Students walking around on campus

Mt. Hood Community College Witnesses Remarkable Surge in Enrollment Following Streamlined Admission Process

February 06, 2024

Amidst a groundbreaking change in the admissions process for a pilot program, Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) has experienced an unprecedented surge in enrollment. This change included the removal of traditional barriers to entry in its mental health, social service, and addiction counseling program.

For the first time in 40 years, MHCC has eliminated the application, two-paragraph essay, group interview, and application fee for its mental health program. Instead, the college is now empowering students to simply declare mental health as their major. This transformative shift has proven to be a catalyst for change, propelling the program from 10 students to an impressive 30 students.

MHCC President Dr. Lisa Skari expressed her enthusiasm for the positive impact of this new approach.

 "We are thrilled to share the latest way we are increasing equitable access through our simplified admission process. By removing these traditional barriers, we are making it easier for dedicated individuals to pursue their calling in mental health, social service, and addiction counseling. The surge in enrollment reflects the demand for accessible education in these vital fields."

The program has moved the evaluative measures into the first two terms where students are able to develop skills with guidance from their instructors. This student-focused initiative is not only increasing the number of aspiring mental health professionals but is also streamlining the application process. MHCC is now facilitating a smoother entry into the program by eliminating the group interview and expediting the application process for the first two terms.

All instructors in the MHCC mental health program are trained in actively listening, showing empathy and understanding without judgment, and exercising high-stakes emotional intelligence so as to help MHCC students become attuned healthcare practitioners.

This update to the mental health program admissions process is not the only one slated. Starting next year, the college’s highly competitive physical therapy program will be changing admissions requirements as well. No longer will students be asked to do interviews or be assessed on points. All students who meet the eligibility requirements, apply, and pay the application fee will be admitted. If more students apply than there are available spots, admissions will be determined by lottery.

As MHCC continues to champion innovation in education and equity, the college remains committed to providing inclusive and accessible opportunities for students to excel in the field of mental health.