Students walking from the Rainier Building

Multicultural Student Services

Pierce College promotes the recruitment, retention and successful completion of educational programs for students of color through our Retention Team. Staff works to facilitate and implement success strategies for students of color to include:

  • Promoting access and student success
  • Providing academic advising, educational planning, career exploration and student programs that support students of color
  • Assisting with financial aid and scholarships
  • Sponsoring leadership development activities

Multicultural Leadership Institute (MLI)

Multicultural Leadership Institute (MLI) offers students a free 18-hour diversity-training workshop track called EMBRACE (Educating Myself For Better Racial Awareness and Cultural Enrichment). The workshop will provide community service and service-learning opportunities.

Multicultural activities and awareness programming is conducted by the Student Programs department on each campus.  For information on ethnic or multicultural student clubs, contact your campus Student Programs Department.

Identity, Culture, and Inclusion Leadership Certificate (ICI)

The Identity, Culture, and Inclusion Leadership Certificate (ICI) program empowers students to develop multicultural leadership skills through engagement with up-to-date social justice concepts and community. Students earn 25 hours of diversity-training through interactive workshops, group dialogue and personal reflection.

Annual Students of Color Conference

Each year Pierce Puyallup and Pierce Fort Steilacoom take students to a life-changing experience, the Students of Color Conference (SOCC). Student participants explore their cultural identities, deepen their awareness of others, build cross-cultural communication skills, and learn about social justice issues and activism. The conference also is an opportunity to network with other college students from Washington state. Last year over 600 students attended.

Students must apply and be selected to attend, as the travel, hotel and conference registration expenses are covered by Pierce College. That means it is a free opportunity for students to obtain leadership experience.

Here’s what Pierce College students are saying about the SOCC:

“I think that everyone should try to attend SOCC. It is a great experience and it definitely will open your eyes to a wonderful, beautiful, colorful world that has a lot to offer!”

“I also deepened my understanding about the world, my country, politics, and the media. These things, along with the different points of view that people brought to the occasion, deepened my understanding of how thoughts and images are used to influence the way people see themselves and each other.”

“It opened my eyes to so many things and it was Fun! I enjoy a diverse group of people, it also gave me the opportunity to meet students from my own campus and others also. We formed a social network, and it helps develop interpersonal relationship skills!”