Seattle Central North Seattle South Seattle Seattle Vocational Seattle Colleges

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.

January 3, 2015

Seattle Colleges host 42nd Community Celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.

Photo: Keynote speaker Barbara Earl Thomas, artist and writer

In a sweltering 1963 August heat, the Dreamer inspired us.

More than 45 years later, Barack Obama became the nation’s first African-American president. For some, the dream was realized. For others, the dream is still unfulfilled.

Join us to celebrate the Dreamer and the dreamer in us all. The program is free and open to the public.


The program is from noon to 1:30 pm at Mount Zion Baptist Church, 1634 19th Avenue, Seattle. Doors open at 11 am. Please email if you need seating for people with special needs.

Photo: Keynote speaker Barbara Earl Thomas, artist and writer

November 3, 2014


Seattle College District receives 2014 Charles Kennedy Equity Award

Photo: Chancellor Jill Wakefield

The Association of Community College Trustees has announced that the Seattle College District is the recipient of its 2014 Charles Kennedy Equity Award. The national award recognizes institutions that demonstrate evidence of leadership in setting policies, championing an environment of inclusivity, and ensuring results for the success, enhancement and expansion of opportunities for women and underrepresented and underserved communities.

“This award is more than a recognition of our programs,” says Seattle Colleges Chancellor Jill Wakefield. “It certifies that we are on the right track. That said, there’s more that needs to be done to ensure these fast-growing populations have an opportunity to be successful.

“Thanks go to our trustees—who lead us in our commitment to diversity and equity—and our faculty and staff who work every day to instruct, train, and mentor these groups.”

Learn more about Seattle Colleges’ programs targeting diverse student populations here.




Photo: Chancellor Jill Wakefield

October 9, 2014


Seattle Colleges highlights local diaspora communities at free public event on October 14

Seattle Colleges highlights local diaspora communities at free public event on October 14

Please join Seattle Colleges for Live Locally, Act Globally on Tuesday, October 14, from 2 to 4 pm at the Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway in Seattle.

This event is one of similar events happening across the world as part of Global Diaspora Week (GDW). We are pleased to welcome Andrew O’Brien, Special Representative for Global Partnerships with the U.S. Department of State, as our guest speaker.

Diaspora is commonly used to describe a community of people who live outside their shared country of affinity and maintain active connections with it.

In addition to his remarks, O’Brien will moderate a panel discussion featuring the work being done internationally by local individuals. They are:

  • Yadesa Bojia, graphic designer and artist. Bojia raises money to build schools and libraries in Ethiopia.
  • Roberto Carcelén, former Olympian. The Roberto Carcelén Foundation will provide opportunities to children in Latin America ages 6 to 15 through computer science and sports.
  • Rob Smith, owner of EarthWise Ventures. EarthWise builds ferries to support infrastructure in Africa so commerce can take place.
  • Alex-Hung H. Tran, president of Western United Fish. Western United Fish helped develop the tuna business in Vietnam, to the point that Vietnam is now one of the top exporters of tuna to the U.S.
  • Rita Zawaideh, founder of the Salaam Cultural Museum. Zawaideh leads humanitarian missions to Jordan and Syria to meet the basic needs of refugees now numbering in the hundreds of thousands.

There will be a networking reception immediately following the program. Find more information at Live Locally, Act Globally.

This event is free and open to the public; however, RSVPs are encouraged. RSVP for yourself or reserve a block of seats by email or by phone at 206.934.3242.

July 30, 2014

College navigators help high school graduates transition to college successfully

College navigators help high school graduates transition to college successfully

A $150,000 grant from College Spark Washington will go toward a program to help College Bound Scholarship students and other low-income, first-generation students make a successful transition from local high schools to Seattle Colleges.

The program will build a system of services and student supports that can 1) increase direct high school-to-college enrollment rates; 2) orient students to college life and prepare them to succeed as college students; 3) ensure that graduating seniors receive timely academic advising regarding college course selection and access to college services; and 4) provide COMPASS prep and testing with follow-on academic support for students with low-level math and English skills, accelerating their path to college-level classes and a college degree.

Seattle Colleges transition navigators are in place at Interagency Academy (Seattle Central College) and West Seattle High School (South Seattle College). A navigator will begin at Ingraham High School (North Seattle College) in the fall. Each navigator works with graduating students throughout their senior year and their first quarter of college.

