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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to your common questions about preparing for online classes, financial aid, student services and more.



All classes are offered virtually this spring quarter. Your virtual courses take place in Canvas, our learning management system. To make sure you have access and that your internet browser or device is supported, log in to Canvas before your classes begin. Additional information about how to use Canvas is available in Training to Take an Online Class.

We are currently in Phase 1 of Governor Inslee’s Safe Start Washington plan to reopen the state economy. Even in phases where people are allowed to return to work, the governor strongly encourages teleworking through the end of Phase 3.

We will remain online for Summer Quarter, with the exception of certain high-priority labs and programs that cannot be effectively taught through online coursework.

For Fall Quarter, we will continue to be primarily online with some selection of hybrid coursework, if conditions make it possible.

And of course, all face-to-face interactions at Pierce College will comply with any health authority or government restrictions, and use appropriate cleaning standards, social distancing and personal protective equipment for both students and staff.

As you know, things can change quickly. Please watch this space and your email for updates.



Our Barnes and Noble Bookstore is operating online. You can order your textbooks and have them delivered to your home.

If you are a Running Start student, you can find additional information about textbooks in the Running Start section of this FAQ.


Library, Tutoring, and Computer Labs


Library services are still available online. You can download e-books, find research materials and contact librarians through email, phone or virtual meetings. For more information, visit the Online Library Ask Desk.


Get help with your classes through drop-in sessions and one-on-one appointments. The P.A.S.S. Tutoring Centers offer a dedicated Canvas space where you can meet with tutors and mentors online.

Computer Labs

Computer labs will remain closed until Pierce College campuses are reopened. However, if you need technical help, you can contact the expert students of the Student Technology Assistance Team (STAT) for assistance.


Coming to Campus

The campus is currently closed and all departments and services are operating virtually. This will be in effect until the time the governor’s stay at home order is lifted. Given that circumstances with the outbreak can change quickly; please refer to this page for the most up to date information on building, site, and campus closures.


Registration and Advising

When does registration for summer and fall quarters begin?

Registration for summer and fall quarters begins June 1 for current Pierce College students, and June 8 for new students.

I need to talk with an advisor. How do I contact them?

Meet with an advisor via phone, email, or video conference (Zoom). Contact one of the advising centers for assistance – we will help you make an appointment and help you select the best way to conduct your appointment.

Hours: Monday through Thursday: 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m., Friday: 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Fort Steilacoom Advising Lobby
Meeting ID: 298 653 709

Puyallup Advising Lobby
Meeting ID: 573 589 8208

To join a Zoom lobby by phone, call 253-215-8782 or 301-715-8592 and enter the meeting ID when prompted, followed by #.

I am interested in attending Pierce as a new student summer or fall quarter. What do I do?

Please complete your admissions form online. After you submit your application, you will be contacted by email with instructions for next steps. If you have questions, please call 253-964-6501 or email districtadmissions@pierce.ctc.edu

Advisors and other staff are available to assist you via phone, email, and/or video conference. We will help you select the appropriate courses and get started on your college journey.


Training to Take an Online Class

How will I know how to access my online and virtual classrooms on the first day of class?

Go to the Canvas login page and follow the directions. Once logged in, you will have access to your course information. We will hold online training for all students so that you feel confident in how your class will operate, how to link to your classroom, and more.

How will I learn about using Canvas and the software my class is using?

This list of video tutorials will help you learn how to use Canvas. Watch them all at your own pace, or skip right to the information you need now.

Software requirements should be verified with your instructor.

I am uncomfortable taking online classes. How can you help me?

We completely understand that not everyone is comfortable with online classes. This quarter, instructors are teaching remotely using a variety of methods and technology. Your instructors will explain more about what you can expect from your classes when it gets closer to the start of the quarter. 

We will also hold online training sessions for students so that you feel confident in how your class will operate, how to link to your classroom, etc. This information is still coming together, so keep an eye on your student email for more information.


How can students without home internet or a laptop/tablet attend if everything is online?

For financial assistance with access to computer equipment or internet, please reach out to Financial Aid, even if you haven’t worked with them before.  Contact Financial Aid at 253-964-6544 or Financialaid@pierce.ctc.edu.

Comcast Internet Essentials

  • Free for the first 60 days for new low income customers. Just visit the Comcast Internet Essentials website for details. You must apply by June 30, 2020. After 60 days, the cost is $9.95 + tax per month.
  • Once you are an Internet Essentials customer, you also qualify to buy a low cost computer from Comcast.
  • Free Wi-Fi hotspots to are currently available to Comcast customers AND non-customers. Visit the Comcast Xfinity Wi-Fi website for details.

Student Support Services

Many of our student support services are still here to serve you, just in a different way. Visit our Contact Us page to find out how you can get the help you need online, by email or by phone.

