Peninsula College is an open-access, comprehensive community college located in Port Angeles, Washington, on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. It is part of the Washington Community and Technical College system and has an annual enrollment of more than 5,600 students. Peninsula College offers a Bachelor of Management degree, transfer associate degree programs that cover the first two years of a college education, a multitude of professional and technical degrees and certificates, community education courses and pre-college courses. Peninsula College also has a variety of distance education and online learning options.
Peninsula College’s service district encompasses Clallam and Jefferson Counties and extends from the Pacific Ocean at Neah Bay to Brinnon on the Hood Canal. The area is notable for its forests, mountains, multiple rivers, lakes and numerous watersheds. Founded in 1961, Peninsula College has been serving students for more than 50 years and is known for the quality of its education and the diversity of its student body, with students from all over the United States and 14 international countries.
- 1 History
- 2 Facilities
- 3 Academics
- 4 Student Demographics 2012-13
- 5 Athletics
- 6 Accreditation
- 7 Notable alumni
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Peninsula College celebrated its 50th Anniversary during the 2011-2012 academic year. The college was founded in 1961 because a group of local citizens wanted to be able to continue their educations without having to travel great distances to college centers in Bremerton or across Puget Sound. The first classes were held in a small building on the Port Angeles High School campus, but the number of students who enrolled in the college quickly became more than the available facilities could accommodate, and plans were soon underway to build a permanent campus elsewhere in the city. Construction of the new campus began in 1964, and a year later the first classes were held on the present site of Peninsula College, with additional classes offered all across the service district. Today, the main campus spreads out over 75 acres of land in the foothills of the Olympic Mountains, overlooking the city of Port Angeles and its busy, international harbor.
Since 2001, more than 79% of the college’s original structures have been remodeled or replaced with modern educational facilities. These include Maier Hall, an Arts and Humanities Building, completed in 2011; a Library/Media Center, completed in 2008; Keegan Hall, a new Science and Technology Building, completed in 2007; and a Longhouse, completed in 2007. The campus also has a remodeled Student Services Center; a Microsoft training center; computer labs; a lecture hall; an Educare Center for young children; an athletic complex with gymnasium, fitness center and soccer field; and a student union building, known as the Pirate Union Building or PUB. The PUB houses a theater, art gallery, food services, a bookstore, lounge area, Internet café, performance areas, and student government offices. Maier Hall is the largest building on campus, at 62,950 square feet. The intimate 130-seat performance hall is the centerpiece of the facility. Outfitted with the latest in sound and lighting equipment, it has been physically shaped to provide superb acoustics and ideal conditions for music, lectures, or poetry readings. Completely equipped art and ceramic studios and spacious music practice and rehearsal rooms allow students to completely explore all of the arts and discover their own talents. Rounding out the facility are classrooms, a Basic Skills Center, faculty offices, and a learning lab area that includes computer, math, English, and foreign language labs. The 56,000-square-foot Keegan Hall Science and Technology Building contains a lecture hall, 13 labs, five classrooms, faculty offices, and two conference rooms in two separate wings—a Science Wing and a Technology Wing. Situated between Maier Hall and Keegan Hall is a signature art and water sculpture that echoes the natural environment of the Olympic Peninsula. Seven of the most prominent mountain peaks in the Olympic Mountain range are recreated in aluminum and mounted on basalt columns situated in water pools. The Peninsula College Longhouse was the first longhouse in the nation built on a community college campus. The vision of a Longhouse as a center for cultural expression and educational achievement for all students and community members was collaboratively woven together by Peninsula College and the six local tribes: Hoh, Quileute, Makah, Port Gamble S’Klallam, Jamestown S’Klallam, and Lower Elwha Klallam. The 26,680-square-foot Library/Media Center is a central teaching-learning resource with a smart classroom, individual and group study areas, conference rooms, print and nonprint collections, and research workstations.
Forks Extension Site
The Forks Extension Site is located in Forks, Washington, 57 miles west of Port Angeles. The site is in a newly remodeled building that offers spacious classrooms, conference rooms and study areas. Educational offerings include academic, Basic Skills, English as a Second Language (ESL) and GED classes. Professional development seminars intended for local business and professional people are also offered. A fully equipped computer lab is available for instruction in computer applications. Distance-learning courses provide additional learning opportunities for residents. Students may also complete an Associate degree. A full range of student services is available.
East Jefferson County Site
Peninsula College has two locations in East Jefferson County—the main Extension Site in historic Fort Worden in Port Townsend, and a second site, the Jefferson Education Center, located in Port Hadlock. Basic Skills, English as a Second Language, GED classes, a variety of community education classes, and Professional Development and Business Training are offered. A full range of student services is available.
Peninsula College students have an impressive record of success in continued college studies and in careers. Reports from Washington State’s public universities consistently show students from the college often earn a group grade point average higher than the group GPA of students who began their college studies at those schools or who transferred there from other schools. Classes are small — usually no more than 35 students, and often fewer. Instructors are selected for their teaching abilities as well as their expertise in subject specialties.
Peninsula College offers a Bachelor’s in Management Degree designed to enable applicants with AAS, AAS-T, AA, and AS degrees to combine their lower-division technical or transfer preparation, regardless of the discipline, with upper-division credits in business management, resulting in a practical, application-oriented, four-year degree. It is designed with academic rigor, enabling graduates to apply directly to university MBA programs. A signature feature of the program is its required two quarters of internship. Students may participate in a single-site work experience spanning both quarters, or choose to gain experience and exposure in two different work settings. Internships may be in the private, public and/or tribal sectors. Students work in partnership with the internship instructor to develop the internship experience.
Arts & Sciences Transfer Education
Peninsula College awards eight associate degrees designed for transfer to baccalaureate institutions awarding the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degrees. They are the Associate in Arts, the Associate in Arts Honors, the Associate in Science, the Associate in Business Education, the Associate in Math Education, the Associate in General Science Education, the Associate in Biology Education, and the Associate in Elementary Education.
Professional & Technical Education
The Associate in Applied Science and the Associate in Applied Science–Transfer degrees are awarded to students completing an instructional program designed to prepare them for entry into a specific occupation. Professional and technical education programs in which associate degrees and/or certificates are offered include Addiction Studies, Administrative Office Systems, Advanced Manufacturing-Composites Technology, Automotive Technology, Business Administration, Commercial Driver’s License, Computer Applications Technology, Criminal Justice, Cyber-security and Computer Forensics, Early Childhood Education, Emergency Medical Technician, Energy and Innovation Entrepreneurship, Food Service Management, Green Building, Homeland Security/Emergency Management, Information Technology, Multimedia Communications, Medical Assistant, Nursing, Nursing Assistant Certificate, Water Quality Control, and Welding.
Student Demographics 2012-13
As an open-access institution, Peninsula College admits all persons, provided they are eighteen years of age or older; or are a high school graduate or equivalent; or have applied for admission under the provisions of a student enrollment options program such as Running Start, a successor program, or other local enrollment options program. During the 2012-2013 academic year, Peninsula College students had the following student profile:
- Full-time 40%
- Part-time 60%
- Female 58.5%
- Male 41.5%
- Median age 30.3%
- Students of color 17.4%
- Students with disabilities 5.6%
- Students who work while attending classes 29.3%
- Students with children 30.6%
- Peninsula College also had 143 international students from 15 countries.
Peninsula College men’s and women’s teams compete in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) in soccer and basketball and are a growing powerhouse. Home games are played in the Wally Sigmar Athletic complex, named for the college’s fifth president. The Men’s Soccer team is known for its eight straight trips to the playoffs, five Final Four appearances, five West Division championships, and a 2010 and 2012 NWAACC championship. The Women’s Soccer team repeated as West Division champions in 2012, and then went on to win the NWAACC championship, the first women’s sports title in Peninsula College history.
The college’s 2012-13 Women’s Basketball team had a record-breaking year, smashed scoring and assist records, and qualified for the playoffs for the second straight year. The Men's Basketball program has been at, or near, the top of the NWAACC basketball polls for three straight years: An NWAACC championship in 2011, fourth place finish in 2012 and another run at the playoffs in 2013.
Peninsula College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) to award associate and applied baccalaureate degrees. The NWCCU is one of six regional organizations recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education to accredit qualified institutions of higher education in the seven-state region that includes Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. Peninsula College is approved by the Veterans Administration for attendance by veterans under Public Laws 550 and 894.
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