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Portland Community College Enters 46th YearSalem-News.com
Officials at PCC say they will begin the year with plenty to cheer about
(PORTLAND, Ore.) - This week marks the beginning of the 46th school year at Portland Community College, and it appears that as the college enters this year, it will be as popular as ever.
PCC says they conducted a survey in May and June and found that metro-area residents think highly of PCC. The survey's results indicated that 73 percent of the respondents think PCC's operation and performance are "pretty good" to "excellent." Another 70 percent say they are familiar with the PCC Communities magazine and non-credit schedule.
Another 56 percent of people surveyed say they have taken at least one PCC class. That tells PCC that more than half of metro residents have, at one time or another, been PCC students. It is reported that no other institution of higher education comes close.
The news from the survey does come at an opportune time. The PCC Board of Directors say they have been discussing the likelihood of going out for a bond measure in November 2008, in order to prepare for a population increase expected in the Portland area and the need to prepare students for the careers of the future.
"The exact details of such a bond are still being crafted, but every campus could expect to see additional programs and services to help us in our mission of serving the community," said District President Preston Pulliams.
One of Britain's Brightest Comes to PCC
The college traditionally kicks off fall term with the In-Service program for all faculty and staff. But organizers say this year's In-Service could be called anything but "traditional."
The keynote speaker for the September 17th event was Sir Ken Robinson, a noted educator and adviser to nonprofit organizations, colleges and universities, and governments around the globe. Sir Ken gave a rousing yet humorous speech on creativity and the demands on colleges in the 21st century.
Good News from Oregon's Legislature
Support from the Oregon Legislature in 2007 was very good for PCC as the state looks down the road at a first-ever, even-year legislative session to be held in February 2008.
The Legislature began the process of refunding all levels of education in Oregon last spring, including community colleges.
PCC received a funding boost of about 17 percent, gained additional money for the Cascade Campus Skill Center, and received a matching grant for the Willow Creek project in Washington County, which will be a one-stop-shopping facility for the unemployed and under-employed.
Opportunity Grants get More Funding
Lawmakers also nearly doubled the amount of money in the Oregon Opportunity Grants, meaning larger grants to even more Oregonians, to help provide access to everyone. That additional money becomes available in July 2008 but money in the state grants is still available for this academic year. You can learn more at osac.state.or.us/oog.html. "That matches one of my key goals: Access to everyone who wants a college education," said Pulliams. "It's a goal I know PCC's board of directors shares. Make no mistake: community colleges have not been fully funded. But this Legislature has moved in the right direction. It acknowledged that community colleges are a key partner in the process of providing affordable education for Oregonians and training the next generation of the state's workforce. We're now on a path toward full funding. And we'll continue to work with legislators to ensure that they perceive us to be part of the solution in getting Oregon ready for the 21st century."
PCC Foundation Continues Momentum
PCC also starts the year with good news on campus. The PCC Foundation raised a total of $1.4 million in revenue and the endowment now stands at more than $2.5 million. This is money that goes to grants, helping even more students gain access to college, and to support innovative college programming and faculty development. The foundation's new executive director, Rick Zurow, will help kick off the 2008 foundation drive soon.
Big Events for 2007-08
This school year will feature the big, signature events that you've come to expect from PCC, such as the Cascade Festival of African Films, Art Beat, the Winter Powwow at the Sylvania Campus, the Harvest Festival at Rock Creek, and the Asian festival at the Southeast Center.
"Plus, we've also opened up brand new sports facility at Rock Creek -- in conjunction with our partner organization the Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation District -- featuring fields for soccer, lacrosse and football, diamonds for baseball and softball, and tennis courts," Pulliams added. "This looks to be another great year for Portland Community College, and we can't wait to get started."
Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon, serving approximately 88,200 full- and part-time students. For more PCC news, please visit us on the Web at www.pcc.edu/news. PCC has three 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.
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