The Seattle Colleges serve all of metropolitan Seattle and its surrounding communities, and comprise the largest
community college district in the state, educating more than 50,000 students each year.
The first classes were held in the Edison Vocational Technical Institute on Capitol Hill, when "Seattle Community College" —
now Seattle Central College — opened in 1966 as part of the public school system.
The State Community College Act of 1967 established college districts apart from the public schools, with a mandate to provide
"an open door to education" for all who seek it. A long-range plan called for three campuses in the city, and planning began
immediately for North Seattle College and South Seattle College.
By September 1970, all three colleges opened together for the first time as a multi-campus district. Seattle Vocational Institute,
affiliated with Central, joined the district in 1991 under the state’s Work Force Training and Education Act. The district also
includes four specialized training centers located throughout the city:
Students choose from an array of more than 135 academic and career-technical programs, the largest number in the state.
The curriculum has led the way as the Puget Sound area moved from a manufacturing and resource-based economy to information-based
Like the region, the college population is dynamic. The student body is the most diverse in the Northwest, reflecting nearly 80
different languages spoken in homes throughout the city.
By design, each of the colleges reflects its community. While the colleges are an integral part of their neighborhoods and offer
certain unique educational programs, all are comprehensive and offer programs in college transfer, professional-technical training,
adult basic education, and continuing education.
District Public Information Office
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Board Member Institution of the League for Innovation