Pierce College was founded in 1967 as Clover Park Community College. Classes were first held in an abandoned grocery store and throughout Pierce County. Later that year, Washington State Legislature passed the Community College Act, which shifted the control of the institution from the Pierce district to the state of Washington. The shift in power led to the creation of a new, 140-acre campus in Fort Steilacoom and a school name change to Fort Steilacoom Community College. Then in 1986, to represent the large number of students from Pierce county, the school's name was changed to Pierce College.
Pierce College is a public, not-for-profit, two-year institution. Overall accreditation has been obtained through the Northwest Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Dental Hygiene program has been awarded specialized accreditation.
Pierce College operates with the mission to create quality educational opportunities for a diverse community of learners to thrive in an evolving world. Guiding this mission are the shared values of students, staff and community of Pierce College. The values of Peirce College are learning, integrity, respect, accountability and sustainability. The main campus is located in Puyallup, Washington.
When applying to Pierce College, potential students should know that there is a $25 application fee and that Pierce College has an open admission policy and a rolling admissions deadline.
Students who attend Pierce College return for a following year at a rate of 50 percent for full-time students and 40 percent for part-time students. Credits earned at Pierce College are transferable, and about 56 percent of students take advantage of this and transfer out of Pierce College to another institution. Students at Pierce College typically graduate within the two years it is expected to earn an Associate’s degree at a rate of 13 percent and within three years at a rate of 19 percent.
There are 3,265 students currently enrolled at Pierce College, and of these students, 1,077 are adult learners over the age of 24. Students at Pierce College are mostly part-time enrollments making up about 61 percent of the student body and leaving 39 percent as full-time enrollment students.
The gender break down shows a student body with about 62 percent female students and 38 percent male students. There is some racial diversity with 66 percent of students being white, and the other represented racial groups including African American, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, Asian and American Indian students with five percent, seven percent, one percent, five percent and one percent of the student body, respectively. All students come from within the state of Washington and declare in-state residency.
Students have a variety of academic options at Pierce College. There are a mix of eight Associate degree programs and 23 professional and technical certificate programs. There are five divisions at Pierce College that house the programs leading the above degrees and certificates:
- Health Science
- General Education
There are a total of 93 faculty members, all of who are considered instructional faculty. These faculty members make up a 21:1 student-to-faculty ratio, which makes for smaller than average class sizes.
For students wanting to work toward a degree or certificate, but who have a hectic schedule, Pierce College offers many courses that can be completed online through their eLearning program. Within the eLearning program courses at Pierce College, students can choose to take fully online classes, hybrid classes, flexible independent student classes and traditional face to face classes that combine with web based components to assist with homework resources and outside of class communication.
The yearly tuition and fees for enrollment at Pierce College comes to $3,825 for in-state students and $9,015 for out-of-state students. The financial aid office can help students with tuition payment plans and can help students find and apply for grants, scholarships and loans.
Currently, 35 percent of the student population accepts some form of grant or scholarship aid. The average grant or scholarship package is $5,132 per student per year. Students can also take on loans for extra assistance, 19 percent of students have student loans, and the average loan amount is $6,105.
Sector Of Institution:Public, 2-year
Highest Level Of Offering:Associate's degree
Adult Age Enrollments:1,077
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