The true caveat lies in our distinction. With so many colleges to choose from, what makes our institution stand out?

Prince George’s Community College opened its doors in 1958 with an ambitious mission: to make higher education and economic mobility accessible for all who desired to learn, including individuals who had historically been left out of the narrative. Our institution was founded on the principle that everyone carries value regardless of their background and has something important to contribute to society.
Fast forward to today, and Prince George’s Community College’s mission endures, with thousands of students and counting who have experienced the transformative power of higher education at PGCC. Higher education is a national unifier. It opens doors, dismantles barriers, and changes trajectories —revealing the limitless potential we have to better ourselves and the world around us.
Community colleges serve as democracy’s engine, providing pathways for students to advance and contributing to the pipeline of talent that fortifies our today and tomorrow. Maryland community colleges serve the greatest percentage of resident undergraduate students (51%), significantly outpacing four-year (44%) and independent institutions (5%). In fall 2020, Prince George’s Community College served 53% of part-time undergraduates and 29% of first- time, full-time freshmen residing in the county and attending college in Maryland (PAR, 2021).
We are unequivocally a first choice for many students and families, not a back-up plan. Maryland community colleges play a crucial role in fulfilling a public good, which became even more pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 continues to exacerbate the challenges with which higher education grapples —from economic stressors, to systemic inequity, to the digital divide. This season of upheaval has given rise to rumblings about whether the value of higher education still holds.
Although the landscape has shifted, the value of higher education is more apparent than ever—and community colleges have the data to prove we are at the forefront of the next exciting iteration of the industry. According to a recent study based on FY 2018–19 data, for every dollar invested in their education at PGCC, students gained $3.70 in lifetime earnings, amounting to an average annual rate of return on investment of 18.5% (EMSI, 2021).
Median Quarterly Wages for 2012–2013 Community College Graduates compared to the Living Wage
PGCC Graduates All MD Community College Graduates Prince George’s County Living Wage Maryland Living Wage
$12,580 $10,967 $8,759 $7,841
Source: Associates Report College Supplement April 2020, MLDS
It is well known that community college students graduate with significantly lower debt. What is even more promising is the fact that a community college education is a catalyst for careers, improved quality of life, and advancement.
This was the case before the COVID-19 pandemic, and it will be after we settle into learning to live beyond the crisis. In order for individuals to have a viable, sustainable skillset that positions them above the livable wage, they must have a post-secondary education, and community colleges make that possible for broad segments of the population.
The Maryland Longitudinal Data System (MLDS) examines the median quarterly wages of the state’s community college graduates who were employed by Maryland-based employers five years after graduation Using the state’s living wage as a benchmark, the data show strongly positive job market outcomes for community college graduates.
Furthermore, the median wages for PGCC graduates in the analysis were significantly higher than the living wage in the state and county. The true caveat lies in our distinction. With so many colleges to choose from, what makes our institution stand out?
Prince George’s Community College offers more than 200 academic and career training programs. Our 150-acre campus in Largo, Maryland, alongside our five extension centers, positions students to thrive. We give second and third chances to individuals who seek to explore new professions and improve their outcomes. Our campus welcomes a diverse makeup of students, ranging from students who take college classes while still in high-school—a population that more than doubled from fall 2016 to fall 2021—to recent high school graduates to adult learners.
We are a minority-majority institution, with a student population that closely mirrors the demographics of our service area, and we carry a proud legacy of lifting as we climb. For our College community, identity is intertwined with our core commitments: students first, achievement, continuous improvement, empathy, equity, and integrity. These values serve as anchors, reminding us of our charge to be role models not only as academics, but also as human beings.
Prince George’s Community College provides students with equal measures of structure and flexibility to pursue an education on their terms. We realize there is not one definition of success or a single pathway that constitutes progress. As they continue to navigate these dynamic times, our students are empowered to write their own stories, regardless of whether they align with traditional narratives. Our students remind us that the high school-college-career trajectory is abundantly rich and diverse between the lines.
In order to create a viable future for our county, state, and region, economic mobility must be accessible to all. As part of Prince George’s Community College’s mission, we hold ourselves accountable for creating optimal conditions for learning. We realize this can only be accomplished through robust partnerships across sectors. Our growing partnerships have positioned us to be the forward-thinking partner of choice for employers in the county and region.
Prince George’s Community College seeks to become a national leader in student outcomes and post-graduation success. Like those who paved the way for us, we have an unwavering commitment to step confidently into our untapped potential by reifying our purpose. From humble beginnings, we have become a true north for countless individuals in our county, state, and region—and we are just getting started. In an increasingly changeable landscape, our vision remains fixed, poised to lead even more to shore.
PGCC student population by race/ethnicity compared to Prince George’s County residents
  Credit Students (FY 2021) Continuing Ed Students (FY 2021) County Population (2020 Census)
African American/Black 66.5% 51.2% 59.1%
American Indian/Alaskan Native  0.3%  0.6%  0.2% 
Asian  4.1%  2.4%  4.3% 
Hawaii Native/Pacific Islander  0.1%  0.2%  0.0% 
Hispanic/Latino 14.7%  23.5%  21.2% 
Multiple Races 3.6%  2.0%  3.2% 
White 3.7%  8.1%  11.3% 
Unknown/Not Reported/Other Race 7.0%  12.0%  0.6% 
Source: PGCC internal data and 2020 Census

*The Prince George's Community College 2022-2025 Strategic Plan reflects data, information, and personnel as of the May 2022 publishing date.