Strategic Planning

Portland Community College: A remarkable institution made up of remarkable people working in concert with a remarkable community to serve remarkable students. With this support system, the College is on the cusp of beginning a new chapter in its 50-plus-year history.

We have the good fortune to build on the strong foundation that has been established at PCC over time. But past accomplishments are only as strong as the visions they create, visions that inspire administrators, faculty, staff and students for the future.

With this as its guidepost, PCC has launched a strategic planning process to identify goals and initiatives for the next five years. This process presents an exciting opportunity to think about how, together, we will create a community college that anticipates and responds to the students of tomorrow and their needs.

Questions or comments? E-mail your inquiry or feedback to:


Upon approval by the Board of Directors, the College’s five-year Strategic Plan will enable PCC to chart its future in a sea of major changes.
Why Strategic Planning Now at PCC?
There are many reasons for embarking on this strategic planning effort. If summed up in one word, it would be “Change.”
Changing Landscape of Higher Education
Technology is bringing us all closer together on a global scale without regard to institutional or political boundaries. Knowledge and information is available anywhere and everywhere at any time. Ways of teaching, and understanding of different learning styles are growing rapidly in response to student and societal needs, and sometimes demands.
Overhaul of Higher Education in Oregon
Leaders and citizens are crafting different structures and objectives seeking to create more effective relationships across the education “system.” Completion and achievement of agreed-to outcomes is an imperative to most effectively use increasingly scarce resources. Historical funding models and “truisms” are being tested.
Definition of Community College
As concerns about outcomes and effectiveness are explored, so too are the roles of the various elements of the education continuum in achieving those outcomes. Community colleges’ bedrock roles concerning access and being “colleges for the community” are being examined to ensure that value is truly added.
Changing Students
“Change” is in play with community college students in many dimensions: they are a vastly diverse group across multiple demographics, their life aspirations and needs are varied, the student population has different learning styles from earlier generations, students have high expectations of their learning environments. The paradigm of a “typical student” no longer exists, if it ever did.
Technology and Pedagogy
What are MOOCs and how might they fit? What is the role of hybrid classes, of flipped classes? What is the appropriate role for technology in instruction and administration and how does that role fit with student needs, with the demands for demonstrated outcomes? How is faculty supported in determining the role of technology in learning?
PCC Governance
PCC’s Board of Directors, mindful of growing demands and pressures, recognizing that resources will continue to be limited, and being concerned with the growing pressures of cost to students, has placed high priority on development of a strategic roadmap to guide the College’s decision-making going forward. In addition, our accrediting agency, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, is increasingly asking colleges to show that resource allocation is intentional toward the achievement of stated college objectives.
The Strategic Plan will identify key themes and supporting measurable actions that will position PCC for success in the 21st century and provoke continued discussion about decisive, ongoing shifts for the College, as well as the leadership required to realize those changes.
PCC is at a pivotal moment in its history. It has a legacy of success and “things are not broken.” It is for good reason that more people and groups than ever before are looking to PCC to “be all things to all people at all times in all ways.” It is from this strong platform we assume the responsibility and seize the opportunity to think strategically about the future of this great College. The future—it will be here before we know it.

