Pierce College News

December 19, 2007

Survey finds Pierce College stands tall in residents' minds

Filed under: General,News releases — Pierce College at 4:16 pm

The results are in: Pierce College has an exceptionally strong reputation in the South Sound area, especially when it comes to transferring to a four-year college, according to survey results released this week by Interact Communications.

When it comes to being a launching pad for further study, the survey found Pierce College’s transfer options and quality of education topping the charts. Almost 87 percent of respondents agreed that going to Pierce first and then a four-year school is a smart move, including 48 percent who “strongly agreed.” More than half of respondents said it would be easier for them to get into a four-year college with a Pierce College transfer degree and over 60 percent reported feeling that Pierce provided a “high quality” education.

“I’m pleased our community affirms our work,” said Pierce College district chancellor Michele Johnson. “We’ve known that Pierce College has been a leader for years in preparing students to transfer to four-year institutions, where they have the tools to excel and realize their goals. When we work with our partners in the community we hear how pleased they are with the knowledge our students have and how they often become leaders in the workplace.”

Interact, a marketing company specializing in two-year colleges, surveyed Pierce County residents in October and found that Pierce College has a particularly positive reputation, with three out of five respondents saying Pierce’s standing in the community was either “positive” or “very positive.”

“These ratings are extremely complimentary of the faculty, staff and leadership of Pierce,” said Pamela Cox-Otto, CEO of Interact. “It also indicates that Pierce’s focus on the community has been noted and appreciated.”

Cox-Otto also mentioned another interesting statistic from the survey: when respondents were asked to name any college in the state of Washington off the tops of their heads, Pierce was right up at the top of the list, second only to the University of Washington. She said 25 percent came up with UW, while 20 percent stated Pierce College was the first to come to their minds.

“Given the scope of the programs and services provided by the college, it’s evident by these numbers that the community sees Pierce College as being a primary higher education resource,” said Tana Hasart, president of the Puyallup campus of Pierce College.

Pierce College Fort Steilacoom campus president Denise Yochum said Pierce has such a widespread presence in the county, it’s no wonder the survey results reflected both the breadth and depth of the college’s notoriety.

“These results speak to the fact that Pierce College is widely distributed across the area,” she said. “We have facilities at McChord Air Force Base, Fort Lewis, a thriving continuing education program and more, in addition to our two main campuses.”

To obtain the results, Interact, which is currently consulting for the college, contacted 400 random county residents by telephone in mid-October. The survey has a confidence margin of plus or minus 5 percent, Interact said.

For more information about this survey, call Marie Harris in the Chancellor’s Office at (253) 864-3104.

National talk host and county exec discuss politics at Pierce College forum

Filed under: General,News releases — Pierce College at 4:14 pm

Two powerhouses of Pacific Northwest political thought will be on stage together at the Puyallup campus of Pierce College Jan. 22 to discuss the national political scene — including the presidential primaries — in a free event sponsored by Pierce College Student Government.

Nationally syndicated conservative talk show host Michael Medved and liberal Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg will hold forth in a forum-like setting for two hours, beginning at 6:30 p.m., in the College Center’s first floor multipurpose room.

Medved makes his residence in Seattle, living in Washington since 1996. The former host of PBS television’s “Sneak Previews” movie review program has been a political commentator for the past 11 years. He is also the author of over a dozen books, including “What Really Happened to the Class of ’65?” and “Right Turns,” in which he chronicles his transition from “punk liberal activist to lovable conservative curmudgeon.”

Ladenburg, currently in his second term as county executive, is a former county prosecutor and Tacoma city councilman. The Stadium High and Gonzaga University grad has received national attention for his efforts to combat drugs and gangs in the area, and he’s also taken a lead in South Sound transportation, habitat and tribal issues.

For more information about this event, please call Student Programs at (253) 840-8416. To request disability accommodation, contact the Access and Disability Services office at least 10 days in advance at (253) 964-6468 (v), (253) 964-6228 (tty), or dssaccess@pierce.ctc.edu.

Pierce College Alumnus Wins National Award

Filed under: General,News releases — Amanda Haines at 10:08 am

Pierce College alumnus Dr. Stan Flemming has been awarded the prestigious 2008 Outstanding Alumni Award from the American Association of Community Colleges.

Flemming (and four other winners) will be honored at a gala reception in Philadelphia in April. More than 900 guests are expected to attend.

Criteria for selection included: notable achievements in their chosen career field, recognition at a national level, inspirational impact, and specific philanthropic or public service activity that supports the community or college.

Flemming was nominated for the award by Pierce College Chancellor Michele Johnson.

“Stan is a testament to the fact that community colleges are wonderful places to start,” she said. “An individual can begin here and go on to do great things. It can be the beginning of something very exciting and a way of creating opportunities. Stan is an inspirational example of those opportunities.”

Flemming’s involvement at Pierce has been ongoing since he earned his Associate’s Degree in 1973. He has served as graduation speaker, emcee for the Distinguished Alumni banquets, a regular donor, and an advocate to the Legislature. He was awarded the college’s highest award, Distinguished Alumnus, in 1997.

Flemming, who has served two combat tours of duty and is now the commanding general of the Northwest Army Reserve Medical Region and Eighth Medical Brigade, is now the president and chief executive officer of the Yakima-based Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences, a new medical school specializing in disease prevention training for rural primary care physicians.

Listed below is a sampling of Flemming’s other major accomplishments:
• First Native American to serve in the state House of Representatives (1992-1995));
• Founding mayor of University Place (1995-1996) and mayor pro-tem since 2005.
• Chairman of the Board of Trustees at The Evergreen State College, Olympia.
• Rainier Communications Commission president, 1997-2003, and vice president since 2005.

Flemming has also won numerous awards, including the Pierce County Chamber of Commerce’s Howard O. Scott Citizen of the Year Award (1994), the Washington National Guard Association Recognition Award (1994), the Western University of Health Science Distinguished Alumnus Award (1994), Washington State Osteopathic Medical Association Physician of the Year (1993), and the Pacific Hospital of Long Beach, Calif., Outstanding Teacher Award (1988).