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Pierce College Puyallup | Field Guide 2024

Pierce College logoPierce College Puyallup 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 Puyallup 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.

Key Facts

Highest Enrolled Programs

  • Nursing AAS
  • Pre-Nursing DTA/MRP
  • Science Transfer AS
  • Business DTA/MRP
  • Biology DTA/MRP

*Direct Transfer Agreement/Major Related Program


  • Headcount (all sources): 14,171
  • FTES (all sources): 8,272
  • Headcount (state-funded): 8,038
  • FTES (state-funded): 3,458

Students in Selected Programs

  • Applied bachelor's: 206
  • Apprentices: 35
  • I-BEST: 30
  • International: 272
  • Running Start: 2,122
  • Worker Retraining: 174

Student Profile

Type of Student

  • Academic/transfer: 53%
  • Basic skills: 6%
  • Workforce education: 17%
  • Other: 25%


Students of color: 53%

  • American Indian/Alaska Native: 4%
  • Asian: 16%
  • Black/African American: 16%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 20%
  • Pacific Islander: 4%
  • White: 64%


  • Full-time: 49%
  • Part-time: 51%

Family and Finances

  • Students receiving need-based financial aid: 45%
  • Students with dependents: 35%


  • Female: 62%
  • Male: 38%

Median age


Points of Interest

Nursing students well prepared for demanding careers 

Pierce College Puyallup’s nursing program is part of a national Achieving the Dream (ATD) project with the goal of accelerating and diversifying the nursing workforce. The college launched a part-time LPN to RN program, allowing working LPNs to earn their registered nursing credentials on a part-time basis over five quarters (evenings and weekends).  This is one of the few programs of its kind. AtD funding, along with state-provided resources, allowed the college to double the capacity of the LPN to RN part-time program, which is serving a more diverse population than the traditional program. The college also plans to expand the traditional ADN program to increase the number of nurses in the workforce.   

Expanding access to STEM education 

Pierce College is expanding access to STEM education in Puyallup, with a special focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion, to address the growing demands of these industries. The college is looking forward to opening the doors to its 54,000-square-foot STEM Building in 2024, which will feature a radically welcoming design to remove historic barriers so that students can see the scientific process, imagine themselves as scientists, and transition from observer to innovator.   

Non-credit to credit paths using prior learning credit and badging 

Pierce College is creating opportunities for students to have direct pathways from non-credit credentials and learning into credit pathways. The college is assessing past and current non-credit courses, building micro-credentials into curriculum to include digital badges, assessing academic credit for prior learning options, improving crosswalks for industry certifications, systemizing challenge exams, and integrating a portfolio development course for students bringing work/life experience into their educational journey. Best practices from the Center for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) and the Washington Student Achievement Council’s Academic Credit for Prior Learning (ACPL) Toolkit are being integrated, and CAEL’s Credit Predictor Pro software utilized to track student progress in meeting ACPL milestones.  

Data is from the 2022-23 academic year. Reflects headcount unless otherwise noted. Data is for Pierce College District.

*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.

Chancellor & CEO

Julie A. White, PhD


Maria del Rosario “Chio” Flores, PhD


  • Therese Ngo Pasquier, chair 
  • Clemencia Castro-Woolery, vice chair 
  • Lisa Boyd 
  • Brett Willis 

Year Founded


Service Area

Pierce County

Legislative Districts

2, 25, 27, 31

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

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