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

Turning Points in Middle Eastern History
  • September 13
    • 1) Muslim Empires: Land, Language, Religion
    • 2) Muhammad and the Dawn of Islam – 622
  • September 20
    • 3) Arab Invasion of North Africa – 639
    • 4) Arab Invasion of Andalusia – 711
  • September 27
    • 5) The Founding of Baghdad – 762
    • 6) Islamic Golden Age Begins – 813
  • October 4
    • 7) The Fatimids of Cairo – 969
    • 8) Crusaders Capture Jerusalem – 1099
  • October 11
    • 9) Muslims in the Court of Roger II – 1130
    • 10) Saladin: Chivalry and Conquest – 1187
  • October 18
    • 11) Ottoman Empire Rises – 1299
    • 12) Ottomans Seize Constantinople – 1453
  • October 25
    • 13) Fall of Granada – 1492
    • 14) Safavid Dynasty of Persia – 1501
  • November 1
    • 15) Suleiman the Magnificent – 1520
    • 16) Second Siege of Vienna – 1683/li>
  • November 8
    • 17) The Saud-Wahhab Pact – 1744
    • 18) Napoleon Invades Egypt – 1798
  • November 15
    • 19) French Invasion of Algeria – 1830
    • 20) East India Company in Yemen – 1839
  • November 22
    • 21) Egypt, Europe, and the Suez Canal – 1869
    • 22) Discovering Middle East Oil – 1908
  • November 29
    • 23) World War I in the Desert – 1914
    • 24) The Last Caliphate Falls – 1924


Mondays, 10am to 12 noon

Poetry Reading Fun – September 12, 26, October 10, 24, November 7

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!

Highways – Glenn Jackson – Sept 19

Bill Stack
As head of the Oregon Transportation System from '59 to '79 Glenn Jackson led building of the Marquam, Fremont, and Astoria bridges plus over 700 miles of highway. The rise of the environmental movement leading to more mass transit, higher housing density, stricter water and air pollution laws will also be discussed.

Prescription for a Satisfying Retirement – October 3

Fritz Fraunfelder
Most people make a financial plan for their retirement, but fail to consider how they will use the time productively or meaningfully. Dr. Fritz Fraunfelter, now retired, has coauthored a book on this subject. Join us to learn ways to have fun in retirement and still have a sense of accomplishment.

Alzheimer’s – October 17

Joe Beckman
Alzheimer's is not a normal part of aging. Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases.

History of Voting – October 31

Don Lief
The right to vote has been gained with struggles and violence in America and other nations. Does it result in democracy? We review voting's history: eligibility, secret ballot, voting systems, and the nuts-and-bolts of the process: how candidates and initiatives get onto the ballot, where polling places are and when they’re open. Since a recent Supreme Court decision, many states have acted to restrict access to voting while others have made the process easier. It's a civics lesson not taught in high school.

Le Jazz Hot – Live – November 14

Larry Munson
Bob Hume will present an overview of the history of jazz in France, with an emphasis on Gypsy Jazz (Django Reinhardt). Then Portland musicians, Larry Nobori (clarinet) and Larry Munson (guitar), will play some jazz that one might hear in a Parisian cafe. They will illustrate how American musicians were an important part of the French jazz scene from the 20's through the late 50's.

Current events

See the full schedule on the continuous classes page.

Play reading

See the full schedule on the continuous classes page.


Tuesdays, 1 to 3pm

Malheur Occupation – September 13

Morgan Holm & Sarah Rothenfluch
After 41 days, 25 indictments and one man killed, the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge near Burns ended. Underlying issues of rangeland management won't be going away. OPB's Executive News Editor, Sarah Rothenfluch will clarify the issues and we'll all see if we can't round up answers.

England Travelogue & Shore Hikes – September 20

Richard Gaunt & Terry Dewhurst
Here is a chance to see both tourist attractions of London; and great views seen from coastal hiking trails. The village where "Doc Martin" is filmed is featured.

1967 OSU Giant Killers – September 27

Alex Crawford
Beaver fans will never forget 1967. That was the year OSU defeated #2 Purdue, tied #2 UCLA and beat #1 USC. Now Alex Crawford in his first documentary film brings those days to life again. You will see his DVD in its entirety and Alex will explain how things worked in producing and directing the documentary.

