Portland Community College


With three conveniently located campuses in the Portland, Oregon area, Portland Community College has been serving the educational needs of the community since 1961. Originally opened as the adult education program for the public school system, PCC rapidly expanded and the need for the college to have it’s own governing unit became quickly apparent. In 1996, the new facilities at Rock Creek and Cascade opened to better serve the needs of the community. In addition to the three campuses, the college also offers eight workforce training centers that offer workforce training, specialized programs and a variety of transfer courses. These centers are located throughout the Portland area and constitute the Extended Learning Campus. PCC offers a wide range of opportunities including associate’s degrees, university transfer degrees, adult basic skills, pre-college programs and continuing education courses. Also available is the opportunity for distance learning via online classes, television or interactive virtual classrooms. As the largest educational institution in the state of Oregon, Portland Community College strives to meet the needs of it’s community.


Information Summary

Ranks 33rd in Oregon and 2923rd overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 51.8
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $6,029
Admission Success rate N/A
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 26 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 63% / 45%
Enrollment Total (all students) 27,046


Portland Community College’s goal is to meet the diverse educational needs of the community. They do so by offering classes for every level of education. Whether the student wants to brush up on basic skills in order to obtain a GED, is headed to college for an advanced degree or needs to take a few classes to advance at work, PCC has a class or program for every need. Following is a showcase of the services offered by the college in it’s quest to educate the community that it serves.

Traditional Programs

There are nearly seventy associate’s degrees offered including nursing, interior design, criminology, dental assisting and automotive service technologies. Also offered are numerous one-year and two-year certificate programs including landscape technology, paralegal, medical assisting and several different computer certifications.

Another option is to utilize the low cost, small class size and convenient location of Portland Community College to earn credits that will transfer to a four-year college. Most of the classes taken in the first two years by a student seeking a bachelor’s degree are general education classes, so more and more students are choosing to take advantage of local community colleges to fill these requirements. Students at PCC earn one of three university transfer degrees, then simply transfer to a four-year college to complete a bachelor’s degree.

To assist with this plan, PCC has a dual enrollment program in conjunction with several institutions including Portland State University, Oregon State University, Oregon Institute of Technology, Concordia University, Western Governor’s University, Marylhurst University and Linfield College. Choosing to dual-enroll enables students to coordinate classes with both colleges with the assistance of course advisors in order to remain on track with educational goals.

Benefits of dual enrollment are numerous. Students only have to submit one application for both schools and they have access to many more classes. Dual enrollment also offers the opportunity to participate in college life on both campuses and students can access advisors and services such as recreational facilities and libraries at both schools. Furthermore, beginning the journey to a college degree is more affordable and transition from home to college is much easier.

Adult Basic Skills and College Preparation Programs

Portland Community College provides several different opportunities for adults who want to further their educations. Adults may take preparatory classes for the GED, prepare for college courses by enrolling in Developmental Education Classes such as reading, writing and math, improve English communication classes via English for Speakers of Another Language courses and obtain a high school diploma. PCC also offers courses in independent living to adults with special needs. Finally, high school students may dual enroll to get a head start on a college education.

Community Education

Portland Community College offers fun, enlightening courses to non-degree seeking students. People from all walks of life can learn how to speak a foreign language, cook with aplomb or paint a beautiful portrait. Professionals seeking to maintain certification may take advantage of the many Continuing Education Credits available. Whether seeking personal growth or professional advancement, members of the community have access to a wide array of choices at PCC.

Distance Education

For many people, attending traditional classes is difficult or even impossible. Portland Community College addresses this by offering numerous classes either online, via television or through interactive video classrooms. This opens up the door to advanced education to nearly everybody. Both credit and non-credit courses are available, so whether a person simply wants to learn a new skill or seeks to earn a degree, distance education helps make that goal a reality.

