Pierce College-Fort Steilacoom


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.


Information Summary

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Overall Score (about) Insufficient Data
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $18,404
Admission Success rate N/A
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 33 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) N/A / N/A
Enrollment Total (all students) 6,067


Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom offers university transfer and direct transfer degrees, professional/technical degrees and certificates, extended learning options, e-learning, and a transitional education programs. The direct transfer degrees are aimed at students who intend to complete their lower division general education/core requirements and lower division degree-related requirements for the baccalaureate institutions. The direct transfer degrees offered by the Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom include Associate of Arts (AA-DTA) and direct transfer degrees in areas such as business, biology, pre-nursing, construction management, and elementary education.

The university transfer degrees include the Associate of Science (AS-T) degrees in areas such as biological and environmental resource sciences, geology, earth sciences, engineering, computer science, physics, and atmospheric sciences.

Various professional and technical degrees and certificates offered by the Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom include the Associate in Technology degree, Associate in Accounting degree, Certificate in Practical Accounting, Associate in Computer Network Engineering degree, Certificate in Computer Systems Administration, Criminal Justice certification, Forensic Technician certification, and the Associate degree in Criminal Justice.

Most Popular Fields of Study


The admissions procedure at Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom is relatively simple and the college follows an open-door admission policy. To apply for admissions, candidates should be 18 years or older, high school graduates or equivalent (GED recipients) or should have qualified for admission as per the Running Start program.

Prospective students are required to complete an admission application form, and students planning to attend Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom must appear for a placement test (COMPASS assessment) for initial placement into English, math and other college-level courses. Students seeking admissions in non-degree programs such as English as a Second Language, Adult Basic Education, GED, High School completion, and military programs are not required to complete admission forms.

Financial Aid

Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom provides assistance to students in bearing the cost of the college studies by providing various forms of financial aid. The primary purpose of providing financial aid is to help students bridge the gap between family resources and annual educational expenses. To be eligible to receive financial aid, students must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens and must have a high school diploma or GED. They must also make satisfactory academic progress in their classes. To apply for financial aid from the Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom, students are required to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the U.S. Department of Education.

The different types of financial aids offered to students of the Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom are grants, loans, work-study programs, and scholarships. Different types of grants available to eligible students are: Federal Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Washington State Need Grant (WSNG) for Washington residents, Washington State Tuition Waivers (TW), Pierce College Daycare Grant, and Pierce College Grant. Students can also seek the Federal Stafford, Federal Parent PLUS, and Federal Perkins loans. Pierce College students can apply for scholarships that are available from outside donors or the financial aid office, academic department, and the Pierce College Foundation. Opportunity Grant scholarships are also available to Washington residents.

Student Financial Aid Details

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Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom offers various opportunities and facilities to students to ensure an all round development. The bookstore on campus stocks all required textbooks and school supplies for classroom needs. It also houses various other items such as calculators, study-aids, bestselling books, clothing, gifts, greeting cards, and other merchandise. The Pierce College Child Development Center provides childcare and high quality early childhood programs for children. There are evening child care programs for children whose parents are enrolled for evening classes.

Clubs and Organizations

There are a wide variety of clubs and social organizations that provide a platform for like-minded students to get together and explore their interests. Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom has a chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, and students interested in music and the arts can participate in concert bands, orchestra, or choir and attend performances of international artists at the Pierce College Jazz Expo.

Student Media

The Pioneer, which is a student newspaper, is published on a fortnightly basis. Pierce TV is hosted by the Pierce College students and is produced by the Digital Design Department of the college.


Dining facilities are available for students at the Fort Steilacoom cafeteria. Food options include a full line of hot foods, snack items, grill and deli specialties, and beverages. There is an espresso bar and multiple snack and beverage vending machines at various locations throughout the campus.

Campus Housing

Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom does not have residential housing on campus but provides assistance to students in searching for off-campus housing. International students can opt for off-campus housing options such as homestays, single rooms, or apartments near the college campus.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom is a member of the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC). There are six intercollegiate athletic teams including women’s basketball, volleyball, and fastpitch softball and men’s soccer, basketball and baseball. The athletic teams of the Pierce College are known as the Raiders.


  • Pierce College. Athletics. Web. 2 August 2011.
  • Pierce College. International Education-Housing. Web. 2 August 2011.
  • Pierce College. Pierce College Catalog 2011-2012. 2011. Print.

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