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Whatcom Community College | Field Guide 2023

Whatcom Community College logo

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.

Key Facts

Highest Enrolled Programs

  • Associate in Science–Transfer /Direct Transfer Agreement
  • Business Direct Transfer Agreement
  • Nursing Direct Transfer Agreement
  • Cybersecurity
  • Associate in Science–Transfer
  • Basic Education for Adults


  • Headcount (all sources): 6,951
  • FTES (all sources): 2,931
  • Headcount (state-funded): 4,557
  • FTES (state-funded): 2,021

Students in Selected Programs

  • Applied bachelor's: 91
  • I-BEST: 6
  • International: 297
  • Running Start: 938
  • Worker Retraining: 91

Student Profile

Type of Student

  • Academic/transfer: 52%
  • Basic skills: 5%
  • Workforce education: 21%
  • Other: 22%


Students of color: 36%

  • American Indian/Alaska Native: 4%
  • Asian: 12%
  • Black/African American: 4%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 17%
  • Pacific Islander: 1%
  • White: 78%


  • Full-time: 39%
  • Part-time: 61%

Family and Finances

  • Students receiving need-based financial aid: 17%
  • Students with dependents: 31%


  • Female: 61%
  • Male: 39%

Median age


Points of Interest

Bridging the cybersecurity workforce gap

In 2022 WCC was designated a Washington state Center of Excellence in Cybersecurity, reflecting WCC’s ongoing commitment to narrowing the gap between cybersecurity employer workforce needs and colleges’ supply of work-ready graduates; now with an added focus on Washington state. WCC offers students the flexibility to pursue an associate degree or a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in IT Networking/Cybersecurity to help close this gap.

WCC’s National Cybersecurity Training and Education (NCyTE) Center continues its work with the National Science Foundation to help colleges and universities across the nation train cybersecurity faculty and adopt leading-edge curriculum aimed at fast-tracking students into cybersecurity careers.

Meeting the diverse needs of students through flexible learning environments and supportive community

Providing flexible learning environments in a supportive campus environment remains the top priority at WCC. WCC opened Cedar Hall, a student residence hall providing housing for 230 students, offering students the opportunity to live and connect on campus. The college offers in-person, hybrid and online classes that meet the diverse needs of all students. WCC continues to expand Orca Central a one-stop space that provides integrated services for all 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. WCC’s Area Health Education Center continues to strengthen health care for underserved communities in Western Washington. The college added another nursing cohort to meet the increased demand for nurses this past year and will launch a new baccalaureate program in social work in fall 2023. Students choose from pathways in medical assisting, massage therapy, substance-use disorder professions, physical therapy and nursing. Graduates fill significant gaps in critical health care service centers and WCC’s programs help match motivated students with high-demand jobs in these fields.

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. Kathi Hiyane-Brown


  • Wendy Bohlke, chair
  • Teresa Taylor, vice chair
  • Jeff Fairchild
  • Rebecca Johnson
  • John Pedlow

Year Founded


Service Area

Whatcom County

Legislative Districts

40, 42

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Last Modified: 3/8/23, 4:22 PM

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