Pierce College Academic Programming
- 8 Direct Transfer Agreement Degrees (includes Major Related Programs (MRP)
- 26 Associate of Applied Science (AAS) and Associate of Applied Science -Transfer (AAS-T) Degrees
- 52 Certificates
- 6 Bachelor of Applied Science Degrees
- 6 Guided Pathways
2020-21 Student Academic Intent
- 64% Transfer Degree
- 25% Professional-Technical Degree or Certificate
- 7% Non-Award Seeking
- 5% Transitional Studies
Points of Pride
- Largest college district in Pierce County, more than 13,500 students annually.
- Recipient of the 2022 Institution Award by the Council of College and Military Educators.
- United States Department of Education Title III, Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI).
- United States Department of Education TRIO Student Support Services, TRIO Talent Search, and TRIO Upward Bound grant recipient.
- National Science Foundation, Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) grant recipient.
- Voted #1 Two-year College in the Nation for Veterans by the Military Times in 2021.
- Pierce College District was named one of the top 10 community colleges in the nation in 2019 and 2021 for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, and is a top 25 semifinalist for 2023. The Aspen Prize is awarded every two years.
- Achieving the Dream recognizes colleges committed to equitable student success outcomes. Pierce College has received both Leader College of Distinction recognition and their prestigious Leah Meyer Austin Award recognizing organizational transformation and student success.
Pierce College identifies expected outcomes and metrics for student achievement, including graduation, retention, completion, licensure, and measures of postgraduation success. The indicators of student achievement highlight our institution's efforts with dismantling areas of inequity for systemically non-dominant (Jenkins, 2018) students by disaggregating by race/ethnicity and sex.
Jenkins, D. (1995-Present). IST of an ISM: Systemically dominant” and “systemically non- Dominant": A critical lens to rethinking power, privilege, and inequity language. Share the Flame. Retrieved May 9, 2022, from https://www.shareflame.com/
Regional Benchmark Institutions
Pierce College uses several dashboards provided by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) to benchmark our performance against regional peers. These dashboards encompass metrics such as enrollment, student progress, and completion.
We selected our regional benchmark institutions from the following characteristics: degree granting four-year, primarily associate's, Carnegie classification of Associate's Dominant, public and enrollment of a similar size.
The following are regional peer colleges that Pierce College uses to benchmark its metrics:
- Edmonds College (Lynnwood, WA)
- Green River College (Auburn, WA)
- Highline College (Des Moines, WA)
- Olympic College (Bremerton, WA)
- South Puget Sound Community College (Olympia, WA)
- Tacoma Community College (Tacoma, WA)
National Benchmark Institutions
Pierce College uses data provided by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) to benchmark its performance against national peers. To receive federal student aid programs provided by the U.S. Department of Education, institutions are required to provide various metrics such as enrollment, completion, finances and tuition, and student financial aid. Pierce College uses the IPEDS Compare Institutions Tool to pull metrics of interest.
We selected our national benchmark institutions from the following characteristics: degree granting four-year, primarily associate's, Carnegie classification of Associate's Dominant, public and enrollment of a similar size.
The following are national peer colleges that Pierce College uses to benchmark its metrics:
- Lorain Country Community College (Elyria, OH)
- Solano Community College (Fairfield, CA)
- Truckee Meadows Community College (Reno, NV)
- West Los Angeles College (Culver City, CA)
- Cincinnati State Technical and Community College (Cincinnati, OH)
- Red Rocks Community College (Lakewood, CO)
Indicators of Student Achievement
Note: Pierce College is on the quarter system.
Pierce College is a mission-driven institution. In 2011, the Pierce College Board of Trustees approved our mission and core themes. For each core theme, objectives and metrics to measure those objectives were identified in order to holistically assess mission fulfillment. Our strategic plan is our core theme planning because the core themes and their associated objectives and metrics define mission fulfillment.
Pierce College publishes an Institutional Effectiveness Report that provides a comprehensive analysis of the performance indicators for each core theme. The report includes an executive summary; a scorecard that is a snapshot of Pierce’s overall effectiveness; strengths and priority areas; and an in-depth examination of each core theme through its defined objectives and performance indicator metrics.
The Board of Trustees monitors mission fulfillment monthly, reviewing key objectives and metrics from the Institutional Effectiveness Report. The Board uses this information to develop their annual goals.