Facts and Stats of Pierce College — 2020
Board of Trustees
Brett Willis, Kristin Ray, Therese Ngo Pasquier, Steve Smith, Amadeo Tiam
Chancellor and CEO
Michele L. Johnson, Ph.D.
Serving Pierce County With Two Colleges, a Military Campus, and Courses at Graham-Kapowsin and Spanaway Lake High Schools
Pierce College Fort Steilacoom
9401 Farwest Drive SW
Lakewood, WA 98498
President: Julie A. White, Ph.D.
Pierce College Puyallup
1601 39th Avenue SE
Puyallup, WA 98374
President: Darrell L. Cain, Ph.D.
Pierce College at JBLM
Education Centers at Fort Lewis and McChord on Joint Base Lewis McChord
Pierce College at Graham
Graham-Kapowsin High School
Pierce College at Spanaway
Spanaway Lake High School
Points of Interest
Pierce College Ranked Among Nation’s Top 5 Community Colleges
Pierce College Fort Steilacoom is a Rising Star college for the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. This year, along with Pierce College Puyallup, the college has again been named one of 10 finalists for the 2021 Aspen Prize, which will be announced in Spring 2021. As the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance in community colleges, we were selected due to our exceptional three-year graduation and transfer rate of 71 percent. The college also stands out due to our efforts in closing equity gaps and dismantling the barriers to student success.
Now Offering Five Bachelor of Applied Science Degrees
Pierce College now offers five Bachelor of Applied Science degrees: The BAS in Dental Hygiene, the BAS in P-3 Teaching, the BAS in Homeland Security Emergency Management, the BAS in Applied Business Management, and the BAS in Fire Services Leadership and Management. Each of these applied bachelor’s degrees are an importance part of our guided career pathways efforts, designed to prepare students with hands-on experience and job-related skills for the workplace.
Leading Community for Military Affiliated Students
Pierce College at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) delivers several university transfer and professional technical pathways to military students, with flexible policies to help them succeed. The site uses open educational resources, which has saved students more than $2 million since 2015. Pierce College Fort Steilacoom’s Veterans Resource Center assists with housing, jobs, mental health counseling, emergency services and textbooks. The college is also a leader in Veterans Industry Education 25, a partnership between community colleges, state agencies and the armed forces, offering transitioning service members education to prepare for Washington’s most in-demand industries.
2021 Aspen Prize Finalist
Pierce College Puyallup, along with Pierce College Fort Steilacoom, has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2021 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. The college was selected for our efforts in closing equity gaps and dismantling barriers to student success. As a result of this work, 71 percent of our students continue their education after their time at Pierce. Thanks in large part to Pierce College Puyallup’s popular Running Start program, the district’s combined graduation and transfer rates have increased from about 56 percent, which was 20 percentage points over the national average, to 71 percent since our previous recognition by Aspen in 2019.
Pierce Nursing Students Well Prepared to Fill Statewide Shortage of Registered Nurses
Pierce College Puyallup’s nursing program plays an important role in filling Washington’s statewide shortage of registered nurses. The program has been ranked as one of the top nursing programs in the state, ranked No. 1 by RNCareers.org, and No. 2 by RegisteredNursing.org. In 2020, the college launched a new part-time LPN to RN program, allowing working LPNs to earn their registered nursing credentials on a part-time basis over five quarters. Over the past four years, our nursing program has seen an average first-time licensure exam pass rate of 98 percent, allowing students to move into in-demand nursing careers quickly upon graduation.
Pierce College partners with Bethel School District to offer innovative access to higher education
Pierce College continues to increase access to higher education in south Pierce County through an innovative partnership with Bethel Schools. Pierce offers college courses at Graham-Kapowsin and Spanaway Lake High Schools, and will soon expand to offer courses at the new Bethel High School in its own designated wing, which will begin construction in 2021. Courses at each of these sites are open to everyone, including Running Start and returning adult students.