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Seattle Central College is located on Capitol Hill, a vibrant neighborhood that reflects the diversity
and activity of the city. The campus is minutes from downtown Seattle and accessible from every part of the city
via public transportation.
Seattle Central is an educational home for its students, who come from all backgrounds and cultures, and from more
than 50 countries around the world. Seattle Central was recently included in a New York Times
“Education Life” article that featured ten top transfer programs across the nation.
The college has also received national recognition for its innovative student services and academic programs.
Its team-taught, multi-disciplinary Coordinated Studies curriculum was among the country’s first at a
two-year college, and is the longest continually running program of learning communities. The college’s
30 workforce education programs range from Apparel Design to Wood Construction and include the renowned
Seattle Culinary Academy. Seattle Central is also among the first colleges in the state to offer a
baccalaureate degree, with a new Bachelor of Applied Behavioral Science degree.
The campus continues to expand in its urban neighborhood and beyond. The college recently opened a landmark Science
and Math Building and a Creative Arts Academy for students in the Graphic Arts, Photography and Publishing Arts
programs. In the next few years, the college plans to add a $26 million facility at its Wood Technology Center
and an $18 million project at the Seattle Maritime Academy on the Lake Washington Ship Canal.
Located in a residential neighborhood five miles north of downtown, the North Seattle College campus
includes environmentally sensitive wetlands which have inspired a college-wide commitment to sustainability.
North is the starting point for many students who complete their bachelor’s degrees at top universities across
the country, including Dartmouth, Penn State and University of California at Berkeley. Strong academic preparation,
small classes, an innovative integrated studies program, broad e-Learning options and a variety of partnerships with
four-year schools facilitate transfer and support student success. North consistently ranks among the highest
community colleges in number of transfers accepted at UW Seattle, and graduates fare as well as or better than
other transfers or students who started at UW as freshmen.
North also provides outstanding career training in more than 50 certificate and degree programs, many in emerging
fields such as Nanotechnology, Anesthesia Technical Services, and Green Real Estate. In response to the growing
demand for healthcare workers, North has expanded access to training and opportunities for advancement,
incorporating the I-BEST teaching model, which helps students develop literacy, basic skills and workplace skills
at the same time. The college partners with hospitals, non-profits, and trade and labor organizations to present
programs on and off-campus. North has also been selected for “Military-Friendly School” designation
by GI Jobs Magazine for two years in a row.
South Seattle College overlooks downtown Seattle and Elliott Bay from an 87-acre wooded campus in
West Seattle. The college is distinguished by its innovative professional-technical programs, a new University Center,
and one of the state’s first four-year degree programs.
South’s Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degree in Hospitality Management is the only one of its kind in
Western Washington, preparing students for management-level positions or enhancing their career skills.
The Northwest Wine Academy features an on-campus winery where students consistently produce award-winning vintages.
The main campus features a six-acre Arboretum used by Landscape Horticulture students and adjacent to the landmark
Seattle Chinese Garden. The Georgetown Campus houses the Apprenticeship & Education Center, Puget Sound
Industrial Excellence Center, and the Labor Education & Research Center.
The college is a leader in instructional innovation: South pioneered the I-BEST curriculum, which incorporates
English skills development into course content, an approach that has been widely adopted across the country.
In 2008, South was awarded a $2.4 million federal grant to support student retention and success, with a special
focus on Asian-American and Pacific Islander students. In Fall 2010, the college competed successfully for a
five-year $2 million Strengthening Institutions grant from the U.S. Department of Education, involving strategies
to help students achieve the 45-credit benchmark that is a strong indicator of graduation.
Seattle Vocational Institute, located in the city’s Central District, is a division of Seattle Central
College and collaborates with all the colleges in the district as well as with business, labor,
government and community-based organizations.
SVI has developed the area’s largest delivery system for short-term workforce training and education
leading directly to employment. The training center is focused on providing its diverse student body,
primarily adults, with –
Every year, more than 1,400 students are enrolled in the Business Computer, Medical, Dental, Cosmetology,
and Multiple Trades programs. SVI also offers English as a Second Language, Adult Basic Education, and
GED preparation. Special programs assist students with the basic skills necessary to begin training,
attain an education and become employed.
Green for the 21st Century in Seattle
Innovations in curriculum and operations have earned the 2009 Green Washington Award for the Seattle Colleges
– Central, North and South. All three colleges are active members of the Seattle Climate Partnership and North was an
early signer of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. A district-wide Chancellor’s
Sustainability Initiative provides energy, focus and a forum for emerging training and initiatives.
Sustainability is infused into programs ranging from urban agriculture at Central to environmental science,
real estate and building management across the district. Students have funded a sustainability coordinator.
Campus activities include reducing the carbon footprint and promoting recycling and energy conservation, which earned
a “Recycler of the Year” award for South. Last year, the college culinary operations diverted 31 tons of
materials to a regional composting facility – which returned the compost to “green” the college landscape.
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Helping displaced workers to
‘Start Next Quarter’
During the economic downturn, thousands of displaced workers turned to the Seattle Colleges at the same
time regional employers reported a need for skilled workers to fill jobs in the new economy. To help both potential
workers and employers, the Seattle Colleges developed Start Next Quarter (SNQ), a two-part initiative
designed to improve the success of dislocated workers who enroll in technical education programs. SNQ invites
prospective students to assess their eligibility for workforce funding online and connects them to a comprehensive
two-day college success workshop held at each campus. The workshops are based on a model developed at one of the
district campuses. Students who complete the workshop are more likely to complete their training programs and to
obtain jobs using their new skills. The project was developed in part through a grant from the League for Innovation,
funded by the Walmart Foundation Bright Futures project to serve displaced workers.
A Model for the Region
The Opportunity Center for Employment and Education at North Seattle College is a regional resource and
the first integrated service center of its kind in Washington state. Since the OCE&E opened its doors in spring 2011,
more than 40,000 people have come for one-stop help in finding a new job, career retraining or to sign up for public
assistance benefits. Founding partners were the state Departments of Social and Health Services and Employment
Security, the college, and the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County. The campus and the new LEED
Gold Certified 45,000-square foot facility are in the heart of Seattle’s north end and close to a major transit hub.
House Speaker Frank Chopp and Rep. Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney (sponsor of the legislation and a former Seattle District trustee)
championed the OCE&E in the state legislature. The center aims to provide streamlined services in a positive environment,
helping clients succeed in the next stage of their lives.