke, 2003)

  • Unemployment, which had risen considerably during the recession, saw college enrollments increasing as residents sought retraining. Currently unemployment in Silicon Valley is below pre-recession levels, and many residents are opting for jobs rather than for education. Maintaining enrollment and its attendant funding will become more of a challenge as unemployment rates decline. (California Employment Development Department)

  • As employment in the district changes to meet the changing populations, college programs may also need to change. For instance, despite the growing need for such services, child day care jobs are in decline; but as the district ages, the need for home health care and for community care facilities for the elderly increase. (California Employment Development Department)

  • Much of the employment growth is in computer, electronic, and technical services, consistent with the Silicon Valley environment. However, computer and semiconductor manufacturing industries are in decline, reflecting increased outsourcing in those industries. Despite a possible retreat from outsourcing, it is unlikely that manufacturing jobs will return to an area with a high cost of living.  (California Employment Development Department)

  • In comparison with the state, the district is home to a significantly higher proportion of managers and professionals (49.2% to 36.7%) and fewer blue collar workers (15.7% to 20.2%). Within the district, Newark exceeds the statewide proportion of blue collar workers at 24.6%, Union City approximates it at 19.1%, but Fremont has significantly less proportion of blue collar workers at 12.8%. Fremont also has more than half (54.8%) of its workforce employed as managers and professionals. (United States Census Bureau, American Community Survey)

  • Nearly 80 percent of all new jobs created to 2012 in the United States require an Associate’s degree or less. The predominate mode of training employees is “on the job training,” so the college needs to partner closely with private employers to help provide training programs. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

  • Many of those industries projected to add the greatest number of jobs by 2014 do not align with current college programs, but many, too, do not require college preparation. Of those occupations that are consistent with college programs, those in health sciences, business, and technology are the most common.

  • There are marked differences in the California workforce. The greatest increase in population growth in the U.S. workforce is occurring among those racial/ethnic groups with the lowest level of education, while the group reaching retirement age is predominantly white with higher levels of education. In 2000, whites ages 25 to 64 were twice as likely as African-Americans to have a bachelor's degree, and almost three times as likely as Hispanics.  (National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education)

  • By 2020, the percentage of the workforce in the state with a college degree is projected to decline, while the share of the workforce with less than a high school diploma is projected to increase. (National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education)

  • If the average educational level of the state workforce declines, California’s personal income per capita is projected to drop 11% by 2020, the largest drop in the nation. One consequence of such a decline in personal income would be a decrease in the state’s tax base. (National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education)

  • The district continues to be one of the least affordable regions in the country for home ownership and renters. About 39% of the district homeowners and renters in 2012 paid more than 30% of their household income for housing. This is down from 41% five years prior.  (East Bay Community Foundation; United States Census Bureau, American Community Survey)

  • Thirty-three percent of working county residents commute to work outside the county. Most commute to San Francisco County (72,000), Santa Clara County (65,000), Contra Costa County (40,000), and San Mateo County (34,000). A larger number of workers commute into Alameda County, primarily from Contra Costa County (93,000), Santa Clara County (38,000), San Joaquin County (26,000), San Francisco County (22,000), San Mateo County (13,000), and Solano County (12,000). (United States Census Bureau)

  • Five-year migration patterns from within the continental US reveal that more people leave Alameda County than arrive. For new residents coming to the county from out of state, the most come from New York (9.6%), Texas (6.1%), Arizona (5.7%), Massachusetts (5.4%), Washington (5.3%), Nevada (5.2%), and Florida (5.1%); residents moving out of state are most likely to choose Washington (8.5%), Texas (7.8%), Oregon (7.4%), Nevada (6.9%), New York (6.1%), or Florida (5.7%). (California Department of Finance)

Higher Education and Public Policy

  • The abolishment of the federal 50-percent rule—which previously prevented a college enrolling more than 50% of its students in distance education or offering more than 50% of its courses via distance education from participating in federal student aid programs—will provoke an increase in both online programs at traditional colleges and the continued creation of for-profit businesses specializing in distance education. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

  • About 50% of African-American and Hispanic 9th graders do not become eligible to enter college after four years of high school because they have not completed high school. Though the most telling indicators of college preparation are generally said to be standardized test scores, rigorous course-taking, and dual enrollment—all of which are important—the single largest barrier to college entrance for African-Americans and Hispanics appears to be high school completion. (National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education)

  • The emergence of statewide accountability reports, federal college ratings, and CCCCO goals for community colleges will require the college be diligent in both collecting and analyzing data and then using that data to promote collegewide improvement.

  • Accrediting commissions are becoming more aggressive in upholding clear and measurable student learning outcomes, and the emergence of diverse student populations in age, goals, background, and economic status requires colleges to develop a variety of teaching modalities and hiring practices.

