School and Ranking Information
Only three public schools within 15 miles of Portland offer programs for studying Web design: Portland Community College (PCC), Clark College and Clackamas Community College. None of these schools are nationally ranked; however, all of these schools offer both certificate and associate degree programs in the Web design field. We ranked them as follows, based on the number of recent degrees and certificates they awarded in Web design, their locations and their graduation rates.
- Winner: Portland Community College is the only one of these schools located within Portland's city limits, and it offers three certificate programs at various levels that lead to its associate degree curricula. It awarded the most degrees and certificates in Web design of these three schools in 2011-2012, by far.
- Runner-Up #1: Clark College has a higher graduation rate than the other schools and offers two similar but distinct associate-level programs within the Web design field. Despite Clark's location in Vancouver, WA, students from Portland can pay in-state tuition rates through a waiver program.
- Runner-Up #2: Clackamas Community College, located the farthest of the three schools from downtown Portland, has programs designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in Web design.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||Portland Community College||Clark College||Clackamas Community College|
|Location||Portland, OR||Vancouver, WA (8.5 miles from Portland)||Oregon City, OR (17.7 miles from Portland)|
|School Type||2-year, public||2-year, public||2-year, public|
|Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)|| $3,232 (in-state),
| $3,650 (in-state),
| $3,908 (in-state),
|Web Design Program Levels Offered||Certificates; associate degree||Certificate; associate degrees||Certificate; associate degree|
|Web Design Degrees and Certificates Awarded in 2011-2012||42*||1*||2*|
|Most Popular Web Design Degrees and Certificates (2011-2012)||Associate's degree (22 awarded)*||Certificate (1 awarded)*||Certificate (2 awarded)*|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time) for 2008 Entering Class||14% (22% transfer-out rate)*||28% (17% transfer-out rate)*||14% (35% transfer-out rate)*|
|Noteworthy||'Stepping stone' program helps students earn certificate credentials while progressing to an associate's degree||Associate degree program includes real client project work and the development of a work portfolio||Both certificate and associate degree Web design programs utilize the Cooperative Work Experience, which provides students with observed real-world employment|
Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
Winner: Portland Community College
- Students participate in cooperative education projects while within the program
- Students can choose electives from areas such as Web video, Java programming, Visual Basic programming and Web graphics
PCC's computer applications and office systems department offers a 95-credit associate degree program in website development and design, as well as three certificates at the Cascade, Sylvania and Rock Creek campuses. Students participating in these programs take increasingly intensive classes in the latest authoring and Web design tools, and they ultimately gain the foundation for building professional websites. The classes are hands-on, and students gain real-world experience through cooperative education projects. The associate degree program includes courses in Web development, Web page scripting, software design and multimedia design, as well as a capstone.
Runner-Up #1: Clark College
- The program offers students hands-on training in computer graphics software
- Students living in Oregon border counties, including Portland's Multnomah county, may participate in a tuition waiver program to pay the same rates as WA resident students
- Student-faculty ratio is 18:1, according to the NCES
Clark College has three options for Web design within its computer graphics technology department. The 66-credit certificate program in Web design includes courses in fine art foundations, computer graphics technology, graphic design and Web design. The Associate in Applied Technology programs include between 95 and 99 credits in Web development and both Web and graphic design. The Web design and development associate degree program is geared toward grooming students for professional practice in the Web design field, while the Web and graphic design program is geared more toward visual communications. Web design courses include HTML fundamentals, user experience design, social media exploration and emerging Web technologies. In addition to courses, students complete a capstone practicum or professional practices course.
Runner-Up #2: Clackamas Community College
- The capstone course for the degree involves creating a professional website or conducting research in emerging Web technologies
- Student-faculty ratio is 20:1, according to the NCES
Clackamas Community College's (CCC) Web design specialist certificate program requires 51-53 credits (four terms) of coursework that emphasizes computer graphics and design, with a concentration on the latest industry standards. Other required classes in this interdisciplinary program include computer science, math, English, computer graphics and networking. For students looking to put in more time (95-96 credit hours; seven terms) to earn a Web design and development specialist associate degree, CCC offers a more rigorous program with advanced computer graphics, programming and development classes. Graduates are equipped for entry-level positions involving Web and graphic design, programming and Web development.