Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Click on a class name to get the class description. See our list of ongoing classes here: Continuous Classes.


DVD Sessions are now at PCC CLIMB Center, Room 102. SE Clay at Water Street, across from OMSI. If parking in the PCC parking lot, payment of a parking fee is required. PCC Parking Permits are available from the Site Coordinator for $25 per semester.

Tuesdays 10am-12 noon

Comparative Religions
  • March 29
    • 1) Comparative Religion—Who, What, Why, How
    • 2) Exploring Similarities and Differences
  • April 5
    • 3) The Sacred, the Holy, and the Profane
    • 4) Sacred Time, Sacred Space, Sacred Objects
  • April 12
    • 5) Sacred People—Prophets, Sages, Saviors
    • 6) Sacred People—Clergy, Monastics, Shamans
  • April 19
    • 7) Sacred Signs, Analogues, and Sacraments
    • 8) Creation Myths and Sacred Stories
  • April 26
    • 9) From Sacred Stories and Letters to Doctrine
    • 10) Sacred Texts—The Bible and the Qur'an
  • May 3
    • 11) Sacred Texts for Hindus and Buddhists
    • 12) Polytheism, Dualism, Monism, and Monotheism
  • May 10
    • 13) From Birth to Death—Religious Rituals
    • 14) Daily, Weekly, Annual Religious Rituals
  • May 17
    • 15) Ritual Sacrifice in the World's Religions
    • 16) The Human Predicament—How to Overcome It
  • May 24
    • 17) The Problems of Sin and Forgetfulness
    • 18) Breaking through the Illusion of Reality
  • May 31
    • 19) The Goals of Religious Life
    • 20) The Way of Faith and the Way of Devotion
  • June 7
    • 21) The Way of Action and the Way of Meditation
    • 22) The Way of the Mystics
  • June 14
    • 23) The Evolution of Religious Institutions
    • 24) Religious Diversity in the 21st Century


Mondays, 10am to 12 noon

Poetry Reading Fun – March 28, April 11, 25, May 9, 23

Know a lot about poetry? Know nothing about poetry? Somewhere in between? There’s a place for you in the very popular class started by Norm Grant and now led by Jan Vaillancourt. We read from a variety of published works. Really FUN!

Panama Canal: History, Politics & Future - April 4

Susan & John Schenk
Learn about the impact of the canal on global shipping today and its history dating back to the gold looting Spanish. US created a new country to take over the construction from the defeated French. We'll share what we learned from the former administrator of the Canal Zone, number 3 on Noriega's Hit List prior to the invasion and return of the Canal to Panama.

Experience Works - April 18

Marietta Schlumpf
Experience Works provides seniors a chance to learn or refresh job skills through training; and also earn money while getting on-the-job experience. The program arranges short-term, part time paid jobs with nonprofits or government agencies. They help those unemployed, age 55 and older who are trying to get a job.

The Giant Killers - May 2

Speaker To Be Determined
Against overwhelming odds, the 1967 OSU football team rose to win against highly ranked opponents; earning the nickname, "Giant Killers".

The Gershwins: An American Cultural Legacy - May 16

Bob Hume & Andre Kitaev
George and Ira Gershwin were one of America's most widely known songwriting teams. Many of George's compositions have become part of the Great American Songbook and some songs are now jazz standards. Bob Hume will present some Gershwin history and highlights and Andrei Kitaev will play a Gershwin medley in the jazz idiom. Think Summertime and Embraceable You!

Memorial Day Holiday - May 30 (SMILE will be closed)

Mondays, 1 to 3pm

Current Events – see Continuous Classes


Tuesdays, 10am to 12 noon

Current Events - see Continuous Classes

Tuesdays, 1 to 3pm

US Navy Submarine Service - an Adventure! - March 29

Jim Laughton
An examination of life at sea as well as a series of experiences involving a World War II Submarine 1956-1958. A serendipitous relationship involving the submarine and the men who served aboard her from her launch in 1944 at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to her ultimate resting place with the Turkish Navy. Included is an explanation of why the USS Pomfret sailed the Japanese waters with a moose head strapped to her radar mast.

Play and Evolution - April 5

Mike Ellis
Why do we play? The importance of play in human evolution and in our ability to learn, develop and socialize is recognized.

Saving Three Sequoias - April 12

Speaker To Be Determined
Learn how neighbors and others came together to save 3 giant trees which were an east Portland neighborhood landmark. Hear about how the developer was engaged and how the negotiations were pursued.

