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Highline College | Field Guide 2023

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Highline College was founded in 1961 as King County’s first community college. Highline offers a vibrant and diverse learning environment with over 100 degrees and certificates, including seven applied bachelor’s degrees within eight degree pathways. With about 70% students of color and people representing more than 120 cultures, Highline is the state’s most diverse higher education institution.

Key Facts

Highest Enrolled Programs

  • Academic Transfer
  • Nursing/Health Occupations
  • Physical and Life Sciences
  • Business/Accounting
  • Early Childhood Education


  • Headcount (all sources): 12,983
  • FTES (all sources): 5,994
  • Headcount (state-funded): 10,583
  • FTES (state-funded): 4,519

Students in Selected Programs

  • Applied bachelor's: 447
  • I-BEST: 253
  • International: 313
  • Running Start: 1,323
  • Worker Retraining: 331

Student Profile

Type of Student

  • Academic/transfer: 37%
  • Basic skills: 38%
  • Workforce education: 19%
  • Other: 7%


Students of color: 77%

  • American Indian/Alaska Native: 2%
  • Asian: 28%
  • Black/African American: 28%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 21%
  • Pacific Islander: 3%
  • White: 33%


  • Full-time: 36%
  • Part-time: 64%

Family and Finances

  • Students receiving need-based financial aid: 36%
  • Students with dependents: 36%


  • Female: 64%
  • Male: 36%

Median age


Points of Interest

Follow the Supply Chain Study Abroad trip

Through a partnership with the Center of Excellence for Global Trade and Supply Chain Management, North Seattle College, Tacoma Community College, Wenatchee Valley College and Highline College, 12 students from three Washington community colleges went on a short-term study abroad trip to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, as part of the Follow the Supply Chain Study Abroad Program. While there, they visited a shoe factory, a wholesale-import market, a port and learned about global trade. This was the first trip for the program since 2019.

Highline receives Dept. of Education Title III Grant

The US Department of Education recently awarded Highline the TRiO Talent Search $1.38 million grant to be used over five years. The grant will be used to provide wraparound advising, tutoring and college prep services to approximately 500 first-generation, low-income students at Pacific Middle School and Mount Rainier High School in the Des Moines-based Highline Public Schools District. In addition to college preparation, students will be exposed to high-profile company visits, career counseling and career exploration with a specific focus on the STEM field.

Contributing to the area’s economic development 

Highline contributes to the economic development of South King County by providing no-cost business training and one-to-one technical assistance for new and existing businesses. Such assistance helps local businesses achieve sustainability and self-efficiency. In 2021, Highline provided 1,841 hours of service to more than 291 clients, helped launch 10 new businesses, supported 974 jobs, and generated $7.4 million in loans, grants and investments. Businesses Highline served reported $2.6 million in increased revenue. Highline’s economic development initiatives include the Small Business Development Center and StartZone.

Data is from the 2021-22 academic year. Reflects headcount unless otherwise noted.

*Students of color percent based on unduplicated headcount. Students may be counted in more than one race, so race/ethnicity percentages may not total 100%. Percentages calculated on reported value.


Dr. John R. Mosby


  • Joseph S. Bowman IV, chair
  • Travis Exstrom, vice chair
  • Sili Savusa
  • Sharmila Swenson
  • Jesse Johnson

Year Founded


Service Area

Southwest King County

Legislative Districts

11, 30, 33, 34, 47

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Last Modified: 3/8/23, 4:18 PM

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