At its meeting March 13, 2014, the Seattle Community Colleges District Board of Trustees voted unanimously to change the name of the District to Seattle Colleges and to change the names of the colleges to North Seattle College, Seattle Central College, and South Seattle College.
The decision came after a year-long exploration of national and statewide trends; opinion surveys of students, employees and community partners; and consultation with business and civic leaders and representatives from Seattle Public Schools. I truly appreciate the feedback we received from throughout our community.
All three of the District’s colleges offer bachelor’s degrees now. These Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) degree programs provide the third and fourth year of college work for people who have completed a two-year technical degree. Previously the two-year technical degrees were considered “terminal degrees” with no next educational step.
I believe this will inspire prospective students to reach higher than they thought possible. With the same open admissions policies and the same low tuition, local students can start at a local college that can eventually take them all the way to a bachelor’s degree.
Changing the colleges’ names will signal that we are part of the baccalaureate level program and is a move to “raise the ceiling” for all our students.
This is a name change, not a mission change. In making its decision, the Board reinforced its commitment to our mission: The Seattle Colleges will provide excellent, accessible educational opportunities to prepare our students for a challenging future. Albert Shen, Board Chair, said, “We believe that meeting that ‘challenging future’ means the colleges must continue to take new approaches and offer new pathways to access and completion.”
We will continue to serve 50,000 students:
from basic skills through bachelor’s degrees
in career programs and in transfer programs
with support services geared to help them succeed
We expect the name changes to be fully implemented by September, in time for the start of Fall Quarter.
I’m excited about continuing to build our reputation as outstanding colleges dedicated to meeting the needs of our community.