Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Think Smart: Provide Outstanding, Affordable Education

PCC provides outstanding, affordable education for pre-college, lower division transfer, Career Technical Education, Community Education, and non-credit students.

Overview

With federal and state support shrinking, tuition rising, and families still recovering from the 2008–2010 recession, community colleges provide the best hope for access to quality, affordable college education. Whether enrolled for credit toward a degree or certificate, pre-college coursework, or for enrichment or professional development, access to affordable, high-quality education can open up new opportunities for career advancement and the realization of dreams for students in all stages of life and from all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Continuing to provide access to high-quality, affordable education remains a top priority for PCC.

Female student checking IV bag in medical lab classroom

Strategic Intentions

  • 1-1 PCC’s commitment to excellence in education, coupled with flexible financing options, affordable textbooks, adaptive purchasing strategies, transparent access to a well-funded array of scholarships, work-for-tuition programs, degree- related apprenticeships and practicums provide affordable options for students to complete their education free from unmanageable debt.
  • 1-2 PCC offers multiple pathways to goal achievement and a dynamic student life, cultivating success and student pride. PCC is the first choice in the region for students seeking access to affordable academic excellence and lifelong learning in an experiential learning environment – whether they are starting, extending or supplementing their lifelong path of advanced learning and personal enrichment.
  • 1-3 PCC provides equal access and opportunity to an outstanding higher education to all students, meeting students where they are. PCC’s Developmental Education (DE) programs in both English and Mathematics provide a variety of options for accelerated curriculum and multiple pathways to learning. Adult Basic Skills programs (Adult Basic Education [ABE] and English for Speakers of Other Languages [ESOL]) embed, contextualize and integrate pre-college- level content, preparing students to meet individual goals. PCC’s commitment to student success is demonstrated through a vibrant and rigorous honors program rivaling that of four-year institutions.
  • 1-4 With its "One College, One Seamless Experience" vision, PCC provides multiple, easy-to-use points of access to students by offering a portfolio of common student services and core learning experiences that serve the needs of students while preserving unique campus offerings, opportunities and identities.
  • 1-5 PCC’s dynamic student life experience engages students outside the classroom in co-curricular and leadership activities that promote experiential learning and make PCC’s campuses engaging, dynamic places to learn, grow, and build community.
  • 1-6 PCC faculty and staff are culturally astute and responsive leaders in their respective fields, and they model cognitive systems and collaborative thinking in their work with students, faculty, staff, community members and partners.
  • 1-7 PCC invests in continuous professional development of full- and part-time faculty and staff that focuses on improvement of educational opportunities, programs and services, and supports culturally responsive and appropriate institutional change. PCC supports innovation in teaching and learning college-wide through organizational systems that promote academic excellence.

A Living Example

Fodé Sannoh and Rick Willebrand
Fodé Sannoh working with HVAC equipment

Many years ago, Fodé Sannoh escaped Liberia as a refugee after his father was killed in a civil war. He came to the U.S. looking for a better life, but the jobs he could get here were holding him back. After working as a convenience store clerk for several years, Fodé decided to pursue a different path. He came to PCC originally hoping to become a skilled worker—a plumber, in fact.

The college doesn’t offer plumber training, but faculty immediately recognized Sannoh’s potential and redirected him to the Facilities Maintenance Technology Program based at the Swan Island Trades Center. He’s now primed to earn his HVAC and electrician certification and will soon take the state electrician exam.

"I feel like coming to PCC was the best choice I’ve made in my life," Sannoh said. "I came here because it was very affordable for me and there are so many options."

Rick Willebrand oversees the Apprenticeship and Trades Department at Swan Island. He helped Sannoh find his calling in the trades and got him initially into the short term, 14-credit training program for installing HVAC equipment. Willebrand said the training classes got Sannoh hooked and he returned to pursue additional certificates, eventually enrolling in the two-year degree FMT program.

"He’s positioned now to move out into the world and into a job he really likes and loves," said Willebrand. "There is a huge demand for students like Fodé."

What We're Doing

Here's a few recent examples of how we're putting our strategic intentions to work!

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