Skip to content

Pierce College Fort Steilacoom | Field Guide 2021

Pierce College logo

Pierce College Fort Steilacoom is part of the Pierce College District, a community college district serving more than 13,000 students annually. Founded in 1967, the college now offers 26 associate degrees, 52 professional certificates and six applied bachelor’s degrees designed to prepare students for academic transfer and career success.

By offering affordable and accessible programs, Pierce College Fort Steilacoom helps people of every age and background to learn and thrive in today’s economy. Whether students are 16 or 60, just out of high school or working adults, our college prepares them for the next step up in life. As a community college that serves a large number of lower-income students and students of color, our college is key to creating a stronger and more inclusive economy.

Print Pierce Fort Steilacoom's Guide

Key Facts

Highest Enrolled Programs

  • Associate of Arts–DTA*
  • Nursing
  • Dental Hygiene
  • Social Sciences
  • Criminal Justice

*Direct Transfer Agreement


  • Headcount (all sources): 15,789
  • FTES (all sources): 8,165
  • Headcount (state-funded): 10,764
  • FTES (state-funded): 5,066

Students in Selected Programs

  • Applied bachelor's: 229
  • I-BEST: 171
  • International: 506
  • Running Start: 2,240
  • Worker Retraining: 218

Student Profile

Type of Student

  • Academic/transfer: 52%
  • Basic skills: 3%
  • Other: 2%
  • Workforce education: 43%


  • American Indian/Alaska Native: 4%
  • Asian: 14%
  • Black/African American: 15%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 20%
  • Pacific Islander: 3%
  • Other race: 1%
  • White: 63%


  • Full-time: 44%
  • Part-time: 56%

Family and Finances

  • Students receiving need-based financial aid: 41%
  • Students who work: 56%
  • Students with children: 29%


  • Female: 63%
  • Male: 37%

Median age


Points of Interest

Pierce College ranked among nation’s top 5 community colleges

For the second time in a row, the prestigious Aspen Institute has named Pierce College one of 10 finalists for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among community colleges. Pierce College Fort Steilacoom was a finalist for the 2019 award and, as part of that competition, was recognized with a Rising Star award for dramatically improving student outcomes. The Rising Star designation placed Pierce College Fort Steilacoom in the top 5 community colleges in the nation. We are proud of the work we are doing to dismantle the barriers to student success and to close equity gaps. 

Now offering 5 Bachelor of Applied Science degrees

Pierce College now offers five Bachelor of Applied Science degrees: Dental Hygiene, P-3 Teaching, Homeland Security Emergency Management, Applied Business Management and Fire Services Leadership and Management. Each of these applied bachelor’s degrees are an important part of our Guided Pathways reform movement, which involves providing students clear and comprehensive program maps to equip them with the knowledge, skills and abilities to succeed in their chosen career.

Leading community for military affiliated students

Pierce College at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) delivers several university transfer and professional-technical pathways to active duty military, reserves, veterans and families, with flexible policies to help them succeed. Our use of open educational resources has saved students more than $2 million since 2015. Pierce College Fort Steilacoom’s Veterans Resource Center assists with housing, jobs, mental health counseling, emergency services and textbooks. The college is also a leader in Veterans Industry Education 25, a partnership between community and technical colleges colleges, state agencies, and the armed forces, offering transitioning service members education to prepare for Washington’s most in-demand industries.

Data is from the 2019-20 academic year. Reflects headcount unless otherwise noted. Data is for Pierce College District.

*May not add up to 100% because students may be counted in more than one race. Percentages calculated on reported value.


Michele L. Johnson, PhD


Julie A. White, PhD


  • Brett Willis, chair
  • Therese Ngo Pasquier
  • Kristin Ray
  • Steve Smith
  • Amadeo Tiam

Year Founded


Service Area

Pierce County

Legislative Districts

28, 29

Page Manager:
Last Modified: 2/17/23, 11:52 AM

starburst graphic