Bates Technical College


Bates Technical College, located in Tacoma, Washington, offers a variety of two-year degrees and has agreements with local four-year institutions to help students seeking to further their education. Three campuses in Tacoma award industry and academic certificates and technology degrees to students upon the successful completion of a particular program of study. Bates works closely with the local community in Puget Sound to meet the changing needs of employers, offering extended learning, family life programs, business training, and apprenticeships to students. Additionally, ESL and GED prep and basic studies classes are available.

Information Summary

Ranks 25th in Washington and 2245th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 59.9
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $6,316
Admission Success rate N/A
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 20 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 62% / 65%
Enrollment Total (all students) 4,445


In order to acquire a degree or certificate, students must take a certain number of general education classes in areas like the social sciences, math, communications, or English.

In order to better serve the demographic of people who are seeking other types of training and education besides the traditional degree programs, a variety of programs are offered to address nontraditional needs as well, many of which take place on weekends and evenings so that people with busy schedules are able to attend. Popular enrollment options include:

  • continuing education
  • apprenticeships
  • the educator training center
  • the business and management training center
  • the job readiness training center
  • home and family life
  • industry certifications

Continuing education classes help adults in their life long learning pursuits; everything from technology classes to mechanical repair to nursing is available to students seeking more knowledge about the topics that interest them.

Apprenticeships here have a lengthy, 65-year history, with numerous specialties available to interns, of which there are over 1,500 every year. Students in apprentice programs get hands-on training while receiving payment on a sliding scale.

The business and management training center’s advisory services assist in the development of non-profit, business, and government organizations. Support services include business consulting, coaching, employee group training, and conference rooms for public use.

The job readiness training center helps address the changing demands of the local American workforce. In conjunction with TANF and WorkFirst, the center helps students gain experience and training that will help them find a job and become self-sufficient.

Industry certifications for students in career education programs help show prospective employers that the student has completed significant coursework and training in a particular relevant area.

Most Popular Fields of Study

Unique Programs

Running Start

This program is available to high school juniors and seniors who would like to enroll in technical education and career training courses. Tuition is paid for by the school district (although students are responsible for any other fees and materials relevant to the class), and students are able to take classes at both their high school and Bates. The COMPASS entrance test is needed, as well as a completed application.

Technical High School Program

Another program allows high school students to transfer here and earn both their high school and college certificate or degree at the same time. Students must be between 16 and 20 and obtain permission from their school district. The student is responsible for any other costs associated with the class(es) besides tuition, which is paid by the county. One campus offers afternoon technical high school, with classes running from noon to 6 p.m., with the first half of the day spent in academic courses and the second half in career preparation. Possible career choices include mobile electronics installation, fire service, woodworking trades, and power tools and equipment repair.


Enrollment is restricted to students over the age of 16. Prospective students must pay an application fee and fill out an application for admission, which can be done online for certain areas of study, such as teacher preparation, home and family life, and online courses.

Full-time students attend classes throughout the school’s quarter-based annual calendar, six to eight hours per day.

Anyone registering for career education must go to the assessment center to register for the COMPASS test, which provides the school with an idea of the student’s abilities in the areas of math, reading, and writing. The test, or a substitute test, will help determine the student’s placement level for a particular class.

Students applying for health sciences programs, such as practical nursing or dental assisting, must also furnish the admissions office with a high school transcript.

Local Community

Students are active throughout their beloved Puget Sound community, participating in such local events as the Disability Awareness Day, the Global Heritage Celebration, the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebrations, and the health and wellness fair. Students often participate in civic associations and community outreach organizations.

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