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Whatcom Community College | Field Guide 2022

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Whatcom Community College (WCC) in Bellingham is a destination for cybersecurity, pre-engineering, health care and business studies. Our college offers Bachelor of Applied Science degrees, transfer degrees, career preparation, online courses, and community education classes.

By offering affordable and accessible programs, Whatcom Community College helps people of every age and background to learn and thrive in today’s economy. 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 community college that serves a large number of low-income students and students who are the first in their families to attend college, Whatcom Community College is key to creating social and economic mobility for people throughout our region.

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Key Facts

Highest Enrolled Programs

  • Associate in Arts and Sciences (Direct Transfer Agreement)
  • Health professions
  • Business
  • Cybersecurity
  • Associate in Science–Transfer
  • Basic Education for Adults


  • Headcount (all sources): 7,161
  • FTES (all sources): 3,352
  • Headcount (state-funded): 4,112
  • FTES (state-funded): 1,587

Students in Selected Programs

  • Applied bachelor's: 86
  • I-BEST: 64
  • International: 257
  • Running Start: 1,046
  • Worker Retraining: 116

Student Profile

Type of Student

  • Academic/transfer: 53%
  • Basic skills: 5%
  • Other: 15%
  • Workforce education: 27%


  • American Indian/Alaska Native: 3%
  • Asian: 10%
  • Black/African American: 4%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 16%
  • Pacific Islander: 1%
  • White: 78%


  • Full-time: 44%
  • Part-time: 56%

Family and Finances

  • Students receiving need-based financial aid: 31%
  • Students with dependents: 56%


  • Female: 60%
  • Male: 40%

Median age


Points of Interest

Bridging the cybersecurity workforce gap

The National Science Foundation in 2021 awarded Whatcom Community College (WCC) $7.5 million to significantly expand the National Cybersecurity Training and Education (NCyTE) Center’s work in helping colleges and universities train cybersecurity faculty and adopt leading-edge curriculum aimed at fast-tracking students into cybersecurity careers. To address the cybersecurity workforce gap, NCyTE is partnering with industry and government leaders and with Microsoft Philanthropies, which provided a $1.5 million grant for Accelerating Community College Cybersecurity Excellence (ACCCE). Demand for positions at all levels is high, and WCC offers students the flexibility to pursue an associate degree or a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in IT Networking/Cybersecurity.

Flexible learning environment — Meeting the diverse needs of students

Providing students flexibility in an enhanced learning environment remains the top priority at WCC. The college offers in-person, hybrid and online classes that meet the diverse needs of all students. In September, WWC introduced Orca Central, a vibrant one-stop space that provides integrated services and support both in-person and online. Additionally, WCC’s new Charles and Phyllis Self Learning Commons provides a welcoming, learner-centered environment that incorporates a library, instructional technology, collaboration and study space, learning centers and resources that support students.

Health professions meet the needs of fluid health care environment

WCC’s Health Professions programs excel in preparing students for employment in the nursing and allied health workforce with degrees and certificates well aligned to current and evolving regional industry needs. Students choose from pathways in medical assisting, massage therapy, substance-use disorder professions, physical therapy assisting and nursing. Recent graduates from WCC Health Professions programs fill significant gaps in critical health care service centers. Industry stakeholders identified urgent needs in behavioral health, medical assisting, nursing and massage therapy and WCC’s programs help match motivated students with high-demand jobs in these fields.

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. Kathi Hiyane-Brown


  • Rebecca Johnson, chair
  • Wendy Bohlke, vice chair
  • Steve Adelstein
  • John Pedlow
  • Teresa Taylor

Year Founded


Service Area

Whatcom County

Legislative Districts

40, 42

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Last Modified: 12/21/22, 4:34 PM

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