Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom is a community college offering two-year associate programs and a variety of other academic options. The history of Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom dates back to 1967 when the college was established in the abandoned Albertson’s grocery store in downtown Lakewood. It was known as Clover Park Community College at that time. In 1968, seven students graduated from the college with associate’s degrees and about 200 students graduated from the college’s Adult High School program. Encouraged by the results, the governance of the college was shifted from the local school district to the Washington State Association of Community Colleges. The name of the college was also changed to Fort Steilacoom Community College. The college moved to a permanent campus overlooking Fort Steilacoom Park and Waughop Lake. Gradually more buildings and new campus sites were set up.
As of 2011, the Pierce College operates through two main campuses and seven extended learning sites. The main campuses include the one in Lakewood, next to Fort Steilacoom Park and the other in Puyallup, 10 miles southeast of Tacoma. The Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom is spread over a 140-acre campus and has its own lake, hiking trails, and offers amazing views of Mount Rainier. Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom is accredited as a degree-granting institution by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.