The 94,000-square-foot Southeast Center opened to students in 2004 after moving from its old location a few blocks away. Located in the growing Southeast Portland area, the modern facility was built with bonds approved by district residents in 2000. A rich blend of culture, tradition and recent immigrant populations is reflected in the community the center serves, including a growing number of Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Latino, Russian and Ukrainian families.
Portland Community College purchased a center nearby the current site in 1978 and began operation in 1981. The new and more expansive Southeast Center features a dance studio, fitness center, ceramics and painting studios and a photography darkroom. The center serves as headquarters for the Extended Learning Campus, which provides workforce training, adult basic education, personal interest and continuing education programs. Thanks to a partnership with local manufacturers, the Southeast Center expanded its welding services with the opening of the Swan Island Training Center in North Portland in 2008.
The Southeast Center, where students can complete requirements for an associate’s degree, has PCC’s Prep Alternative Education programs, including the nationally replicated Gateway to College program where students meet high school graduation requirements while earning college credit. The Youth Empowered to Succeed program prepares students for their GED exam and the Multicultural Academic Program provide English classes for immigrant students.
The Southeast Center is an active partner with local neighborhood associations and cultural groups. Every February, the center hosts an Asian New Year celebration that attracts hundreds of attendees. The center also has a presence in the annual 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade, which passes by the facility every spring.
The Southeast Center is home to about 9,500 students. Jessica Howard is the president of the center and the Extended Learning Campus.