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Bellingham Technical College | Field Guide 2022

Bellingham Technical College logoBellingham Technical College (BTC) has been training students for in-demand, high-paying careers for more than 60 years. We provide hands-on, industry-led instruction in programs such as advanced manufacturing, engineering, nursing and accounting.

BTC’s Engineering Technology programs are in high demand by students and by local and regional business and industry. BTC is also developing additional applied baccalaureate degree offerings that will benefit students by providing additional pathways from entry-level engineering technology occupations to engineering and managerial positions requiring baccalaureate and master’s degree preparation.

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Key Facts

Highest Enrolled Programs

  • Nursing
  • Welding and Fabricating Technology
  • Computer Networking
  • Radiologic Technology
  • Business Management


  • Headcount (all sources): 4,109
  • FTES (all sources): 1,805
  • Headcount (state-funded): 2,951
  • FTES (state-funded): 1,581

Students in Selected Programs

  • Bachelor's: 48
  • Apprentices: 49
  • I-BEST: 39
  • International: 1
  • Running Start: 112
  • Worker Retraining: 175

Student Profile

Type of Student

  • Academic/transfer: 14%
  • Basic skills: 10%
  • Other: 10%
  • Workforce education: 67%


  • American Indian/Alaska Native: 5%
  • Asian: 7%
  • Black/African American: 3%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 16%
  • Pacific Islander: 1%
  • White: 80%


  • Full-time: 44%
  • Part-time: 56%

Family and Finances

  • Students receiving need-based financial aid: 47%
  • Students with dependents: 57%


  • Female: 58%
  • Male: 42%

Median age


Points of Interest

Workforce connections

To prepare students for today’s employment needs and tomorrow’s workforce opportunities, Bellingham Technical College (BTC) relies on active advisory committees to form invaluable employer and community partnerships. Over the past year, BTC launched an advisory committee member recruitment campaign which focused on replacing vacant positions and increasing membership. BTC welcomed over 40 new committee members as a result of the campaign, revitalizing the program with new energy. BTC employees connect with our industry partners to explore employment opportunities.

Pathways to achievement

With support from a multi-million-dollar, 5-year federal Title III Strengthening Institutional Programs grant, BTC employees are clustering the college’s high-wage, high-demand workforce training programs into areas of study — or meta-majors — to increase student access and success. Exploratory courses and common introductory sequences within industry groups will help students choose the right path for them and intensive student support services paired to each area of study, including personalized student advising, progress tracking, and relationship building will keep students on track.

Innovation and excellence

One of BTC’s premiere programs, Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences, has national prominence and attracts students from all over the country. Students have moved to Bellingham from Hawaii, California, Arizona, New York, Alaska and Oregon to join the program; 48% of current students are from outside Whatcom County. Second year students are working with instructors on a National Science Foundation (NSF) pilot project with the Ocean Observatories Initiative for oceanographic research. Over 83% of students from last year’s graduating cohort are already working in fisheries or aquaculture related fields, and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science reached out to the program to recruit BTC graduates for shellfish jobs on the East Coast.

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.

Interim President

Kim Perry


  • Bradley Smith, chair
  • Debbie Ahl
  • Richard Kaiser

Year Founded


Service Area

Whatcom County

Legislative Districts

40, 42

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Last Modified: 9/6/22, 12:46 PM

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