Portland IQ Partner: Portland Community College (PCC)

Fostering innovation — which can come from practically anywhere — requires meeting folks where they are. With accessible programs to support them. Portland IQ partner Portland Community College (PCC) strives to make collegiate level curriculum as accessible as possible.

PCC is the largest institution of higher learning in Oregon, serving more than 1,350,000 residents in a five-county region of northwestern Oregon. The college enrolls nearly 73,000 students annually.

The school began as an adult education arm of Portland Public Schools, another Portland IQ partner. Given the traction with the community, they soon decided to spin it off into a separate entity, forming the college in 1961.

In 1968, voters from the school districts in Portland, Multnomah County, Lake Oswego, Columbia County, Newberg, and Washington County approved the formation of a new college district, the Metropolitan Area Education District. In 1971, they renamed the district the Portland Community College District.

Supported by a series of bond measures approved by voters, PCC has continued to grow and improve over the decades. At the turn of the century, the college opened new buildings at its three comprehensive campuses (Sylvania, Cascade, and Rock Creek). And in 2004, the college opened the new Southeast Center on 82nd Avenue.

In 2017, local voters overwhelmingly approved a $185 million bond measure to improve workforce training programs, expand Health Professions & STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), and meet needs for safety, security, building longevity and disability access.

For more information, visit Portland Community College.

Rick Turoczy