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Oregon Coast Community College (OCCC) is a community college in Oregonmarker, serving students in Lincoln Countymarker. Located in Newportmarker, OCCC has approximately 3,000 students and a faculty of 45 people. Of the 17 community colleges in Oregon, only Klamath Community Collegemarker is younger, and only Tillamook Bay Community College has fewer students.

OCCC offers the only Aquarium Science Program in the United Statesmarker. The classes are taught at the nearby Hatfield Marine Science Centermarker, but a special building on the college's campus to teach this curriculum in is currently in the planning stages.


OCCC held its first classes in 1987, meeting in whatever spare space the staff could find. "You could be teaching in a church basement, fire station, real estate office," college president Patrick O'Connor recalled. The following year, OCCC found a permanent home in a building formerly known as "Jake's High Tide Bar".

In 2004, local voters approved a $23.5 million bond levy, which is being used to build three buildings between Newport and Waldportmarker. According to president O'Connor, the three buildings are necessary due to Lincoln County's size and weather can make driving treacherous during the winter months.

Aquarium Science Program

Oregon Coast Community College offers a degree program in aquarium science, and is the only college in the United States to do so. They have two programs, one in which to obtain an associates degree and a one year certification for those with a bachelor's degree or higher in life science. Applicants must apply early and are interviewed by several aquarist and biologists as there are a total of 22 spots available. Classes offered range from Biology of Captive Fish and Aquatic Animal Health Management to a scuba diving course. Both those studying for their associates degree or one-year certification end with an internship at a public aquarium, zoo, fish hatchery or marine laboratory. It is run by Bruce Koike who started the program with help from Sea Grant.

See also


  1. Lori Tobias, "The little college that could", The Oregonian 20 August 2006, B6.

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