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Times a change’n for PCC’s Hillsboro Center
Photos and Story by James Hill
Things are changing for Portland Community College in Hillsboro this fall. But one thing will remain the same: a quality and wide-ranging educational experience.
The PCC Hillsboro Education Center, which will be renamed the Hillsboro Center, will move to the new Intermodal Transit Facility, 775 S.E. Baseline St. The college will occupy a portion of the bottom floor.
PCC had taken up a 9,000-square-foot space through Washington County since 2002 at 102 S.W. Washington St. But with the county expanding at this location, PCC had to find a new home. The tentative opening date for the PCC Hillsboro Center is Tuesday, Sept. 14, with fall classes beginning Monday, Sept. 20. Classes range from beginning keyboard, basic math to algebra, Spanish language, reading and English composition courses, to name a few.
“There will be lots of changes, but that same comfortable and inviting educational atmosphere will remain the same,” said Steven Swint, education coordinator for the PCC facility. “In the next year, we will probably look at how we can be more associated with the Rock Creek Campus and have them use our center for added classes.”
The new PCC center, about 500 more square feet in space, will have updated classroom technology, Wi-Fi, testing and study rooms, three classrooms, computer labs, art room, commons area and free parking. Hours of operation will be 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Monday though Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday.
At the Hillsboro Center, PCC will continue to offer more than 30 credit classes and serve about 500 credit students each term. It also offers eight English for Speakers of Other Languages courses to approximately 200 students each term.
“We are gaining a nice separate testing area, which we didn’t have before,” Swint said. “Our testing and study area at the old venue were together, which caused some problems. So this will be really nice.”
The location is accessible with a TriMet Max stop on Southeast 8th, located one block north. In addition, the facility can be reached by bus lines serving Forest Grove and Cornelius.
The facility will continue to offer residents in western Washington County a convenient place to get started on a degree.
“The advantage of being here is that it is such a small center,” Swint added. “What most students have told us over the years is that they like it because it’s small; it’s not intimidating at all. For people who are a little nervous about coming to college in the first place this is a good place for them to get started. We are fairly close to offering everything you need to get an associate’s of science transfer degree.”
The current Hillsboro Education Center will close Tuesday, Aug. 17 until the new center reopens at the other location. In the interim, the public is encouraged to check the website http://www.pcc.edu/hec, or contact the Rock Creek Campus Advising Office at (503) 614-7297.