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Lower Columbia College | Field Guide 2023

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Established in 1934, Lower Columbia College (LCC) is the only college serving Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties. With over 90 program options from high school to the baccalaureate level, LCC plays a critical role in the region’s economy by providing a steady supply of trained workers. LCC’s planned Vocational Building will bring countless benefits to students and industry partners across the region. By offering affordable and accessible programs, LCC helps people of every age and background 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.

Key Facts

Highest Enrolled Programs

  • Academic Transfer AA–DTA*
  • Registered Nurse
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Business Management
  • Chemical Dependency Studies
  • Medical Assisting
  • Welding

*Direct Transfer Agreement


  • Headcount (all sources): 3,997
  • FTES (all sources): 2,325
  • Headcount (state-funded): 3,194
  • FTES (state-funded): 1,795

Students in Selected Programs

  • Applied bachelor's: 77
  • Apprentices: 8
  • I-BEST: 236
  • International: 41
  • Running Start: 420
  • Worker Retraining: 139

Student Profile

Type of Student

  • Academic/transfer: 40%
  • Basic skills: 18%
  • Workforce education: 32%
  • Other: 10%


Students of color: 28%

  • American Indian/Alaska Native: 5%
  • Asian: 5%
  • Black/African American: 4%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 15%
  • Pacific Islander: 2%
  • White: 85%


  • Full-time: 59%
  • Part-time: 41%

Family and Finances

  • Students receiving need-based financial aid: 49%
  • Students with dependents: 45%


  • Female: 70%
  • Male: 30%

Median age


Points of Interest

Support for regional workforce needs

Lower Columbia College (LCC) collaborates with numerous business and community partners in Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties to help fill the workforce pipeline in critical areas such as accounting, business, criminal justice, health sciences and wellness, industrial trades, information technology, teacher education and early learning, and more. LCC recently launched a second applied bachelor’s degree program in response to the region's need for more highly skilled managers and supervisors across a variety of industry sectors.

Support for increasing educational attainment

The bachelor’s degree attainment rate in Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties is about half the state rate, which poses challenges for employers in the area. Because LCC is the only college in two counties, availability of local baccalaureate opportunities is critical. The college currently offers two Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degrees—in Organizational Leadership and Technical Management (BAS-OLTM) and Teacher Education (BAS-TE)—and a third degree is in the works. LCC also houses the Lower Columbia Regional University Center to make degree programs at other institutions more accessible to area residents.

Support for student success

As an early adopter of Guided Pathways and other student success initiatives, LCC is working hard to get more students to completion despite the challenges posed by the pandemic in recent years. Notable accomplishments include math and English curriculum reform, creation of public-facing maps for all programs, availability of real-time labor market data on the LCC website, and establishment of an endowed Student Success Fund through the LCC Foundation to provide emergency grants for students in perpetuity. The college is also collaborating with Youth and Family Link, a community-based organization, and K-12 partners to educate residents about financial aid and encourage more people to submit financial aid applications.

Data is from the 2021-22 academic year. Reflects headcount unless otherwise noted.

*Students of color percent based on unduplicated headcount. Students may be counted in more than one race, so race/ethnicity percentages may not total 100%. Percentages calculated on reported value.


Chris Bailey, JD


  • Mike Karnofski, chair
  • Liz Cattin, vice chair
  • Alice Dietz
  • George Raiter
  • Marc Silva

Year Founded


Service Area

Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties

Legislative Districts

19, 20

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Last Modified: 3/8/23, 4:27 PM

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