July 11, 2014


10 Positive Steps to Get Students on the Path to Accomplishment

Photo: Chancellor Jill Wakefield

A blog post by Isa Adney, the author of a new book called Community College Success, offers “10 things to do for community college success.” They are 10 good ideas, and two stand out for me.

The first is her number one point, too: “Check your beliefs about community college.” How often do the negative, “less than” stereotypes about community college creep into the advice we give students about what to do in their futures? More important, how often do these beliefs taint students’ own excitement about the opportunities and adventures their community college offers? We need to stress that community colleges are very often the first step to great success. Right here at Seattle Colleges, we boast former students including Harvard professor Katie Hinde and Grammy winner Macklemore.

Adney’s number five point is “Make sure students set up a clear academic plan.” That’s great advice. At Seattle Colleges we have started a groundbreaking initiative called "Start to Finish." It redesigns the first-year experience in a number of important and effective ways, including developing clear academic plans.

I’m with Adney on this: We shouldn’t underestimate the potential of community college students. They are the heart of our community.

Photo: Chancellor Jill Wakefield

July 3, 2014


Helping students succeed now and in the future

Photo: Chancellor Jill Wakefield

Recent news coverage of the investigation into some for-profit colleges’ alleged “preying” on low-income students and abusing the financial aid and student loan programs makes me think about our mission and purpose. Financial aid and student loan programs are supposed to help make it possible for people to get the education and training they need to get good jobs—not to provide profits for corporations.

At Washington’s community and technical colleges, we have relatively low tuition and a financial aid policy that keeps student loans to a very small amount of the total. We aren’t here to help students incur a lot of debt. We are committed to helping students succeed in their programs and in their lives after school.

Our community and technical colleges offer programs in the same careers that the for-profit schools do, and more. Across the state, more than 100,000 students are enrolled in workforce education at a public community or technical college. Here at the Seattle Colleges, we have 135 short-term, one- or two-year degree or certificate programs in fields including health, business, manufacturing, social services, IT and the arts. Our programs are designed and created with the help of local industries to prepare students for jobs in high demand areas and family wage jobs.

Within nine months of completing one of these programs, 80 percent of our students are employed. They are in the workforce with little or no student debt, ready to contribute to their professions and thrive as individuals and family members.

Perhaps best of all, our programs are crafted to build on each other. A certificate in an entry-level health-related field is key to a good job, but it is also the first step toward another certificate, a two-year degree, and even a bachelor’s degree. We believe our students’ investment of time, money and dedicated effort should lead somewhere. Our mission is to provide excellent, accessible educational opportunities to prepare our students for a challenging future. We help students succeed now and in the future.

But we don’t have a lot of money for television advertising. Please help us spread the word. Community and technical colleges are the best investment for workforce training.

Photo: Chancellor Jill Wakefield

July 2, 2014


Cutting higher education money shortchanges students' futures

Photo: Chancellor Jill Wakefield

Last month Gov. Jay Inslee directed all Washington state agencies to identify 15 percent cuts in the next budget. All agencies, of course, include fatter agencies and thinner ones. Community and Technical colleges are certainly among the leanest, and in the past five years in Washington, state support for community and technical colleges has decreased by 23 percent, with our students picking up the slack with the 16th highest tuition in the nation.

Certainly, I am a champion of full support for K-12 education. This is the foundation of a well-educated population. But in today's world, it is only the foundation. To build the whole house high school graduates need more. They need college. For a good discussion, check out this piece that ran in The Herald.

Photo: Chancellor Jill Wakefield

June 30, 2014

Teach from experience: Part-Time Faculty Career Fair on Tuesday, August 5, 9am to 1:30pm

Teach from experience: Part-Time Faculty Career Fair on Tuesday, August 5, 9am to 1:30pm

The Seattle Colleges are hosting a Part-Time Faculty Career Fair on August 5 at South Seattle College's Georgetown campus. Talk with deans from North Seattle, South Seattle and Seattle Central colleges and Seattle Vocational Institute, and get immediate feedback on how your experience can transition to the classroom. There are part-time faculty openings for the upcoming Fall Quarter so you could be teaching within one month!

A master's degree in a related field is a requirement for teaching with Seattle Colleges. Rare exceptions may include vocational fields where industry experience replaces education.

Please email your resume and RSVP to Part-Time Faculty Career Fair and receive driving directions and a pass for free parking.

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