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School Rankings

Best Community Colleges in Washington

Oluwaniyi Raji - March 01, 2022


Colleges are often a haven for students after earning a high school diploma. The best community colleges in Washington serve as a springboard into further education in diverse fields of study without causing financial strain. They also transcend education levels and provide professional and technical training for professionals to attain higher income levels.

This guide examines some of the best community college programs in Washington, as well as the best community colleges for web development in Washington. It also discusses the interest of online learners and distance education students in the best online community colleges in Washington. Read on to find out if community college is for you.

How We Defined Washington Our Community College Rankings

The methodology we employed for this ranking is thorough academic analysis, staff qualification, and student life in the respective colleges. We also recognized alumni and student reviews as noteworthy in determining how these colleges rank.

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These public postsecondary institutions are famous for their affordability and provision of programs that students can complete within two years. The average tuition rate for community colleges in Washington is substantially lower than private universities.

The Top 10 Community Colleges in Washington

  1. Big Bend Community College
  2. South Puget Sound Community College
  3. Pierce College Puyallup
  4. Tacoma Community College
  5. Everett Community College
  6. Shoreline Community College
  7. Bates Technical College
  8. Renton Technical College
  9. Clark College
  10. Lake Washington Institute of Technology

The Best Community Colleges in Washington: Explained

A female student standing beside a bookshelf in a library reading a book.
Public institutions like community colleges are academic pathways that guarantee student success and can teach a new skill at a fraction of the cost of a four-year institution.

1. Big Bend Community College

Big Bend College, located in Moses Lake, Washington, has 2,044 students and follows a quarter-based academic year. Big Bend offers credit for life experience and has an open admissions policy. This comprehensive college is well-equipped with educational and human resources to provide developmental education as well as professional/technical advancement programs of study.

Best Big Bend Community College Programs

  • Associate Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Associate Degree in General Studies and Humanities
  • Associate Degree in Management Marketing
  • Associate Degree in Health Professions
  • Associate Degree in Business Management

2. South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC)

South Puget Sound is a two-year junior public college located in Olympia, Washington. It is home to 4,872 part-time and full-time students. It offers many programs, and in 2023, it will offer its first Bachelor in Applied Science Degree in Craft Beverage Management and Quality Assurance to facilitate career goals in that field.

Best South Puget Sound Community College Programs

  • Associate Degree in Arts and Communication
  • Associate Degree in Biology-DTA/MRP
  • Associate Degree in Science Track 2
  • Associate Degree in Accounting
  • Associate Degree in Engineering, Construction Technology-AAS-T

3. Pierce College

Pierce College is one of the top-ranked schools in Washington state. It offers many associate degrees, mainly in the arts and sciences, and three bachelors of applied sciences degrees. The college has two main campuses, Pierce College Fort Steilacoom, Lakewood, and Pierce College, Puyallup.

Best Pierce College Programs

  • Associate Degree in Business
  • Associate Degree in Dental Hygiene
  • Associate Degree in Education
  • Associate Degree in Arts, Humanities, and Communication
  • Associate Degree in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

4. Tacoma Community College

This public college, located in Tacoma, Washington, is home to over 11,000 students. Tacoma offers 43 associate degree programs, 33 professional health and technical certificates, and three bachelor’s degree programs. TCC boasts a student-to-faculty ratio of 17 to one and offers financial aid opportunities to help students pay for their education.

Best Tacoma Community College Programs

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Health Information Management
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Community Health and Applied Management
  • Associate Degree in Retailing and Retail Operations
  • Associate Degree in Business/Commerce
  • Associate Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences

5. Everett Community College

Students attend Everett College to conveniently apply to a four-year school, develop essential skills, or train for a promotion. Everett College offers over 90 majors and programs through its corporate and continuing education center. You can study things like automotive technology programs or get an Associate in Applied Arts and Sciences, with direct transfers to most universities.

Best Everett Community College Programs

  • Associate Degree in Medical Assisting
  • Associate Degree in Welding Technology/Welder
  • Associate Degree in Fire Science/Fire-Fighting
  • Associate Degree in Business Administration and Management
  • Associate Degree in Business/Commerce

6. Shoreline Community College

This college offers transfer degrees and a wide range of professional and workforce training degrees and certificate programs. Shoreline enrolls international students from over 45 countries. It awards 140 scholarships annually, provides student support services, and presents over $14.4 million in financial aid.

Best Shoreline Community Programs

  • Associate Degree in Music Technology
  • Associate Degree in Child Development
  • Associate Degree in Manufacturing Engineering Technology/Technician
  • Associate Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies
  • Associate Degree in Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse

7. Bates Technical College

This two-year school offers various educational pathways ranging from applied science degrees to industry certifications and academic certificates. The college has a direct transfer agreement to several four-year colleges. The college offers career services to existing students to help them navigate their education and reach their career goals.