Most Popular Fields of Study


College Building :: Portland Community College
College Logo :: Portland Community College


The admissions process to Portland Community College is extremely simple. An application will need to be submitted for students seeking college credit; however, members of the community simply wishing to brush up on skills, gain Continuing Education Credits or pick up a hobby are not required to apply for acceptance. Students in those situations simply need to register for the classes desired. Also, because of the diverse array of classes that PCC offers, a high school diploma is not necessarily required to enroll. For further information regarding these classes, simply call the college and request more information.

Financial Aid

Portland Community College offers financial aid in the form of need-based and merit-based scholarships, grants, federally funded loans and work-study programs. These funds are available from both federal and private sources and enable students that would be otherwise financially unable to attend college to do so. Financial aid may be used to pay for tuition and fees, books and living expenses. In order to apply for financial aid, students must complete the Federal Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA). This form should be submitted for approval as early as possible and may be completed online. In order to complete the application, family and student financial information will be required, so applicants need to have that information available prior to starting the FAFSA. Students that are awarded federally funded loans will also be required to complete a master promissory note and participate in entrance counseling.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 6014th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Oregon.


As the largest educational institution in the state, PCC educates students from all walks of life. Teenagers that are just beginning the journey to educational advancement, young professionals seeking to further a career, middle-aged business owners striving to keep up with advancements in technology and people of all ages seeking to enhance life skills merge together to form a diverse and unique environment conducive to a great education and personal enrichment. The opportunity to interact with such an eclectic array of people is an exclusive benefit available only from an educational institution such as Portland Community College.

Student Enrollment Demographics


Portland Community College offers both a men’s and a women’s basketball team. The Portland Panthers are members of the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWACC) and have developed to become one of the elite men’s basketball teams in the conference. In order to fulfill their goal of placing all of their players into four-year universities as student athletes, PCC has established a dominant program and recruits high-level athletes with great potential. Both basketball teams practice and play home games at the Cascade Gym. Offering a state of the art court and private locker rooms for both the home and away teams, this two-story, $5 million facility is the finest in the entire NWACC conference. The second floor, designed specifically to offer PCC students the facilities to become the best athletes that they can be, is fully equipped with free weights, a hardwood studio and cardio and weight machines. PCC is completely committed to the advancement of both their program and each individual athlete and provides the environment to facilitate that commitment.

Local Community

Portland is known as the City of Roses and offers visitors and residents alike the advantages of a big city while maintaining a small town charm. The city is located approximately seventy miles from the Pacific Ocean where the Willamette and Columbia Rivers meet and provides lush greenery and beautiful scenery rarely found in a big city. There are numerous activities for every season including museums, art galleries, restaurants, the Saturday Market and art theater companies. Summertime activities are plentiful. There are beautiful wineries to tour locally and nearby waterways provides the opportunity to windsurf, swim and picnic. The city offers over two hundred public parks with miles of trails. Downtown Portland also offers numerous brew houses and pubs where students may enjoy sampling local micro-brews while listening to jazz or a favorite local band.

Public Transportation

The public transit system in Portland consists of buses, a light rail line and a downtown “free rail zone”. There are stops either at or near all of Portland Community College’s locations. Trips can be paid for individually or passes can be purchased on an hourly, daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly or annual basis. Fares tend to be relatively inexpensive with pass purchases being the least expensive option in the long run.

Additional School Information

Portland Community College offers several unique activities and opportunities to it’s students. In addition to offering several performing arts classes and degrees, there is the PCC Theatre that produces at least three major shows a year. The shows are performed in the Performing Arts Center located on the Sylvania campus. There are also numerous shows and exhibits hosted by all three main facilities throughout the year and both acclaimed and local artists are featured. Dance, art, literature, music and theater are all showcased via the events. Regardless of a student’s preferred medium, there is an event to appeal to all.

Housing is not offered on campus as most students live locally. However, for somebody wanting to move to the Portland area, there are numerous real estate companies that are well-versed in the local market and can assist with housing needs. Simply contact the college for references.


  • Portland Community College. Copyright 2000-2011. Web. 14 April 2011.
  • Downtown Portland. Explore the Original. DowntownPortland.org and the Downtown Marketing Initiative. 2010. Web. 14 April 2011.

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