US Army’s War in the Pacific - April 19

Craig Seigel
The causes and execution of the Army's war in the Pacific as experienced by one young GI. He goes from training in Oregon to combat in New Guinea and the Philippines (based on the speaker's father in law's book).

The Dark Side of the Web - April 26

Art LaFlamme
In 2002, the US Government starting sponsoring efforts to build software that would allow anyone, anywhere, to burrow through the deepest, darkest parts of the internet, in order to emerge free and uncensored elsewhere. It was intended to support free speech and democratic movements; Former Army intelligence Officer Art La Flamme takes us into this Dark Web.

Black History - May 3

James Harrison (PCC)
Popular guest speaker James Harrison of PCC presents another insightful talk on Black history.

Wholistic Peace Institute - May 10

Gary Spanovich
WPI, founded by Gary Spanovich and Sen. Mark Hatfield in 2000, has hosted 12 Nobel Peace Laureates, is planning conferences in Korea and Israel, and partners with OR Dept. of Education in developing peace curricula. Join Gary as he outlines programs in WPI Education For Peace on international conflict issues to the general public and in our Oregon schools.

Oregon Historical Society Collections - May 17

Geoff Wexler
Geoff Wexler, Library Director at the Oregon Historical Society, will provide an overview of using the OHS research libraries for genealogy, house history and a variety of other topics with a focus on local re-sources. There will also be tips on using the exciting collections of the OHS library. His impressive resume includes stints in Wisconsin, Berkeley and New York.

Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden - May 24

Garden Tour Guide
At 1 PM we will meet at the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden (near Reed College) 5801 SE 28th Ave, Portland, OR 97202 Don’t miss it!

How Chinese Think - May 31

Phil Silverman
In the West there is often confusion and dismay in trying to make sense of how the Chinese react to events both inside and outside China. Several major issues are selected in an attempt to understand them from a Chinese point of view. How they view their economic system, why they react strongly when outsiders criticize their treatment of minorities, their suspicion of religions, and how they justify the need for the Communist Party to maintain a monopoly on political power. Also, why in Taiwan most people think of themselves as Taiwanese, not Chinese.

Neighborhood House

Wednesdays, 10am to 12 Noon

Antique Photography - March 30

Ralph London
SSI member Ralph Landon will show samples of his cameras dating from the mid-1840s to about 1970, meaning Daguerreotype, wet plate, dry plate and roll film cameras, including duplicates of the Watergate break-in camera and the camera that took the photo of the Wright brothers’ First Flight. Also, Stanhope - a microscopic photo image on glass attached to its own viewing lens using Canadian balsam.

3-D Printing ***FIELD TRIP*** - April 6

Todd Feinman
We will meet at 10 AM at Lake Oswego Library, 706 4th St. Don’t miss it! The resident expert on the 3D Printer owned by the library will show us how functional prototypes are made from blueprints.

NW Children’s Outreach - April 13

Candance Leslie, Director
NCO is a non-profit organization serving children from newborns to 18 years. NCO functions as a collection and distribution center for children. The goods are given to support agencies and caseworkers.

KBOO—Independent Media - April 20

Ani R. Haines & Becky Meiers
KBOO has been serving communities since 1968. It creates original radio programs and podcasts with a multicultural, intergenerational work-force of more than 500. KBOO’s independence gives it the independence to report on important issues free of corporate influence. KBOO will bring a recorder to the class to record those who would like to participate in a vox-pop. Want to learn about vox pop? Come and learn!

Forest Park - April 27

Marcy Houle
Learn about the natural ecosystems in this 5200 acre Portland Park; with its impressive wildlife diversity. Recognized as a premier urban wilderness, its historical roots are amazing to hear. Houle is the author of an authoritative guide book on this park.

When Passions Collide - May 4

John Schilke & Dawn Carol
We channel the voices of Abelard and Helouise whose relationship reaches 900 years forward, influencing social mores, scholarship, values, religion, and women's rights. Passion, surrender, tragedy, resolve, reside herein! Join us and be provoked!

Aviation History - May 11

Anne McGee
From the first use of an aerial balloon to spy on the enemy, to the Cold War, military aviation changed as science and technology evolved. It changed as ideas about how to use aircraft in war changed. This session will focus on how those trends and patterns played out over the first century of aviation, both in the US and abroad.