Best Bates Technical College Programs

  • Associate Degree in Electronics, Electrical, and Communications Engineering Technology
  • Associate Degree in Industrial Electronics Technology
  • Associate Degree in Design and Visual Communications
  • Associate Degree in Diesel Mechanics Technology
  • Associate Degree in Biomedical Technology

8. Renton Technical College

Renton Tech prepares a diverse student population for career readiness through educational opportunities. A school graduate can apply for full-time or part-time professional-technical certificates. The college’s graduation rate of 66 percent is the highest in the state for community and technical colleges, and among the highest in the country.

Best Renton Technical College Programs

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology
  • Bachelor’s Degree in System, Networking, and LAN/WAN management
  • Associate Degree in Dental Assisting
  • Culinary Arts Associate of Applied Science Degree
  • Associate Degree in Building/Property Maintenance

9. Clark College

Clark College enrolls approximately 11,000 incoming degree-seekers quarterly. It established its first four-year program in 2014, a baccalaureate in the medical field, and has since become a recognized four-year college.

Best Clark College Programs

  • Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Dental Hygiene
  • Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Cybersecurity
  • Associate Degree in Business Management
  • Associate Degree in Machine Tool Technology
  • Certificate of Phlebotomy Technician

10.  Lake Washington Institute of Technology

LWTech is the only public institute of technology in Washington. The college offers certificate programs and technical academy courses. It has one of the highest completion rates in Washington and offers transfer degrees to bachelor’s degree programs at several universities in Washington.

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Best Lake Washington Institute of Technology Programs

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Design and Visual Communications
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Programming
  • Associate Degree in Computer Graphics
  • Associate Degree in Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics, and Special Effects
  • Associate Degree in Accounting Technology

Other Washington Community College Rankings

a group of distance learners taking virtual classes
Online degree-seekers can also get a college education from the comfort of their homes.

Walden University reports that students are likely to enjoy numerous benefits of online learning communities immediately after enrolment. These include opportunities to learn from bright minds and exposure to the latest technology. If you are in search of such communities, our list of the best online community colleges in Washington will greatly suffice.

Best Online Community Colleges in Washington

  1. Bellevue College. This college offers peer and expert assistance through high-quality educational resources to encourage lifelong learning.
  2. Highline College. Highline College partners with ProTrain to offer online certificate and certification programs that help students begin or advance in high-demand careers .
  3. Spokane Community College. The outstanding faculty members who teach at the Spokane campuses provide virtual learners with the same learning opportunities and resources as on-site learners.
  4. Yakima Valley Community College. This public college fulfills the formal educational requirement by offering access to all their online classes through a powerful informational resource system called Canvas.
  5. Walla Walla Community College. Walla Walla Community College is reputed to provide the best tutoring center to inspire distance learners to develop their potential.

Best Community Colleges for Web Developers in Washington

  1. Seattle Community College. Seattle accepts students each fall to its web development program. The program length is 67 credit hours, which is just over a year full-time.
  2. University of Washington-Seattle Campus. Through its continuing education division, the university offers a certificate program in web development. It is a strong alternative to an on-campus degree.
  3. Seattle Community College-Central Campus. You can obtain an applied science degree in web development from Seattle by undergoing its 92 credit hours training courses.
  4. Bellevue College. Bellevue College ranks as one of the best schools for web development for community college students.
  5. City University of Seattle. The Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Systems that CityU offers helps prepare you for a designer or web developer career.

Should You Attend Community College in Washington?

Yes. Prospective students can achieve their career goals through a community college education. On-campus students and distance learners can earn a two-year education with great career outcomes and lower annual tuition than four-year university degrees. You can also leverage financial aid to get maximum value for your course.

Best Washington Community Colleges FAQ

Do international students attend community colleges?

Yes, international students obtain degrees from community colleges. Considering the generally low tuition rates of these colleges, it is a suitable option for international students. It can serve as a ticket for you to attend a four-year university.

Do community colleges offer financial aid?

Yes. Although a community college is an affordable option, students can still receive similar financial assistance and financial aid opportunities that are available to university students. Students pursuing degrees and credit-based certificates can potentially apply for these grants.

Do community colleges provide dorms?

Rarely. The American Association of Community Colleges reports that only about 28 percent of community schools provide on-campus housing . Students may alternatively consider homestay programs as a convenient option.

Do community colleges offer extracurricular activities?

Yes. Many community schools are concerned about campus life just as they are about their academic success. These institutions assure academic excellence and offer athletic activities, clubs, and organizations that enable students to socialize with their peers.

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Oluwaniyi Raji

About the author: Raji is an expert content writer who specializes in B2B business sales writing and blog writing. Outside of his writing career, he is interested in learning how to code and develop websites. Raji holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Lagos.

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