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Online Registration Takes PCC's Convenience to a New Level

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Students can access new online registration system by clicking the link "Student Information System" on the top of the PCC home page, Registration for winter term begins Nov. 29

From the early days of Portland Community College in the 1960s, the college’s founding fathers trumpeted the mission of providing a high-quality, low-cost education to anyone willing to buckle down and work hard. The college’s promise in return was that Portland Community College would do everything in its power to make its campuses accessible and its services convenient for all in its district to use. The response to date has been extraordinary, with nearly 38,000 students taking classes this fall at one of the college’s three comprehensive campuses, four work force training centers or 150 community locations throughout its 1,500-square-mile district.

Starting November 29, 1999, accessibility and convenience to PCC will reach a new technical apex when the process of registering for a class becomes as easy as clicking a computer mouse.

In 1999, heading into the year 2000 and well beyond, PCC is taking registration and student information into the cyber world by allowing its students to register and access their own records online through the PCC Web site, On the college home page, students can access the Student Information System, a secure site that gives students access to their own personal information related to college transcripts and financial aid, and also allows them to get a jump on registering for classes from the convenience of a personal computer. Students can begin registering for winter term on Nov. 29 via the new online system, or by using the PCC telephone registration system, TRAIL, by calling 977-5000.

Also found on the new student registration site are a "searchable" version of the PCC Schedule of Classes, a PCC catalog of course descriptions, and general financial aid and admissions information. Students can add or drop a class, view their grades, view their own financial aid information and more by logging onto the secured student access portion of the site and entering their student identification number and a PIN. To access the Student Information System, potential enrollees need to have taken at least one class through Portland Community College within the last two years. For new enrollees, the site has information on how to apply to PCC, which would in turn allow them to register using the online system. To access the secured page, click the link "Student Information System" on the top of the PCC home page,, and follow the instructions.

Frost Johnson, PCC’s director of enrollment services, said that an unpublicized trial run of the online system for fall term saw about 8 percent of the registration-related tasks (add, drop, etc.) performed using the system. Johnson said he isn’t ready to equate the convenience of online registration with a possible jump in enrollment, which this year is expected to reach about 90,000 students. He did say that students having access to their own information in "real time," or as soon as it is keyed in by a registration, financial aid or student services staff member can only enhance the student experience at Portland Community College.

"I would imagine that by making things easier we’ll see an increase in access to the system," he said. "Will that translate into more enrollment? We’ll have to see. But the more information we can provide students, and the more up-to-date the information is, the better."

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »