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PCC officially adds new Southeast Portland campus

by: PORTLAND COMMUNITY COLLEGE - At the recent ribbon-cutting ceremony for two new Southeast Center building are (from left to right): PCC Board Chair Denise Frisbee; Southeast/Extended Learning Campus President Jessica Howard; Chief of Staff to the Executive Director of the Higher Education Coordinating Commission Cheryl Myers; PCC President Jeremy Brown; and Portland Commissioner Amanda Fritz.The Portland Community College Board of Directors voted on Thursday to officially make the Southeast Center the college’s fourth comprehensive campus, beginning this coming fall term.

The center is located at 2305 SE 82nd Ave., at the intersection with Southeast Division. The new campus will join Sylvania in Southwest Portland, Rock Creek in the Beaverton/Hillsboro area, and Cascade in North Portland as comprehensive locations that have full academic and support services.

“I am thrilled that PCC has voted to green light the expansion of the Southeast Center to a full-fledged campus as of the coming fall, as it will enable the college to serve the community at large in a more fully, integrated way,” said PCC Board Director Courtney Wilton, who represents Zone 3 in Southeast Portland).

The decision, which occurred before nearly 75 community and college supporters at the Southeast Center’s community hall, comes shortly after a ribbon-cutting celebration marking the completion of two new buildings on the expanded 18-acre campus. The Student Commons (a three-story, 66,000-square-foot building that houses a bookstore, classrooms, labs, and student services) and the Library (a three-story, 40,000-square-foot facility that contains student learning and tutoring centers, classrooms and study areas) have recently opened.

The completed facilities and ongoing work are funded by a portion of a $48 million contruction bond approved by PCC voters in 2008. The college will officially celebrate the new campus designation with a community event in the fall.

Speaking about the designation, PCC President Jeremy Brown said, “It was about a year ago that in interviewing for the PCC presidency, I spoke to a group about this size, here in the community hall at the Southeast Center. I remember thinking how much I would like to be a part of this college…and so I am absolutely delighted to be here with you tonight, a year later, to share in the great enthusiasm surrounding the decision to make the Southeast Center a campus.”

According to Southeast/Extended Learning Center President Jessica Howard, “Becoming a comprehensive college campus is nothing short of transformational for Southeast Portland, and for the faculty and staff who call PCC’s Southeast Center home. With the beautiful new buildings, greatly expanded student services, library and state-of-the-art laboratories, PCC Southeast is literally opening doors of opportunity for the area community. It is a historic moment, and we at the campus are proud and humbled to be a part of it.”

The Southeast Center already enrolls nearly 10,000 students every year. The construction projects mean it will have expanded class offerings that allow students to complete an associate’s or transfer degree without having to travel to another PCC campus to finish their requirements.

In addition, the campus now has a full service library, expanded Food Service, new Women’s Resource, Career Exploration and Multicultural Resource centers with dedicated coordinators, additional Veterans resources, expanded Tutoring and Testing centers, and will eventually have a brand new childcare center.

PCC is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon and 19th largest in the nation, serving approximately 89,903 full- and part-time students. It has three — soon to be four —comprehensive campuses, five workforce training and education centers, and 200 community locations in the Portland metropolitan area.

The PCC district encompasses a 1,500-square-mile area in northwest Oregon and offers two-year degrees, one-year certificate programs, short-term training, alternative education, pre-college courses and life-long learning.