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About Community & Technical Colleges in Washington

students in front of campus building

Washington's two-year public colleges offer a wide range of choices and a lot of flexibility. Classes help students prepare to transfer to a university, get job training, gain basic skills, learn English, and pursue continuing education.

Why a Community or Technical College?

  • Smaller class sizes
  • A less expensive option than four-year universities
  • Faculty is hired to teach, not conduct research
  • Diversity of ages, cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds
  • Flexible options include evening, weekend, online and hybrid classes
  • Convenient and close to home

Our Mission

  • An open door to learners
  • Local access to higher education
  • Job training and education
  • Adult basic skills and literacy education

Did You Know?

  • There are 34 public community and technical colleges in Washington state.
  • These two-year public colleges serve nearly 500,000 students each year—equal to 60 percent of all students enrolled in public higher education.
  • The three core missions of two-year colleges are: workforce training; literacy education; and transfer preparation to four-year institutions.
  • 41% of all four-year college and university graduates began their studies at one of our community colleges.
  • Of all new high school graduates in Washington: 37% enroll at a community college; 5% do so after waiting one or two years; 5% first attend a university and then transfer back to a two-year college within a year or two of high school graduation.


The community and technical colleges of Washington are public, state-supported institutions. They are accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. Each college may hold additional accreditation by other professional accrediting bodies.

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