Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Portland Community College

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Established  1961
Students  89,903 (2013)
Colors  Blue and Gold
President  Mark Mitsui
Campus  256 acres (104 ha)
Portland Community College
Location  Portland, Oregon, United States

Portland Community College (or PCC) is the largest community college in the U.S. state of Oregon. Located in Portland, it serves 1.9 million residents in the five-county area of Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Columbia counties. PCC enrolls over 83,000 (55% female, 45% male) students annually in this area of 1,500 square miles (3,900 km2) in northwest Oregon.



The college was founded in 1961 as an adult education program for the local public school system, operating out of the former Failing Elementary School since 1959 and renamed Portland Community College in 1961. Voters approved the establishment of an independent district for the college in 1968. Amo DeBernardis (1913-2010), former assistant superintendent of Portland Public Schools, was the founding president of the school, serving from 1961 to 1979.

The Cascade Campus opened in Northeast Portland in 1971, and the Rock Creek Campus opened in Washington County in 1976. The district passed a $374 million bond measure in 2008. PCC's $25 million Willow Creek Center opened in 2009 and earned a platinum LEED certification the next year. The Newberg Center opened in October 2011, replacing a temporary arrangement in use for the 2010–11 school year, in which PCC courses were offered at the Chehalem Cultural Center. The center's 13,000-square-foot (1,200 m2) building is a LEED platinum-designed building, the first net-zero higher education building in Oregon.


There are four main campuses, which are larger facilities offering two-year degrees and a range of typical student services:

  • Sylvania, opened in the Far Southwest neighborhood of Portland in 1968 and serves over 26,000 students annually.
  • Rock Creek, a 256-acre (104 ha) suburban campus, opened in 1976, near Hillsboro; it is also home to the Washington County Museum. It is about 12 miles west of downtown Portland.
  • Cascade, an urban campus, opened in 1971, and is located in North Portland.
  • Southeast, newly expanded and upgraded to a full-fledged campus in fall of 2014, originally in the former home of the local U.S. Corps of Engineers headquarters.
  • There are several centers throughout the Portland metropolitan area, which are smaller facilities offering more limited or specialized programs:

  • Continuous Learning for Individuals, Management and Business (CLIMB) Center for Advancement (formerly the Central Portland Workforce Training Center), located near OMSI.
  • Portland Metropolitan Workforce Training Center.
  • Willow Creek Center, opened in 2009 in Hillsboro. It is located immediately adjacent to TriMet's Willow Creek Transit Center.
  • Hillsboro Center, which serves about 500 students and moved to the Hillsboro Intermodal Transit Facility in 2010.
  • Newberg Center, opened in fall 2011 and serving about 650 students.
  • Athletics

    Portland Community College competes in the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) as the Panthers, with its men's and women's basketball teams competing against those from the community colleges of Chemeketa, Clackamas, Mount Hood, Lane, Linn-Benton, Southwestern Oregon, and Umpqua.

    Community education

    PCC operates one of the largest non-credit lifelong learning programs in the nation through its community education program. Every year, PCC Community Education offers more than 4,000 non-credit and continuing education courses and enrolls over 30,000 students in those courses. Courses are offered in five general subject areas: Creative Arts, Home and Garden, Language and Culture, Recreation and Wellness, and Work and Life Balance.

    In addition to classes held at PCC campuses and centers, PCC Community Education partners with local business, schools, community centers, churches and parks to offer classes in neighborhoods throughout the PCC district. Hundreds of classes are also held online.


  • Margaret Carter, the first African-American woman elected to the Oregon state's legislature
  • Richard Curtis, politician from Washington state
  • Karen Gaffney, the first person with Down syndrome to complete a relay swim of the English Channel
  • Samantha Hess, the owner/founder/professional cuddler, author, and the creator of the Certified Cuddlers Certification Program
  • Jon Hill, former White House Executive Chef
  • Matt Keeslar, American actor
  • Nichole Mead, 2012 Miss Oregon
  • Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
  • Marie Watt, contemporary artist
  • Jackie Winters, Oregon politician
  • Faculty

  • Michael Dembrow
  • Lew Frederick
  • Ralph Friedman
  • Larry Galizio
  • Joel Magnuson
  • Diana Schutz
  • National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium

    This is a NAFTC's Training Center.


    Portland Community College Wikipedia

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