Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Skill Center Students Answer the Question: "Where am I Going from Here?"


For a long time I was always on the street. I'd been trying to go to PCC since 2002. I went to treatment and got my addiction under control. Friends and teachers at the Skill Center kept welcoming me back and never gave up on me and told me I can do it. I completed the Skill Center program recently and am currently in the HVAC program. I want to be an electrician.


I need to change. Since I have been in the Skill Center I no longer have a drug or a legal problem. I've got a job and my plan is shifted. My eyes are now opened to other opportunities on the way; my range of thinking has been broadened on what I can do and what all this means.


Regardless of what people's education backgrounds are, everyone should take the opportunity at the Skill Center to brush up their basic skills such as math, reading and writing. These classes are very important even for someone like me, who has a college degree. Just like muscle mass, if you don't exercise it, you will lose it.


After I retired, I came to the Skill Center being the oldest student at that time who did not know how to turn on a computer. After two terms at the Skill Center, I do volunteer work at the college researching on the computer and I love it. Thanks to the Skill Center, now I am very computer literate.


I had been laid off a few times from several different jobs. I came to Skill Center to take my very first computer class. I learned a lot from some of the very best instructors. With my computer skills I was able to obtain work at PCC as a student worker and am currently working as a full time Computer Lab Coordinator. I am still able to ask questions and get answers about computers from the great Skill Center instructors.

Skill Center surveyed current and former students to gather data which reflect the academic and employability skills of Skill Center students. Here are some of the results:

  • 95% said the assistance they received with goal setting and career planning helped them in their future employment
  • 60% are currently pursuing or have completed a college degree or certificate
  • 92% found that their Skill Center coursework related to their subsequent PCC major area of study
  • 91% said that the Skill Center helped prepare them for their current job