Five things I wish I knew when I first arrived at Pierce

Five tips for students on what they need to know about Pierce.



Mackenzie Hendricks


Nearing the end of my final quarter at Pierce College, I have learned a few lessons that could have benefited me at entry. Below are five tips that I wish I knew when I first stepped foot onto the Pierce College campus:


1. Never take a noon class. Although the Office of Student Life offers a wide range of events, most of the events for day time students occur at noon. Apart from the Welcome Days, most events are only an hour long and are at noon.

If you are sitting in class, you are likely to miss out on free food, entertainment or information that supports student success.


2. Check their references. is your best friend, but like any best friend, it isn’t infallible. The website is a nationwide database of colleges and their employed instructors and is the largest online resource for professor ratings. Students can use the website to read reviews on professors before registration to ensure the professor suits their learning style.

Although one must err on the side of caution when reading reviews, as not all are accurate, it’s an essential tool when trying to decide during registration between multiple names with no faces.


3. Registration gets easier. When one first comes to Pierce, excluding some transfer students, signing up for courses can be disastrous. As a student with the least amount of college credits, one is the last to select classes and is likely to end up with none of the predetermined classes.

This, of course, is to enable those students who are nearing the end of their time at Pierce to enlist in the classes they must take to graduate.

As a first-year student, this process can be discouraging and nerve-racking. However, by the time the second year rolls around anxiety lessens and registration becomes a breeze. Don’t panic now about taking all of the needed courses; it becomes a whole lot easier as the quarters go by.


4. If you need to be added into a class, there is always Chris Vanneson. Chris Vanneson is a history instructor at Pierce College Puyallup, and he teaches a wide range of topics within that discipline. No matter the size of his classroom, it’s rare for him to turn down a student in distress.

When a student approaches him to be permitted to join the class, Vanneson will turn to the classroom and ask the class members if they agree to let the student into the class. In most cases, the answer is unanimous and the student receives a signature on their add/drop form without any other questions asked.

For any student unexpectedly needing five more credits, Vanneson is the best bet.


5. Parking doesn’t need to be a disaster. During a student’s first quarter, trying to make it to class everyday can prove challenging. This can be solved if one ensures that they leave early enough to prevent panic and if one follows a few basic guidelines. First, rarely attempt to park in the College Center parking lot between 10 a.m. to noon. The best way for a day student to find a spot is the CTR parking lot is to come around 8 a.m.

Second, get accustomed to being stalked in the parking lot, but don’t let it intimidate or impair one’s driving. If someone is walking out toward their car, it’s expected that they will be followed incessantly. Third, when in doubt there is always room in the outreaches of the AAH and LBS parking lots, just be prepared for a long walk.

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Five things I wish I knew when I first arrived at Pierce

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