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April 14, 2016

Trustees appoint new Seattle Colleges Chancellor

Photo: Dr. Shouan Pan

Dr. Shouan Pan has been selected as the new chancellor for Seattle Colleges by the Board of Trustees. Pan is replacing Chancellor Jill Wakefield, who is retiring June 30 after 40 years with Seattle Colleges. Wakefield was appointed in 2009, becoming the district’s first female in that position. When she retires she will be the longest-serving chancellor in the district’s history.

Pan comes from Mesa Community College in Mesa, Ariz., where he currently serves as president.

Photo: Dr. Shouan Pan

February 23, 2016

Finalists Announced

Finalists Announced

The Board of Trustees has announced the finalists in its search for a new Seattle Colleges chancellor. They are, in alphabetical order:

  • Gale Gibson Gayle, President of Essex County College, New Jersey
  • Mark Mitsui, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Colleges, U.S. Department of Education
  • Shouan Pan, President of Mesa Community College, Arizona

For more information about the finalists, please refer to the biographies submitted by the candidates.

In the coming weeks, finalists will participate in open forums at Seattle Central College, North Seattle College, South Seattle College, and Siegal Center. The dates and times will be announced once arrangements have been finalized. The trustees will then interview each candidate and narrow the list based on the interviews and forums. They may conduct campus visits before selecting the top candidate in April.

The board wishes to acknowledge the Search Advisory Committee members for their diligence and dedication. For more information on the search process, please visit Chancellor Search.

December 11, 2015

Accepting Applications

Accepting Applications

The Board of Trustees announced that the search is underway for the next chancellor of Seattle Colleges.

Applications and nominations for the position of chancellor are currently being accepted until the position is filled.

The target date for applications is Friday, January 22, 2016. Visit the search website for information and updates.

September 25, 2015


Offering our Care and Support

Offering our Care and Support

As you have likely heard or seen, a charter bus carrying approximately 45 international students and staff from North Seattle College was involved in a collision with a "Ride the Ducks" vehicle on Thursday, September 24. It was a horrific accident, with multiple injuries and several deaths.
We share North’s priority of ensuring the safety and well-being of students and employees affected and providing support to their families.   
I want to commend President Warren Brown and his team for their leadership and commitment in caring for the students, families, and faculty and staff at North.
Counselors and faith-based professionals will be on hand. Also, blood donations for the victims are being solicited by Bloodworks. For information, visit
Again, our thoughts and prayers are with our family at North.


For updates, visit North Seattle College news.

August 12, 2015


Chancellor announces retirement, goals for final academic year

After 40 years with Seattle Colleges, Chancellor Jill Wakefield has announced her retirement, effective June 2016. She was appointed chancellor in 2009 and is the longest-serving chancellor in the district’s history.

Dr. Wakefield’s focus in her final year includes:

  • Getting more students to the finish line by improving recruitment, retention, and completion.
  • Meeting workforce training needs in high-demand areas.
  • Continuing to offer high-demand, high-quality transfer programs with clear pathways to universities.
  • Establishing sustainable public and private funding sources.
  • Ensuring the new Health Education Center in Pacific Tower is fully operational.

Read More

July 24, 2015


Free tuition puts American dream within reach

Photo: Chancellor Jill Wakefield, Seattle Colleges

The pathway to the American dream is changing. These days, people need to work hard, play by the rules and pursue a lifelong education. For many Washingtonians, the access to lifelong education starts at the state’s community and technical colleges.

Congress recently introduced legislation that would widen the path to the American dream and lifelong education. Modeled along the lines of President Obama’s America’s College Promise proposal, the legislation would reduce financial barriers and send a clear and definitive message that college attendance should be as universal as high school.

Read more in The Seattle Times op-ed I co-authored with Marty Brown, executive director of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. I hope you’ll share it with your network, and that you’ll contact your representatives and senators in Washington, DC, and urge support for America’s College Promise legislation.

Photo: Chancellor Jill Wakefield, Seattle Colleges

June 29, 2015


UW Vice Provost Named Interim President at Seattle Central College

Photo: Dr. Sheila Edwards Lange

Dr. Sheila Edwards Lange has been appointed interim president of Seattle Central College, effective Monday, August 17.

“Dr. Edwards Lange’s skills, experience, and dedication make her a perfect match for Seattle Central,” says Chancellor Jill Wakefield. “She is committed to students and to ensuring their success. This is in complete alignment with our mission and values.”

Edwards Lange currently serves as vice president for Minority Affairs and vice provost for Diversity at the University of Washington (UW). She is responsible for increasing diversity at the UW and working with senior leadership to improve the campus climate and retention of diverse students, faculty, and staff. She has managed student services and academic programs and led institutional transformation initiatives, community relations, and fundraising related to diversity. She also teaches as an adjunct faculty member at the UW Evans School of Public Affairs.