Community Colleges

  • Among the 21 community colleges that comprise the Bay 10 districts, Ohlone is mid-sized with an annual headcount enrollment slightly below 16,000. Four of the Bay 10 colleges enroll 25,000+. (California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office)

  • With 32.0% of all students enrolled for 12 or more units, Ohlone ranks in the middle of Bay 10 district colleges for rate of full time students. Six area colleges are above 35% full time enrollment, Ohlone’s stated goal. (California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office)

  • The 2014 Student Success Scorecard for community colleges report saw Ohlone rate above the statewide average on four of seven success indicators. The college remains strong in the areas of transfer preparation, completion of 30 units, and improvement rates in remedial math and in remedial English; however, the college is not as strong in persistence, ESL improvement or in vocational course completion rates. (California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office)

  • Ohlone is in the top third in the Bay 10 for percentage of students transferring to California State Universities (7th of 21) but in the top fourth (5th of 21) in sending students to Universities of California. The college’s percent of students earning associate’s degrees to FTES (8.0%) ranks 12th in Bay 10 colleges within the overall range of 3.7%-13.5%. (California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office)

  • CSU students who transferred in from Ohlone have a first year GPA above the state average for community college students transferring to a CSU. Additionally, Ohlone’s upper division transfers persist to a second year at CSUs above the state average, but below for lower division transfers. Completing a comprehensive 60 unit transfer curriculum portends better-than-state-average success rates for students.


  • The percentage of classified staff aged 50+ is only 39%, but more than two-thirds (69%) of management are older than 50 years of age. Among full-time faculty, 54% are 50+, but this is below the statewide average of 59% for faculty. (California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office)

  • In most categories of employment, the full time equivalent number of staff has decreased, but at a rate less than the decreasing student population. Notable exceptions are the categories of administration and full time faculty where the proportionate student-to-administration and student-to-faculty ratio has risen. Specifically, the ratio of students to administrators has risen 5.2% while the ratio of students to full time faculty has increased 13.2% since Fall 2008. (California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office)


  • 67.1% of students come from within the Ohlone Community College District; 13.2% come from other areas within Alameda County; 10.5% are from Santa Clara County.

  • For the first time in more than 10 years there are 2% fewer female students than male students. Two-thirds (66%) of students are under the age of 25, up more than 6% since 2008. Only 5% of students are still K-12 students concurrently enrolled; this is down from the almost 18% only five years previous. Over half (52%) of Ohlone students enrolled for less than 6 units in 2008; in 2013 that rate has fallen to 35%, with the full time enrollment increasing to 32%.

  • Annual FTES has decreased only 7.6% since 2008-09 despite a decline in overall headcount of 21.7% over the same period. There are fewer students but they are taking more units, so the percent of full-time students has increased 6% since 2008-09.

  • 10.6% of FTES is generated through distance learning, up 2.5% from Fall 2008. Since Fall 2008, online enrollment has increased 41.0%.

  • 76.6% of all course enrollments in Fall 2013 was in CSU/UC transferable courses. Vocational course enrollments as a percent of all enrollments have declined 1.4% from Fall 2008 while basic skills enrollments have increased 1.3%.

  • Enrollment by first-time freshmen aged 19 and younger is trending upward in California community colleges. At Ohlone, the percentage of students 19 and under has decreased. The college’s greatest increase has been in students age 20-24, up over 10% (to 33%) from Fall 2008.

  • Only 18% of Fall 2013 students were first-time Ohlone College students; 75% of students had been enrolled at Ohlone prior to Fall 2013.

Student Success

  • All program awards (degrees and certificates awarded) reached all time highs in 2013-14. There were 60% more degrees and 550% more certificates awarded in 2013-14 than were awarded in 2008-09.

  • Although the numbers have risen and fallen over the last six years, the most recent numbers of transfers to CSU/UC currently show an upward trend. The 2012-13 transfers to UC are up 46.7% over 2008-09, while the 508 2013-14 CSU transfers are 14.9% higher than 2008-09. (California State University, University of California)

  • Ohlone’s course retention and success rates are up 2% and 3% respectively since Fall 2008. The college remains 1% below the state average for retention, but it has now exceeded the statewide success rate by almost 3%. (California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office)

  • The college’s completions rate (rate of students attaining degrees, certificates, or transfer) rate is above both the California Community College average and above those “peer” colleges as identified by the Chancellor’s Office. It ranks in the top 10% of community colleges in the state. (California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office)

  • The percentage of students successfully completing transfer level math or English after having started in a basic skills math or English course is among the highest in the state.  (California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office)

Course and Sections

  • Weekly student contact hours (WSCH) remained stable in 2013-14 compared to the previous three year average, yet full-time equivalent faculty (FTEF) increased by 12.4%. This resulted in an11.3% decreased efficiency in WSCH/FTEF.

  • Despite declining enrollments during the recession, ten academic departments had an increase in WSCH greater than 20% over the previous three year average; however, eleven departments saw a 20% or more decrease in WSCH over the same period.

  • Half of all the weekly student contact hours is produced by seven departments.

  • The average load efficiency (WSCH/FTEF) for 2013-14 was 512, down from the prior three year average of 577 and below the efficiency benchmark of 525; 26 departments were above that average. However, 36 departments were below the efficiency benchmark.

  • English and Mathematics are, by far, the two highest enrolled departments and have the highest numbers of faculty.