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Lower Columbia College | Field Guide 2024

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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
  • Criminal Justice
  • Substance Use Disorders Studies
  • Business Management
  • Medical Assisting
  • Welding
  • Information Technology
  • Automotive Technology
  • Medical Office Administration
  • Organizational Leadership and Technical Management

*Direct Transfer Agreement


  • Headcount (all sources): 4,171
  • FTES (all sources): 2,391
  • Headcount (state-funded): 3,264
  • FTES (state-funded): 1,813

Students in Selected Programs

  • Applied bachelor's: 101
  • Apprentices: 10
  • I-BEST: 195
  • International: 34
  • Running Start: 438
  • Worker Retraining: 149

Student Profile

Type of Student

  • Academic/transfer: 40%
  • Basic skills: 17%
  • Workforce education: 30%
  • Other: 13%


Students of color: 29%

  • American Indian/Alaska Native: 5%
  • Asian: 5%
  • Black/African American: 4%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 15%
  • Pacific Islander: 2%
  • White: 84%


  • Full-time: 55%
  • Part-time: 45%

Family and Finances

  • Students receiving need-based financial aid: 56%
  • Students with dependents: 42%


  • Female: 68%
  • Male: 32%
  • X: 1%

Median age


Points of Interest

Filling the skilled worker pipeline

Lower Columbia College regularly collaborates with business and community partners in Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties to prepare certificate, associate, and baccalaureate degree graduates for critical workforce pathways, including: accounting, business, criminal justice, health sciences and wellness, industrial trades, information technology, leadership, teacher education and early learning, and more. Right now, the college is focused on expanding nursing education options to support the needs of regional health care providers.

Increasing educational attainment 

The bachelor’s degree attainment rate in LCC’s service district is less than half the state average, posing hiring challenges for area employers particularly regarding supervisory and teaching positions. Due to the area’s rural setting and comparatively low socioeconomic profile, many residents can’t relocate even temporarily to earn a degree. In order to help employers, LCC recently developed two Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degree programs: Organizational Leadership and Technical Management (BAS-OLTM) and Teacher Education (BAS-TE). A third bachelor’s degree is in the works. LCC also houses the Lower Columbia Regional University Center to make degree programs at partner universities more accessible to area residents.

Getting and keeping students on the path

As an early adopter of Guided Pathways and other student success initiatives, LCC is working through pandemic and other societal challenges to get more students to college completion. Significant efforts include reforming math and English pathways, developing public-facing program maps and real-time labor market data tools, establishing an endowed Student Success Fund to support students in crisis, integrating new technology tools to support incoming and enrolled students, offering a Men of Color Scholars program, and regularly dedicating faculty time for analyzing disaggregated data, and creating strategies to reduce institutional equity gaps.

Data is from the 2022-23 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.

Percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.


Matt Seimears, PhD


  • Liz Cattin, chair
  • Marc Silva, vice chair
  • Alice Dietz
  • Mike Karnofski
  • Bogyeong Kim

Year Founded


Service Area

Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties

Legislative Districts

19, 20

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Last Modified: 1/31/24, 7:36 AM

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