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 since 1959 and renamed Portland Community College in 1961. Voters approved the establishment of an independent district for the college in 1968. Amo DeBernardis (1913-2010), former assistant superintendent of Portland Public Schools, was the founding president of the school, serving from 1961 to 1979.
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. PCC's $25 million Willow Creek Center opened in 2009 and earned a platinum LEED certification the next year. The Newberg Center opened in October 2011, 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.
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.
PCC operates one of the largest non-credit lifelong learning programs in the nation through its community education program. Every year, PCC Community Education offers more than 4,000 non-credit and continuing education courses and enrolls over 30,000 students in those courses. 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. Hundreds of classes are also held online.
Margaret Carter, the first African-American woman elected to the Oregon state's legislature