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Highline College | Field Guide 2024

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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 80% 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): 14,158
  • FTES (all sources): 6,064
  • Headcount (state-funded): 11,483
  • FTES (state-funded): 4,573

Students in Selected Programs

  • Applied bachelor's: 407
  • I-BEST: 433
  • International: 366
  • Running Start: 1,316
  • Worker Retraining: 207

Student Profile

Type of Student

  • Academic/transfer: 30%
  • Basic skills: 42%
  • Workforce education: 18%
  • Other: 10%


Students of color: 78%

  • American Indian/Alaska Native: 2%
  • Asian: 27%
  • Black/African American: 28%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 22%
  • Pacific Islander: 3%
  • White: 33%


  • Full-time: 31%
  • Part-time: 69%

Family and Finances

  • Students receiving need-based financial aid: 45%
  • Students with dependents: 34%


  • Female: 62%
  • Male: 38%

Median age


Points of Interest

Highline hires first VP of Equity, Diversity, and Transformation

Highline College named Dr. Maribel Jimenez vice president of Equity, Diversity, and Transformation in July 2023. With 78% of the student population identifying as students of color, Highline is Washington state’s most diverse higher education institution. Dr. Jimenez is the first to hold this position and brings 18 years of experience in higher education and K-12. She plans to incorporate strategic thinking, combine resources and initiatives, convey truth-telling and transparency, and infuse “corazón,” or heart, into her new role.

Amazon selects Highline for Career Choice Program

Highline College was recently selected as an education partner for Amazon’s Career Choice program, providing Amazon’s hourly employees access to certificates, associate degrees, and applied bachelor’s degrees within seven degree pathways. The Career Choice is an education benefit that empowers employees to learn new skills for career success at Amazon or elsewhere by providing prepaid college tuition to those who qualify. The program meets individual learners where they are on their education journey through various education and upskilling opportunities available to employees after working at the company for 90 days.

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 2022, Highline provided 1,219 hours of service to more than 241 clients, helped launch 11 new businesses, supported 637 jobs and generated $6.7 million in loans, grants, and investments. Businesses served report $7.5 million increase in revenue. Highline’s economic development initiatives include the Small Business Development Center and StartZone.

Data is from the 2022-23 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.

Percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.


Dr. John R. Mosby


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

Year Founded


Service Area

Southwest King County

Legislative Districts

11, 30, 31, 33, 34, 47

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Last Modified: 4/9/24, 8:33 AM

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