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Orientation, MyPCC give students a head start

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new PCC students at orientation

In-person orientation

There are two ways to take a PCC orientation – in person or online. The online version is on the Web site at and takes about a half hour. New students cannot register for courses until they complete orientation.

"Orientations can answer all of your questions," said student and Rock Creek Campus student adviser Carlos Mercado. "If you are brand new to the college it is a valuable resource."

In-person orientations typically attract no more than 10 students so there are plenty of opportunities to get answers to nagging questions. New students cannot register for courses until they complete orientation.

"I think it’s better to go through it in-person because you can ask as many questions as you want," Mercado said. "If someone has been to college before, the online version is probably better suited for them."

The in-person orientation encompasses every facet of college life at PCC. The admissions representative goes over students’ placement test scores, the class schedule, student handbook, a selection of academic programs and more.

The session also covers what services are available at the college such as student government opportunities, child care, career center, counseling, financial aid, writing and math labs, library, multicultural initiatives, tutoring, and more. Orientation is offered at four PCC locations – each of the three comprehensive campuses and the Southeast Center. It usually takes about two hours. The online version takes about 30 minutes and can be done any time, any where.

"It really helps," Mercado said. "When they come in for advising they know what question to ask of the advisers."

MyPCC makes students’ lives easy.

For busy students, college life is hard enough but at PCC student services have been made as simple as clicking a mouse. With easy access from anywhere and a wide array of classes and services at students’ fingertips, registering for classes was never easier thanks to MyPCC, the college’s Web portal. MyPCC is an online community for students, faculty and staff at the college. This secure site allows them to check e-mail, register, communicate with other students and faculty, read news about the college, and take care of all aspects of college business.

Students can register in person at any campus registrar’s office and by mail or fax. However, many are too busy or don’t have the time to wait around to see if they can get into a class. Thanks to MyPCC, students can simply log in from anywhere and, in a matter of minutes, set their entire course schedule for the upcoming term. From credit to non-credit to professional development courses, a student can do it all online.

"It’s really beneficial," Mercado said. "MyPCC is your e-mail; news resource; you can apply for financial aid; look up grades; get transcripts; pay your bill; and receive class assignments and notes. There are a lot of resources – all you need on one little Web site."

To visit MyPCC, log in at:

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »


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