Students looking for an affordable and accredited two-year institution just a short way from Seattle will find that Clover Park Technical College is likely to meet their needs. Located in Lakewood, Washington, a short 40-mile drive from bustling Seattle, the school opened its doors in 1942 with the original purpose of providing trade training for those interested in pursuing careers at the local shipyards and army post. Some of the original courses, such as welding and auto mechanics, are still options to this day. The college is known for its hands-on approach to learning, meaning that those who are interested in a skill that requires practice will not just be instructed in the theory end, but will also get more than enough experience on the practice side of things as well.
The school offers a variety of skills-based associate’s degree programs, within the following academic programs: Health & Human Services; Business & Hospitality; Aerospace & Advanced Manufacturing; Science, Technology, and Engineering; and Transportation & Trades. Unlike many other technical colleges which focus their courses of study on particular skills alone, students have access to a helpful core academics program which ensures that all students don’t just get the necessary skills in their field of interest, but also a taste of what a liberal arts education should consist of.
A number of hands-on areas of study draw students from all over Washington, including the Aerospace Composite Technician program, the Culinary Arts program, and the Electrician program. Other popular areas of study on campus include Landscape Management, Manufacturing Technologies, Media Design and Production, and Early Care and Education. In addition to regularly-scheduled weekday daytime classes, a number of weekend and night classes for those who are going back to school to learn a new trade, or for nontraditional students who are working during regular class hours are offered.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Applying to this school is a relatively straightforward process. Students do not need to have taken the ACT or SAT. However, prospective students must have earned either a high school diploma or the GED certificate, and demonstrate their ability to handle the course load of the college. All applications must include proof of a high school diploma or GED certificate, as well as a completed application form and a nonrefundable application fee.
Aside from the basic requirements for attending, specific programs on-campus do often require additional materials, which can be learned about by contacting the Admissions Office or the head of whichever department the prospective student would like to enroll in. For those who are doing their research online, most of the additional requirements are easy to locate on the description section of the online course catalog.
Students who anticipate receiving financial aid to attend CPTC would make things a lot easier once accepted by filling out completely the FAFSA form and including it with the official application. This way, financial aid forms can be processed immediately, and delays can be avoided.
Many students receive some sort of financial aid, and the school has a foundation program designed to generate funds for a variety of school-based scholarships that are both related to need and merit. To receive financial aid, students must be eligible non-citizens or U.S. citizens, be registered with Selective Service, not already owe money on pre-existing loans or grants, and be enrolled and actually attending classes. Many students receive their aid from the federal and state government in the form of Pell Grants and Stafford Loans, as well as through independently sought-after scholarships.
The college participates in Federal Work-Study as well as State Work-Study, meaning that students are able to work on campus and earn money towards the cost of their education. For students who are finding the process a bit difficult, the Financial Aid Office is more than willing to arrange meetings to discuss methods of receiving aid, as well as to go over scholarship opportunities that exist for students both from the school itself and in the local community as well.
Student Financial Aid Details
Most students attending here are part-time students. The core full-time student population numbers 3,500, with most students commuting from the surrounding area. There is no on-campus housing at CPTC. The school’s main campus in Lakewood consists of a number of recently-renovated facilities, including a library and brand-new classrooms. For those students in the aviation program, the school also owns the Aviation Training Complex in Puyallup, which allows for valuable onsite experience.
There are a variety of clubs on campus, including student government. By far, the most popular on-campus activity to be involved is I-91 FM, a student-operated radio station. Many students are involved not just in the operations of the radio station, but as on-air talent. I-91 FM consistently ranks high on the list of college radio stations and has won numerous awards.
Student Enrollment Demographics
There are no official on-campus sporting teams at CPTC, but students frequently do participate in more pick-up style games in their free time.
Accreditation is provided by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Justine Ventimiglia graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Currently residing in a 1950’s modest ranch in Metro Detroit, she enjoys researching and writing about Mid Century Modern furniture and decor as she works on restoring her home and documenting the process.