Oregon Low Carbon Fuel Standard – October 4

Cory Ann Wind
At approximately 40 percent, the transportation sector is the biggest contributor to Oregon’s greenhouse gas emissions. The Clean Fuels Program is a critical component of Oregon’s plan to reduce greenhouse gases in the transportation sector. Providing cleaner transportation fuels such as lower carbon ethanol and biodiesel, renewable diesel, electricity, natural gas, biogas, propane and hydrogen will help shrink Oregon’s transportation-related carbon footprint. Use of cleaner fuels can improve public health and increase energy security.

Greek Theater – Antigone I – October 11

Peter Charleston
Sophocles, in his tragedy Antigone, explores themes of civil disobedience, natural law and contemporary legal institutions, fidelity, and love for family. Join popular guest presenter Peter Charleston for our annual fall foray into the immortal works of the ancient Greek tragedians. The third class will include viewing a filmed version of the play.

Greek Theater – Antigone II – October 18

Peter Charleston
Sophocles, in his tragedy Antigone, continued.

Greek Theater – Antigone III – October 25

Peter Charleston
Sophocles, in his tragedy Antigone, continued.

Socialism – November 1

Michael Munk
Socialism in America? You've got to be kidding. But who knows what socialism is or, indeed, the difference between social democracy and democratic socialism. Who can enlighten us? College professor, writer and an individual who the Oregonian lists as one of Portland's "local literary luminaries," Michael Munk.

Gravitational Waves – November 8

Duane Ray
For the first time ever, scientists have observed ripples in the fabric of space-time called gravitational waves opening a completely new method of observing our universe. A gravitational observatory at Hanford, WA is one of only two places in the world capable of this feat. We will review the history and describe a visit to the LIGO Hanford site where this amazing achievement was accomplished.

PDX Canine & Mounted Units (Horses) – November 15

Lt. Ryan Lee
The use of law enforcement animals to assist police in special-ized work remains critical to the modern mission of policing. The Portland Police Bureau employs four distinct animal / handler teams to meet the daily challenges the city faces. This class will have representatives of the Patrol, the Drug Detection and the Explosive Detection canine teams as well as Mounted (horses) Patrol Unit. Lecturers will discuss selection, training and daily application of their animal partners as well as offer an opportunity to see demonstrations of capabilities of each.

Neighborhood House

Wednesdays, 10am to 12 noon

Life in Paradise? – September 14

Sandy Foran
That’s the question you ask yourself many times when you live in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Craziness happens so fast you barely have time to take a breath between one occurrence and the next. And then there are the hurricanes. There will be instructions personally learned on how to prepare and hunker down, along with many before and after photos. This is Sandy’s personal account of what it’s like to live, work and survive hurricanes (plural) in the USVI. Hint: You drink a lot!

How Can TransCanada Sue U.S. for $15 Billion? – September 21

Michael Shannon
It has to do with NAFTA and the Investor-State Dispute Settlement. How will the TPP affect jobs for Oregonians? Where do Representatives Bonamici and Blumenauer stand?

World War II Leyte Gulf – September 28

Martin Jacobs
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.

Factory Farming – October 5

Katie Cantrell
Intensive animal farming or industrial livestock production, also called factory farming has consequences. The surprising power of our food choices to prevent everything from climate change, to civil war, to heart attacks.

Forecasting the Columbus Day Storm – October 12

Jim Holcomb
On October 12, 1962, a storm that is considered the benchmark of extratropical wind storms struck the west coast of Canada and the U.S. Pacific Northwest, hitting Portland hard and costing almost 50 human lives in California, Oregon and Washington. Guest Jim Holcomb takes us back 54 years to recall what happened then, and explain why it should not happen again.

Southwest Trails – October 19

Don Baach
Learn about the genesis of SW Trails, how it evolved to encompass much of SW Portland, the tribulations of dealing with City Hall, the neighbors, and getting volunteers to build and maintain the trails. Hear about the Raz-Baack Crossing as part of the trail system first created as a safe route to Rieke Elem. and Wilson HS. Be introduced to the Red Electric Trail, its history and why it's called the Red Electric. How the Tram controversy led to the creation of the 4T trail.

