Carrington College Portland Campus is no longer excepting new enrollments
What do you get when you combine a modern, dynamic learning facility with a vibrant shopping mall? The answer is the very uniquely situated Carrington College Portland campus…
Located in the Lloyd Center in central Portland, OR, this campus proves that college can be different; once you tear yourself away from the countless stores and restaurants, you step through the doors to discover 50,000 square feet of modern learning space.
Leslie Gonzalez, Executive Director of the campus, was kind enough to spend some time with us to share her thoughts on this unique college campus location.
“The really great thing about our campus is that students, faculty and staff have access to all of the conveniences that surround us. In addition to all the usual stores and food courts that you’ll find in any mall, we also have grocery stores, banks, restaurants, and a post office. We all have really busy lives, so having these conveniences literally on our doorstep makes life easier for everyone.”
Home to about 325 students and about 40 experienced, dedicated faculty members, the Carrington College Portland campus offers 7 allied health programs. Alongside the Dental Hygiene associate degree program, the campus also offers certificate programs in Dental Assisting, Medical Assisting, Medical Billing and Coding, Pharmacy Technology, Practical Nursing and Veterinary Assisting.
“Dental Hygiene is our most popular program, followed by Nursing and Medical Assisting. A lot of students start looking at the Practical Nursing program only to discover that it may be a little too rigorous for them at that point in their lives. Many of them tend to start in Medical Assisting, then work their way into a career before they come back to the Nursing program later. Medical Assisting is really a great starting point for a lot of students; it’s traditionally a very big, very popular program.”
Leslie is excited for the future of the Portland campus, and is particularly pleased with new staff and faculty members who have joined this year.
“We have some wonderful new team members who have come on board this year. Lori Hules, our new Medical Billing & Coding Program Director, is a great example; Lori came to us from the Albuquerque campus in February, and she’s getting some exciting things going for the MBC program.”
The main campus area on the third floor is home to five core programs, while the Practical Nursing program is housed in a different section on the third floor; the Dental Hygiene program has its own separate clinic on the first floor.
“Our campus is actually spread throughout the mall – we have 5 separate locations on the first and third floors, including some great new facilities that we recently opened. We’ve added new classrooms and two computer lab/lecture classrooms built specifically for the Foundations of Achievement classes for the new CR-12 curriculum. Students from all programs will start in a Foundations class designed to set them up for success, before they branch out into their core program classes.”
Another recent addition to the campus is the 20,000 square foot Dental Hygiene clinic that has both classroom space and a clinic with 24 stations. Each student in the program can be at a dental chair with a patient, supervised by practicing dentists as well as their dental faculty members. The Dental Hygiene program is at capacity currently, which shows just how popular the facilities are with students.
“The dental clinic is open to the public 35 hours a week, offering complementary dental cleanings and other services, including x-rays and that kind of thing. It’s great for members of the community who may be under-served in their dental needs; they come in for help that they might not otherwise get.”
The Dental Hygiene clinic is only part of the community service work that makes Carrington College a valued part of the Portland community. In addition to the bi-annual blood drives that most, if not all, Carrington campuses participate in, each program gets involved in the community wherever and whenever it can. But beyond the health checks, dental and veterinary services that students provide at local events, the campus tries to involve itself in other broader civic programs… as Leslie explains.
“A couple of recent initiatives come to mind; first was the provision of care bags for the homeless in our area. We put together bags including fresh socks, toiletries, food, water and so on, and went out into the community passing them out to those in need.
You probably know that Portland is a very ‘green’ city in both senses of the word, it’s very progressive with green initiatives and we jump on board with those whenever we can. We recently participated in a tree planting exercise; we literally went out and dug holes, planting trees around the community.”
Campus events are always fun in Portland; for example to celebrate the recent Independence Day Holiday they organized a ‘Red, White and Blue Pancake Feed’ for the students. Faculty and staff took shifts cooking pancakes on griddles, and students came for breakfast and dinner! Whipped cream, blueberries and strawberries kept the patriotic color theme on track!
But while it’s important to have some fun, the campus staff and faculty never forget that helping their students achieve success is paramount. One recent event was an example of the innovative thinking you’ll find in Portland; combining a career event for recent graduates with field practice for students.
“We recently hosted a Medical Assisting Career Fair for MA graduates; it was a really fun event that combined a recruitment opportunity with childcare services and pediatric health checks. MA graduates could make career contacts with the numerous local employers that attended the fair without worrying about childcare, knowing that their children were being cared for. At the same time our MA and Nursing students got to practice their pediatric skills by performing simple health checks, including blood pressure tests, height and weight measurements, things like that.”
Access to the campus is excellent for all students, both those with and without their own transportation. For students who don’t have a car, the campus falls within TriMet’s Free Rail Zone so students can travel at no cost on the light rail (the MAX Line) that goes right to the mall. For those driving from further away, the campus is close to both I-5 and I-84, and as you’d expect at a mall there’s plenty of free parking!
Leslie moved to Portland earlier this year from our Reno campus, which she helped to open in 2009; she’s excited about her new challenge and what lies ahead for this dynamic campus.
“We’re really working hard to improve student satisfaction across the board. We’re making lots of great facility and process improvements, and we have lots of new team members on board. It’s a really fun time to be part of this campus for students, faculty and staff alike.”
For comprehensive consumer information on our programs, please visit carrington.edu/schools/portland-oregon/
Program availability varies by location.