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Whatcom Community College | Field Guide 2024

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 three Bachelor of Applied Science degrees in Applied Business Management, IT Network-Cybersecurity, and Social work as well as 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): 7,604
  • FTES (all sources): 2,750
  • Headcount (state-funded): 4,194
  • FTES (state-funded): 1,849

Students in Selected Programs

  • Applied bachelor's: 72
  • I-BEST: 64
  • International: 216
  • Running Start: 980
  • Worker Retraining: 59

Student Profile

Type of Student

  • Academic/transfer: 44%
  • Basic skills: 6%
  • Workforce education: 14%
  • Other: 36%


Students of color: 36%

  • American Indian/Alaska Native: 4%
  • Asian: 12%
  • Black/African American: 5%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 18%
  • Pacific Islander: 1%
  • White: 77%


  • Full-time: 34%
  • Part-time: 66%

Family and Finances

  • Students receiving need-based financial aid: 36%
  • Students with dependents: 25%


  • Female: 62%
  • Male: 37%
  • X: 1%

Median age


Points of Interest

WCC contributes to bridging the cybersecurity workforce gap

 A Washington state Center of Excellence in Cybersecurity, Whatcom Community College is committed to narrowing the gap between cybersecurity employer needs and colleges’ supply of work-ready graduates. WCC offers students the flexibility to pursue an Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity or a Bachelor of Applied Science in IT Networking-Cybersecurity.

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 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 in a supportive campus environment remains the top priority at WCC. In fall 2023 WCC launched its new alternative entry pathway into our engineering program called the Engineering, Math, and Society Learning Community funded by the National Science Foundation.

English and math departments developed innovative and student-focused self-placements to better serve students entering college for the first time.

WCC offers in-person, hybrid, and online classes that meet students’ diverse needs. WCC continues to support and enhance Orca Central, a one-stop space providing integrated services for all students, and added new orientations and express enrollment events to help current and prospective students prepare to attend.

Health professions meet the needs of fluid health care environment

WCC’s health professions programs excel in preparing students for employment in nursing and allied health with degrees and certificates well aligned to current and evolving regional industry needs. Graduates fill significant gaps in critical health care service centers and WCC’s programs help match motivated students with high-demand jobs. This fall the college launched a new Bachelor of Applied Science degree in social work to respond to our community’s need for qualified professionals in this field. Additionally, the Area Health Education Center for Western Washington, located at WCC, continues to strengthen health care for underserved communities.

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. Kathi Hiyane-Brown


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

Year Founded


Service Area

Whatcom County

Legislative Districts

40, 42

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Last Modified: 1/31/24, 7:36 AM

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