Mediation - May 18

John Francis & Caye Poe
Mediation is an increasingly common means of resolving disputes in a formal but non-legalistic manner. Mediators range from family dispute to small-claims court. Caye Poe and John Francis are experienced mediators and will outline how it works. They will include a mock mediation.

Water Monopolies - May 25

Duane Ray
Water is in short supply in places where it was previously abundant. In other places, population growth strains the available supply. Water purity is threatened in some locations. Marketing enables selling of Brand Name water for prices higher than milk, even soda. Obtaining control of any public water rights has become a profitable business but is creating hardship for many people. A ‘local jobs vs. water con-trol’ debate brings some of the issues close to home.

Three Saintly Women - June 1

Kathy Bambeck, Kathleen McCulloch and Dawn Carol
Elizabeth Ann Seaton, the first Saint born in the USA, Catharine of Sienna, who became the patron of Europe along with St. Francis, and Mary Magdalene are three extraordinary women. With images and DVD they will be explored.

Wednesdays, 12:30 to 3pm

Play Reading - see Continuous Classes

Thursdays, 10am to 12 noon

Current Events - see Continuous Classes

Thursdays, 1 to 3pm

Gettysburg III - March 31

Anne McGee
This is the conclusion of the 3 part Gettysburg story. We will watch sections of the film "Killer Angels" based on the historical novel, as it covers the conflict in chronological order. The focus is on the leaders and their relationships and decisions during this critical clash of armies, as well as the wider implications of these events for the people of both sides.

Daughters of Hanford - April 7

Ann Lin King
Hanford is a boneyard of some of the earth's nastiest chemicals and radioactive waste. Much of the cleanup is on a scale that twists the mind -- a more than $12 billion Waste Treatment Plant being built now amid the sand and sagebrush. Learn more about Hanford and the dedicated group, Daughters of Hanford, who help oversee the project.

History & Culture of Dominican Republic - April 14

Kathleen Mitchell
Member Kathleen Mitchell will introduce us to the history and culture of the Dominican Republic, where she lived, taught and wrote for 15 years. She will focus on racism through the biography of the first woman physician, who was black, and then jump to highlights of her two recent trips there as a volunteer.

Life as a Merchant Sailor - April 21

Russel Urry
Amazing anecdotes from 18 years at Sea. All kinds of happenings that you would never have expected. Learn about some realities of sailing the Bermuda Triangle.

World War II Jungaleers 'The Sunset Division' - April 28

Leland (Bud) Lewis
An OR, WA, ID, MT National Guard unit. It was the first to the Pacific after Pearl Harbor. Declared "Best National Guard Division in the country and one of the three best in the Army." First to train for jungle warfare; fought in more campaigns than any other National Guard Division; made an unequaled record by driving across New Guinea to Salamaua - 76 days in actual combat.

Road Scholar - May 5

Carolyn Rundorf
Join us for a lively discussion of the many programs offered by Road Scholar, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to inspire adults to learn, discover, and travel. Expert instructors provide extraordinary access and stimulate discourse and friendship. Newcomers will discover the huge breadth of learning adventures available in the U.S. and abroad, including intergenerational programs and ser-vice opportunities.

Once Upon a Time in Lair Hill - May 12

Arnie Panitch
Whatever happened to Portland's Little Italy and Jewish Quarter? Find out what happened to one of the city's most diverse neighbor-hoods. A retired professor and retired Journalist tell about what political opportunists and urban renewers made happen.

A Whale of a Tale - May 19

Jon Peters
Guest Jon Peters, a local physician and biologist, will explain the evidence supporting the theory that whales evolved from a small land animal beginning about 50 million years ago. New discoveries from independent scientific areas of study including fossils, developmental biology, modern whale anatomy, DNA analysis, and atavisms have combined to give us one of the best examples of evolution.

Avoiding Scams - May 26

Klem Ellen
Klem Ellen from the Oregon Attorney General’s Office will discuss how to recognize and avoid scams. He will also talk about consumer protection and how to avoid identity theft by freezing your credit reports.

Culture Clashes of the Sixties - June 2

Mike Gray
What a decade! SSI member Mike Gray starts with the Cold War and goes on to cover the civil rights movement, the space race with the Soviet Union, JFK's assassination, and the Vietnam war. The culture wars go on with the Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy assassinations, the Nixon years, and Hollywood anti-war movies. More really big changes included the arrival of the birth control pill, the Beatles and the revolution in popular music, and the expansion of the drug culture.