Ballot Measure Information – October 26

League of Women Voters
An Oregon League of Women Voters representative will discuss the pros and cons of ballot measures for our November general election. Become a better informed voter by hearing their analyses.

Hate Groups – November 2

Duane Ray
Hate Groups have been a part of America from its very beginning: White Supremacist, Ku Klux Klan, Black Panthers, Confederate and Christian. We will review the many types, highlight ones that are active and discuss their impact on our lives. Some may be active in your own neighborhood!

Dissenting Voices – November 9

Dawn Carol
Dissenting voices, here and abroad, remind us of what we’ve gained through the efforts, sacrifices, energies of those who championed causes so that respect and dignity might be enjoyed by the disenfranchised and the rest of us. Dawn Carol will introduce four presenters: Joe Leben, Don Leif, Kathy McCulloch and Bill Smith.

Syrian Refuge Crisis – November 16

Aram Mashigian
The UN has identified 13.5 million Syrians requiring humanitarian assistance, of which 6.6 million are internally displaced within Syria, and over 4.8 million are refugees outside of Syria. Turkey is the largest host country with over 2.7 million Syrian refugees. Close to 1 million Syrians have requested asylum in various countries. Pledges have been made by various nations, to permanently resettle 170,000 registered refugees. Why are people fleeing? Where are the people fleeing? Where are the people going? And how are host countries responding?

Thursdays, 1 to 3pm

World View of Human Trafficking – September 15

Keith Bickford
Human Trafficking is a form of modern day slavery. It is fueled by a demand for cheap labor, services, and commercial sex, especially of girls in their early teenage years. In the United States, in 2010 over 300,000 victims, mostly very young teenage girls, were identified. Disturbingly, Portland has been named as one of the major centers for sex trafficking.

China Travels – September 22

Ken Kane & Audrey Perino
The US State Department sponsored a people's cultural exchange to China by Portland's "The Beat Goes On" adult marching band. The band's 120 members toured from Beijing in the north to Suzhou, Portland's Sister City, in the south. They performed from Shanghai to the Great Wall. Two members of the band will present a slideshow chronicle of the band's odyssey. Ancient China. and China on the cutting edge, urban and rural, by day and by night.

Death with Dignity: 16 Years & Lessons Learned – September 29

Pamela Miller
On October 27, 1997 Oregon enacted the Death with Dignity Act which allows terminally-ill Oregonians to end their lives through the voluntary self-administration of lethal medications, expressly prescribed by a physician for that purpose. We will discuss the history and the impact it has had in Oregon. This presentation will consider Oregon's unprecedented Death with Dignity legislation, the specific requirements of the law for terminally ill Oregonians, and what we have learned in the sixteen years since its inception.

How to Avoid Healthcare Perils – October 6

Marcy Houle
The lead author of a widely acclaimed book tells how to guard against things that can go wrong in modern health care. Learn how to protect your loved ones (and yourself) against common failings in doctors offices, hospitals, and nursing homes.

The History of the English Countryside – October 13

Peggy Keonjian
It's famous English landscaper Capability Brown's 300th birthday! Hear the story of the view from Manor Houses as the English landscape changed from cow ha-has to Downton Abbey. Beautiful photos, interesting history.

Wielding the Tools of Foreign Policy I – October 20

Anne McGee
This class is intended to give an overview and possible case study or exercise of how we use the 4 basic tools of foreign policy: Diplomacy, Information, Military and Economics (DIME). We will examine two during each of two class periods, with both the theory and examples. This should make for some lively discussion and learning just prior to the elections!

Wielding the Tools of Foreign Policy I – October 27

Anne McGee
This class is a continuation of Part I.

The History of Craft Brewing in Portland – November 3

Bill Schneller
Portland has more breweries in and around the city than any other city in the world. Bill will explore Portland’s beer history with an emphasis on the elements that led to Portland becoming the center of the craft beer universe.

Panama Canal: History, Politics & Future – November 10

John & Susan 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.

Famous Oregonians – November 17

Judy Lee
A discussion of three famous Oregonians who made history. Three members off SSI will present background information on Oregonians who have contributed to the colorful history of Oregon. We hope to make this a regular feature each semester.