6 Things You Need to Know About Higher Education in Bend


Do you have plans for higher education after moving to Bend? Or maybe you want to see what opportunities are available for family earning degrees or continuing education in Central Oregon. These are important questions, so let’s break down what you should know about higher education in Bend and beyond.

1. OSU Has a Chapter Here – OSU-Cascades

Bend is home to the Oregon State University’s satellite branch, typically called OSU-Cascades. It is Oregon State University, just with a different campus, and the only satellite option that OSU provides. They call it “Oregon State with an Edge” because it’s particularly popular among OSU students who prefer living next to the slopes or with easy access to outdoor adventures, as opposed to the original Corvallis campus in the valley.

The big advantage to OSU-Cascades is the ability to earn your full 4-year baccalaureate degree in Bend, along with the option to press on and earn your graduate’s degree in a variety of disciplines. Currently, around 20 majors and 30 minors are available at the university, plus a selection of signature programs.

2. For Shorter Programs, Try COCC

Bend is also home to the Central Oregon Community College (COCC), an excellent option for seeking out two-year degrees and a wide variety of options to continue select higher education pursuits. The 140-acre campus is a beautiful mix of forest and mountain views, bringing together more than 17,000 students for a variety of options, plus small satellite centers around Central Oregon for more specific activities.

COCC offers a variety of programs, but there are several centers particularly helpful for those seeking jobs in the area: That includes a Small Business Development Center that all entrepreneurs should investigate, a Health Careers and Science Center for those interested in paths ranging from veterinary technicians to nursing, and of course a remarkable outdoors and recreation program with multiple specialization options.

For those with growing families, COCC is also an excellent option for high school students interested in earning college credits early, or for people who prefer to take a slower approach to a full college education.

3. Chefs Will Love the Cascade Culinary Institute

If you’re interested in a degree in food or anything else to do with professional (and delicious) food services, the Cascade Culinary Institute (CCI) is waiting for you. The Institute offers both degrees in particular subjects like Baking, Pastry, and Culinary arts, as well as certifications for specific capabilities like Sustainable Food Systems or Nutrition and Dietary Management. It also has an award-winning, student-operated restaurant called Elevation on campus!

4. Campus Locations Allow for Easy Access to the Heart of Bend

Bend’s campuses aren’t as isolated as some college campuses can be. Instead, they are integrated into different core sections of the city, making it easy for students to plan their daily schedules around activities or jobs throughout Bend. For those living in Bend near the campuses, amazing restaurants, breweries, and events are usually just a few minutes away!

5. Housing is Important for Out-of-Town Students

Housing is very limited on Bend’s campuses, so students that will need a place to stay should start making plans very, very early. Apartment and rental spaces are hotly contested in Central Oregon, which can increase prices and make availability an issue. The early you start looking for open spots and potential roommates to split the bill, the better. Don’t hesitate to ask us for help finding the right place to live – our relocation services can make the process much easier!

6. 2021 Should Be a Return to Normalcy

2020 saw multiple measures put in place due to lockdown and social distancing conditions, which changed the education landscape in Bend as elsewhere. Blended classes and careful transitions helped keep a balance, with the Bend campuses well-suited for small class sizes and distance learning. However, due to (currently) falling COVID rates and the continued spread of the vaccine, Bend campuses have plans in place to slowly but surely return to more traditional classes in 2021.