Portland Community College

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Portland Community College
Portland Community College seal.svg
TypePublic community college
Academic affiliations
PresidentMark Mitsui
Students28,005 (2017)[1]
Location, ,
United States
Campus256 acres (104 ha)
Colors   Turquoise and Navy
MascotPoppie the Panther
Portland Community College logo.svg

Portland Community College (PCC) is a public community college in Portland, Oregon. It is the largest community college in the state and 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[2] since 1959 and renamed Portland Community College in 1961.[3] Voters approved the establishment of an independent district for the college in 1968.[2] Amo DeBernardis (1913-2010),[4] former assistant superintendent of Portland Public Schools, was the founding president of the school, serving from 1961 to 1979.[2]

The Cascade Campus opened in North Portland in 1971, and the Rock Creek Campus opened in Washington County in 1976. The district passed a $374 million bond measure in 2008.[5] PCC's $25 million Willow Creek Center opened in 2009 and earned a platinum LEED certification the next year.[5][6] The Newberg Center opened in October 2011,[7] 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.[8][9]


Portland Community College entrance.JPG

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.[10]
  • 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.[6] 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.[11]
  • Newberg Center, opened in fall 2011[7] and serving about 650 students.


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.

The Technology Classroom Building at PCC Sylvania

Community education[edit]

PCC operates one of the largest[citation needed] non-credit lifelong learning programs in the nation through its community education program. Every year, PCC Community Education offers more than 4,000[12] non-credit and continuing education courses and enrolls over 30,000 students in those courses.[12] 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.[13] Hundreds of classes are also held online.[14]

Notable people[edit]



National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium[edit]

The college hosts a NAFTC Training Center.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Portland Community College". The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Graves, Bill (2010-02-23). "Amo DeBernardis, founding president of Portland Community College, dies". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2010-02-24.
  3. ^ Wentworth, Eric (April 17, 1961). "Engineer Aide Plan Seen As Forerunner To New College". The Oregonian. p. 12.
  4. ^ "Amo Debernardis Obituary - Portland, Oregon - Tributes.com". www.tributes.com. Retrieved October 23, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Navas, Melissa (March 26, 2010). "Portland Community College's Willow Creek Center earns platinum LEED certification". The Oregonian. Retrieved 20 August 2010.
  6. ^ a b Owen, Wendy (March 2, 2010). "New PCC employment center officially opens in Hillsboro". The Oregonian. Retrieved 20 August 2010.
  7. ^ a b "Newberg Center". Portland Community College. Retrieved December 4, 2011.
  8. ^ O'Brien, Lindsey (October 19, 2011). "Newberg Center on its way to LEED platinum". Daily Journal of Commerce. Retrieved December 4, 2011.
  9. ^ "Portland Community College's Newberg Center is the First Net Zero Higher Education Building in Oregon". inhabitat.com. 23 July 2012. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
  10. ^ "Rock Creek Campus". PCC. Retrieved 2014-04-15.
  11. ^ Christensen, Nick (August 19, 2010). "PCC set to move to transit facility". The Hillsboro Argus. Retrieved 20 August 2010.
  12. ^ a b "PCC News". Retrieved 2009-09-28.
  13. ^ "PCC Locations". Retrieved 2009-09-28.
  14. ^ "PCC Community Education Online". Retrieved 2009-09-28.
  15. ^ a b c "PCC unveils 50 diamonds that sparkle". 2 April 2012.
  16. ^ Mullen, Holly (August 22, 1987). "What's Cooking in the White House? Ask Spokane Native". The Spokesman-Review. p. C4. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  17. ^ "Mead crowned Miss Lane County". News-Times. Newport, OR: News Media Corporation. May 19, 2008. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved August 20, 2015.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°26′19″N 122°43′51″W / 45.43857°N 122.73093°W / 45.43857; -122.73093