Steering Committee

The process is being led by the Strategic Planning Steering Committee. PCC’s president, Dr. Jeremy Brown, solicited membership nominations for this committee and nearly 70 individuals raised their hands or were nominated by colleagues. Members were chosen with two objectives in mind: to represent College stakeholder demographics as widely as possible and to keep the committee small enough in size to be workable. College Vice President Randy McEwen is chairing the Committee.
The Steering Committee’s role will include reviewing and updating the College’s mission, vision, and values, along with establishing the overarching institutional goals and objectives that will guide the College over the next five years, with input from the broader college community.
The College has a rich and long-accepted tradition of providing opportunities for input from standing committees or councils, such as the Educational Advisory Council, Budget and Planning Advisory Committee, and CIC. The strategic planning process will seek to draw in those groups, as well as solicit input from various other groups that have deep commitment to the College.
It is essential that people have opportunity to provide input in a way that is responsive to their lives and work schedules. To that end, PCC will use online tools to provide updates and, more importantly, opportunities to comment on the Committee’s efforts. In doing this, anyone from the College community who wants to be involved will have the opportunity to do so.
The Committee’s goal is to submit an initial draft for the President’s review in early August 2014. One of the age-old challenges with strategic plans is that once done they sit on shelves for the next 5-10 years and have no impact beyond the date they were written. One way to avoid that pitfall is to link strategic planning and updates with College-wide In-Service in late September each year. We hope this will become part of the College’s routine into the future.
Committee Members
  • Randy McEwen: College Vice President, Committee Chair
  • Clare Hamill: PCC Foundation Board Member
  • Anne Olsofka: Specialist, Facilities Maintenance
  • Shasta Buchanan: Director, Enrollment Services/Registrar
  • Roberto Suarez: Coordinator, Orientation and Outreach, Cascade Campus
  • Laura Horani: Instructor, English for Speakers of Other Languages instructor, Southeast Campus
  • Miriam Friedman: Dean of Student Development, Southeast Campus
  • Loraine Schmitt: Director, Distance Learning
  • Phil Seder: Instructor, Business Administration, Sylvania Campus
  • Rachel Black Elk: District Student Council, Cascade Campus
  • Lynn Montoya Quinn: Director, ROOTS, Sylvania Campus
  • Jennifer Hamlin: Executive Assistant, Rock Creek Campus
  • Sarah Rohwer: Assistant, Administration/Operations, Dayton Building
  • Bob Hanks: Executive Director, CLIMB Center
  • Irene Giustini: Division Dean, Math, Aviation & Industrial Technology, Rock Creek Campus
  • Tammy Billick: Manager, Technology Solution Services
  • Heiko Spoddeck: Instructor, Developmental Education, Student Learning Center, Sylvania Campus
  • Chris Rose: Instructor, Composition and Literature, Cascade Campus
  • Jim Harper: Vice Chair, PCC Board
  • Denise Frisbee: Chair, PCC Board
  • Kimberly Cooper: Member, PCC Foundation Board
  • Jen Piper: Division Dean, Health Professions, Sylvania Campus
  • Maricruz Gonzalez Vazquez: ASPCC, Rock Creek Campus
  • Reba Stephney: Assistant, Arts & Professions, Cascade Campus
  • Chris Chairsell: Vice President, Academic & Student Affairs


Timeline as of March 7, 2014
  • September 2013

    • President Brown and Board Chair Frisbee announce Strategic Planning Initiative
    • Steering Committee nominations submitted
  • October 2013

    • Steering Committee members selected and announced
  • November 2013

    • Committee convenes and considers the question: “What is your vision for PCC’s impact in five years?”
  • December 2013 – January 2014

    • Committee considers the questions: “What are PCC’s strengths? PCC’s weaknesses? What are threats to PCC? What are opportunities for PCC?”
    • Potential strategic themes/thrusts emerge?
  • By March 21, 2014

    • Strategic Themes (draft) synthesized and Theme Statements identified
  • April/May 2014

    • Feedback
    • Steering Committee starts work on Strategic Objectives
  • June/August 2014

    • First Iteration developed
    • President review
  • August 2014

    • Potential Board review
  • September 2014

    • Potential College In-Service Discussion

Reference Materials

These materials were provided to the Steering Committee as a means of giving the members a way of grounding, or base-lining, the College as it is today. The idea being that it gave them a starting point to push against in planning for the future.
Baseline Data

Provide Your Input

Provide your input

Do you have questions or suggestions for PCC while it maps out its future as part of strategic planning? If so, we want to hear from you!

In addition to your general feedback, we would like your input on specific questions being asked of our community.

  • Reflecting on your view of the future and PCC's strengths and weaknesses, what would you suggest should be a strategic objective for the College?
  • What is your view of the opportunities that PCC should seize over the next five years?

Please complete our comment form to share your thoughts!

For Faculty and Staff

Visit the Strategic Planning Spaces page to review ongoing progress related to the plan and to share your ideas and feedback.

In the News

Visit the following sites to learn more about PCC’s strategic planning process and President Jeremy Brown’s vision for it:

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