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Bates Technical College | Field Guide 2022

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Each year, about 6,700 students of every age and background turn to Bates Technical College to train for well-paying careers. Founded in 1940, Bates delivers hands-on education at three Tacoma campuses. Our college offers two-year degrees, short-term certificates, academic courses, a technical high school and life-long learning opportunities. Whether students are 16 or 60, just out of high school or working adults, our college prepares them for the next step up in life.

As a technical college that serves a large number of lower-income students, students of color and students who are the first in their families to attend college, Bates is key to creating a stronger and more inclusive economy.

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Key Facts

Highest Enrolled Programs

  • Barber
  • Commercial Truck Driving: Entry Level
  • Cybersecurity
  • Database Technology/Software Development
  • Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology
  • Electrical Construction
  • Fire Service
  • HVAC


  • Headcount (all sources): 6,198
  • FTES (all sources): 2,944
  • Headcount (state-funded): 5,332
  • FTES (state-funded): 2,434

Students in Selected Programs

  • Apprentices: 1,837
  • I-BEST: 346
  • International: 1
  • Running Start: 6
  • Worker Retraining: 398

Student Profile

Type of Student

  • Academic/transfer: 1%
  • Basic skills: 8%
  • Other: 10%
  • Workforce education: 81%


  • American Indian/Alaska Native: 3%
  • Asian: 7%
  • Black/African American: 11%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 14%
  • Pacific Islander: 3%
  • White: 72%


  • Full-time: 44%
  • Part-time: 56%

Family and Finances

  • Students receiving need-based financial aid: 32%
  • Students with dependents: 51%


  • Female: 40%
  • Male: 60%

Median age


Points of Interest

Title III grant funds expansion of student retention, completion and success efforts

The US Department of Education awarded Bates Technical College a $2.25 million competitive Title III grant to strategically focus on student support, completion and retention. The critical funding will bolster efforts that expand access to courses and programs in alternate modalities; transition some programs to competency-based curriculum; provide coaching and expanded work-based learning; and improve institutional effectiveness. These activities align with the college’s strategic plan and directly address necessary improvements to ensure student success.

New Allied Health Sciences Building opens spring 2022

Bates Technical College will meet increasing industry demands for skilled employees in the health care sector. In spring 2022, a 64,000-square-foot Center for Allied Health Education will be added to the downtown campus and serve as a hub for those who wish to pursue a degree or certificate in the allied health fields. This high-tech facility will also offer continuing education opportunities to people who are already employed in the field and house the college’s dental and denture clinics, which provide low-income individuals affordable dental care options.

I-BEST program boosts student success

The Integrated Basic Education Skills Training (I-BEST) program provides academic support for students in five career programs at Bates Technical College: Practical Nurse, Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology, Welding, Electrical Construction and HVAC. Each program has a dedicated academic instructor who team-teaches with the program faculty to support students with their academics and offer wrap-around services. 

Data is from the 2020-21 academic year. Reflects headcount unless otherwise noted.

*May not add up to 100% because students may be counted in more than one race. Percentages calculated on reported value.


Dr. Lin Zhou


  • Layne Bladow, chair
  • Florence Chang, vice chair
  • Christina Blocker
  • Heather Moss

Year Founded


Service Area

Pierce County

Legislative Districts

2, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31

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Last Modified: 11/9/23, 3:23 PM

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