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.