Under Edwards Lange’s leadership, the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity team has made a difference in how the UW serves first-generation, low-income, and underserved students. She has shifted the university’s focus from beyond just access to both access and success and has broadened the participation of underrepresented students in science, technology, engineering, and math through community partners and collaborators. As a result of her work leading the strategic plan for diversity, the entire university community is now engaged in the work of making the campus more inclusive and welcoming for students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds.

Prior to joining the UW, Edwards Lange worked for Seattle Colleges at the district office in Education and Planning and at North Seattle College. “Seattle Colleges is uniquely positioned to influence the economic and social well-being for thousands of families in our region. I am honored to be part of the leadership team that builds upon the tradition of excellence at Seattle Central,” she says. 

Edwards Lange has held positions in academic and student services at the University of California, Irvine; Western Washington University; and the University of Washington. She has served on a number of national, state, and local committees and boards to advance equity and inclusion in higher education.

Edwards Lange received her doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies and her master’s in public administration from the University of Washington, and she received her bachelor’s in social ecology from the University of California, Irvine.

Photo: Dr. Sheila Edwards Lange

May 28, 2015


Executives of fast-growing tech businesses discuss ways academia can support the local industry

Executives of fast-growing tech businesses discuss ways academia can support the local industry

The growth in Seattle’s technology industry has created an ongoing demand for highly-skilled and collaborative employees. At a recent meeting, Seattle Colleges hosted an industry panel that focused on how our graduates can be best prepared for a future in tech and how our colleges can deepen ties with local employers.

The panel included representatives from three of the fastest-growing tech businesses in the Seattle area: Dawn Clark, vice president at Expedia, Dave Cotter, entrepreneur and director of technology at Zulily, and Nika Kabiri, director of consumer insights at Avvo. It was moderated by Keela Robison, former CEO of Urbanspoon.

Top takeaways from the panel:

  • There is an unprecedented demand for software engineers – a great opportunity for our students.
  • The ability for future employees to work effectively with cross-disciplinary teams is key to their success.
  • Online mini courses are gaining traction over theory-based courses.
  • General awareness is low among tech professionals about community college class options and their affordability.

The panel also gave suggestions on how students can make their résumés stand out.

Thanks to Keela Robison for summarizing the session in her blog posts, Skills Required for College Students to Get a Job in Tech and Collaboration Opportunities Between Colleges and the Tech Industry. And thanks to all the panelists for their time and participation. We look forward to working with them, and to our students working for their companies.

May 15, 2015

South Seattle College student honored as one of the country's top scholars

Photo: David Yama, South Seattle College student

Congratulations to David Patrick Yama for being named to the All-Academic USA Team by the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, an international honors organization for community college students. He is the first student in South Seattle College's history to receive this honor.

In addition, Yama received the society’s David R. Pierce Scholarship, established in honor of its former board vice chair and former chair of the American Association of Community Colleges.

Yamawho returned to school in his late 20s to get his GEDwill graduate from South in June. He will transfer to the University of Washington, where he currently volunteers in a research lab each week. He plans to get a doctorate in bioengineering and work as a researcher and professor.

Learn more in The Seattle Times and USA Today.

Photo: David Yama, South Seattle College student

February 9, 2015

We Have a Dream

We Have a Dream

Dreams realized and dreams to be fulfilled were the focus of Seattle Colleges’ 42nd Community Celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. at Mount Zion Baptist Church. Renowned artist and writer Barbara Earl Thomas headlined the program, which also included Seattle Colleges Chancellor Jill Wakefield, Rev. Aaron Williams, Congressman Adam Smith, King County Executive Dow Constantine, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and emcee Tonya Mosley sharing their dreams onstage.

View and download posed portraits and candid photos, and watch the entire program.

Chancellor Wakefield spoke about President Obama’s proposal to make two years of community college free. She said, “What better way is there to achieve social and economic equity than to make higher education available to all by eliminating the funding barrier? By 2018, two-thirds of all jobs will require some college. This vision allows everyone who lives here to access a better life for themselves and their families.”

South Seattle College President Gary Oertli presented the Rev. Samuel McKinney Scholarship to Makayla Ross. She is a student in the Pastry and Baking Arts program who plans to get her bachelor’s degree in Hospitality from South and open her own bakery.

Fifth-grade students from John Stanford International School inspired the audience with poetry about their dreams, and DaNell Daymon and Greater Works further enlivened the crowd with their rousing music. The program closed as it has for many years: Rev. McKinney leading all gathered in singing, We Shall Overcome.

Make plans now to join us on Friday, January 15, 2016, for our 43rd Community Celebration of Dr. King.

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