Can I still visit the Testing Center in order to get a placement test for math or English? Can I take the Accuplacer?

For placement for summer and fall classes, more information will be forthcoming. There is no need to rush. Email testing@pierce.ctc.edu or call 253-964-6521 (Fort Steilacoom) or 253-840-8343 (Puyallup).

How do I request a transcript?

Please refer to our transcript page. We highly suggest using Parchment, as that is the quickest and most efficient way to order a transcript.

Am I still able to meet with a mental health counselor?

Yes, we are offering telehealth sessions by telephone or secure video chat.  Email the counselors below and one of them will get back to you to schedule an appointment.

I have a disability and need to request an accommodation

New Students:If you are a student who has questions about Access and Disability Services, please call 253-964-6468 or email us at ads@pierce.ctc.edu. Students with disabilities who would like to request accommodations from Access and Disability Services for the first time, please complete our New Student Application. Please call or email if you have any questions about the New Student Application or are having any difficulty accessing it.

Continuing Students: If you are a student with a current accommodation plan and would like to activate your accommodations for spring quarter, please log in to your myADS to submit your quarterly request for services. If you need assistance, or need to discuss any changes to your current accommodation plan, please call 253-964-6468 or email us at ads@pierce.ctc.edu


Running Start

I am a Running Start student and my high school is closed. What do I do?

Running Start students can enroll at Pierce College without a Running Start Enrollment Verification Form (RSEVF) for spring quarter. Most high schools have established a point of contact in which RSEVF can be verified and signed off on via email. Check with your high school. If you have further questions, contact Pierce College Running Start Coordinator, Valerie Frey at  vfrey@pierce.ctc.edu or 253-864-3210.


Financial Aid


Pierce College students who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak can now access emergency funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Funding is now available through the Pierce College Financial Aid office to assist students with expenses related to disruptions to their education due to the pandemic. Visit our CARES Act Funding page for details about how these funds will work, and how you can apply.

How will I get my financial aid check for spring quarter?

All financial aid checks will be printed and mailed to your official address.   Please make sure to update your address online through the student portal.  If you have questions please email the financial aid office Financialaid@pierce.ctc.edu or call 253-964-6544.

What if I am a new student and want to apply for financial aid?

You can still apply for financial aid for spring quarter. Please visit the financial aid information page for information on how to apply.

If you have questions, please call or email our office: 253-964-6544 or Financialaid@pierce.ctc.edu

What if I need financial assistance? What if I have a financial emergency?

Contact the Financial Aid Office for emergency assistance. Call 253-964-6544 or email Financialaid@pierce.ctc.edu.

When will my Financial Aid be processed for 2020–2021?

We are currently processing financial aid awards for the new year. Please continue to check your student email for communications from financial aid.

Can College work study students continue to work?

Please check with the financial aid office regarding work study for spring quarter. You may also contact your work study supervisor for additional information. Financial aid contacts: 253-964-6544 or Financialaid@pierce.ctc.edu.

Will Title IV funds be returned due to COVID-19?

At this time, there is not an impact to winter quarter return of funds because of COVID-19.

I am a veteran and have questions about my VA certification. 

Please contact the Veterans Services Office. For the Fort Steilacoom office, call 253-964-6505 or email VAFS@pierce.ctc.edu. For the Puyallup office, call 253-864-3194 or email VAPY@pierce.ctc.edu.

What if I cannot take a full 12 credit hours due in some part to COVID-19?

If you are unable to take 12 credits and receive financial aid or veterans funding, the funding you receive may be impacted by the number of credits you take. Please let staff know as early as possible if you need to adjust your credits. For Financial Aid, call 253-964-6544 or email Financialaid@pierce.ctc.edu. For Veterans Services Fort Steilacoom, call 253-964-6505 or email VAFS@pierce.ctc.edu. For Veterans Services Puyallup, call 253-864-3194 or email VAPY@pierce.ctc.edu.

I am a veteran and regulations do not allow me to take an online or remote course. What do I do?

Rules for veteran benefits have been modified to allow for online instruction due to COVID-19. Please check with our Veterans Services offices if you have questions about your classes. For the Fort Steilacoom Office, call 253-964-6505 or email VAFS@pierce.ctc.edu. For the Puyallup office, call 253- 864-3194 or email VAPY@pierce.ctc.edu.


International Students

All classes for Spring Quarter have moved to an online format, including our Intensive English Program (IEP). In general, F-1 students will be considered in valid F-1 status if they are enrolled in a minimum of 12 or more credits or 20 hours of IEP coursework. Students need to be making academic progress towards a program of study. If you are a current, new or prospective International Student and have any questions, please email international@pierce.ctc.edu.


This year, Pierce College will hold a virtual commencement ceremony. For important dates and information about what your graduation will look like, visit our Commencement page.