Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

How are STEM and CTE defined at PCC?

Ever since STEM entered the national lexicon, educators and policy makers have struggled to define which academic fields and occupations qualify as a STEM. Recognizing this challenge, the US Departments of Commerce, Education, Health and Human Services, the US Department of Labor, the National Science Foundation and numerous other Federal agencies participated in a work-group formed by the National Standard Occupational Codes (SOC) Policy Committee to develop a list of commonly agreed upon STEM occupations. The work-group reviewed existing definitions of STEM occupations, such as those used by academic or policy bodies, and narrowed the array of definitions into a commonly agreed upon list of standard occupations and fields.

PCC Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs and Lower Division Collegiate (LDC) courses were mapped to the STEM occupations identified by the National SOC Policy Committee. The following 50 PCC CTE programs are now considered STEM:

PCC CTE and STEM degrees and certificates

  • Accelerated Accounting
  • Accounting Clerk
  • Architectural Design & Drafting
  • Architectural Design & Drafting Residential
  • Architectural Sustainable Design
  • Automated Manufacturing Technology
  • Aviation Maintenance Technology
  • Aviation Maintenance Technology Powerplant
  • Biomedical Engineering Electronic Tech
  • Bioscience Technology
  • Building Construction Technology Design/Build Remodeling
  • CET Green Technology & Sustainability
  • CIS Database Design and SQL
  • CIS Health Informatics
  • CIS NET ADM Linux Server
  • CIS NET ADM Linux/Unix Network Security
  • CIS NET ADM Microsoft Server
  • CIS NET ADM Windows Network Security
  • CIS Network Administration (NET ADM)
  • CIS Oracle and SQL
  • CIS VB NET ADM Application Programming
  • CIS Web Application Development
  • Civil Engineering Technology (CET)
  • Computer Aided Design & Drafting
  • Computer Information Systems (CIS)
  • Dental Assisting
  • Dental Hygiene
  • Dental Laboratory Technology
  • Design for Accessibility and Aging in Place
  • Early Childhood Education
  • EET Renewable Energy Systems
  • EET Wireless & Data Communication Technology
  • Electronic Engineering Technology (EET) Mechatronics/Auto/Robotic
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Emergency Medical Services Technician
  • Fitness Technology
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Gerontology End of Life Care and Support
  • Graphic Design
  • Landscape Technology
  • Marketing
  • Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET)
  • Medical Laboratory Technology
  • MET Green Technology & Sustainability
  • Microelectronics Technology (MT)
  • MT Solar Voltaic Manufacturing Technology
  • Occupational Skills Training
  • Radiography
  • Veterinary Technology
  • Website Development and Design

Potential STEM students

PCC has also defined a pipeline of potential STEM students that includes students enrolled in one of three areas: 1) LDC STEM gateway courses, 2) below-100 level math (pre-college levels) courses, and 3) 100-level science classes. The table below lists the individual LDC STEM Gateway courses:

For Lower Division Collegiate (LDC) courses, PCC used the STEM major fields of study identified by the Department of Commerce and National Science Foundation to determine course sequences at PCC which are commonly taken or required prior to enrollment in one of the above programs. The following LDC course sequences indicated concentration in STEM studies:

PCC LDC STEM Course Sequences

  • Biology – 211, 212, 213
  • Math – 251, 252 OR Math – 254, 256, 261
  • Chemistry – 221,222,223
  • Computer Science – 250, 251
  • Physics – 211, 212, 213
  • Geology – 201, 202, 203
  • Engineering – 211, 212, 213 OR Engineering – 221, 222, 223
  • Environmental Studies 160, 201, 202

Consequently, PCC’s potential STEM pipeline enrollment is as follows:

Potential STEM pipeline student enrollment
Area of Study # Students
Enrolled in LDC STEM Gateway Courses 12,299
Enrolled 2011-12 in Below-100 Level Math (pre-college levels) 30,195
Enrolled 2011-12 in Science (classes below 200 level STEM gateway) 14,544
Total 57,038