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PCC Board makes it official – Southeast Center to become a campus
Story by James Hill. Photos by Kate Chester.
It’s been a long time coming, but the day has finally arrived.
At its regular business meeting on Thursday, May 15, the Portland Community College Board of Directors voted officially to make the Southeast Center the college’s fourth comprehensive campus effective this coming fall term. The campus (2305 SE 82nd and Division) will join the Sylvania (Southwest Portland), Rock Creek (Beaverton/Hillsboro) and Cascade (North Portland) campuses as comprehensive locations that have full academic and support services.
“I am thrilled that PCC has voted to green light the expansion of the Southeast Center to a full-fledged campus as of the coming fall, as it will enable the college to serve the community at large in a more fully, integrated way,” said PCC Board Director Courtney Wilton, who represents Zone 3 (Southeast Portland).
Added PCC President Jeremy Brown, “It was about a year ago that in interviewing for the PCC presidency, I spoke to a group about this size, here in the community hall at the Southeast Center. I remember thinking how much I would like to be a part of this college…and so I am absolutely delighted to be here with you tonight, a year later, to share in the great enthusiasm surrounding the decision to make the Southeast Center a campus.”
The decision, which occurred before nearly 75 enthusiastic community and college supporters at the Southeast Center’s community hall, comes on the heels of a recent ribbon-cutting celebration marking the completion of two new buildings on the expanded 18-acre campus. The Student Commons (a three-story, 66,000-square-foot building that houses a bookstore, classrooms, labs, and student services) and the Library (a three-story, 40,000-square-foot facility that contains student learning and tutoring centers, classrooms and study areas) have recently been opened. The completed facilities and ongoing work are a result of $48 million in bond construction investment by the college from its 2008 voter-approved bond measure. In the fall, the college will officially celebrate the new campus designation with a community event.
“Becoming a comprehensive college campus is nothing short of transformational for Southeast Portland, and for the faculty and staff who call PCC’s Southeast Center home,” said Southeast/Extended Learning Center President Jessica Howard. “With the beautiful new buildings, greatly expanded student services, library and state-of-the-art laboratories, PCC Southeast is literally opening doors of opportunity for the area community. It is a historic moment, and we at the campus are proud and humbled to be a part of it.”
What now makes Southeast Center, which enrolls nearly 10,000 students every year, a campus are many things. Thanks to work by the college’s bond program, Southeast will have expanded class offerings that allow students to complete an associate’s or transfer degree without having to travel to another PCC campus to finish their requirements. In addition, the campus has a full service library, expanded Food Service, new Women’s Resource, Career Exploration and Multicultural Resource centers with dedicated coordinators, additional Veterans resources, expanded Tutoring and Testing centers, and will eventually have a brand new childcare center.