Bellevue College is a large school of over 35,000 students located outside of Seattle, Washington in the suburb of Bellevue. It is the third largest school in Washington behind Washington State University and the University of Washington. Originally a community college, in 2010 it was awarded baccalaureate accreditation by the NW Commission on Colleges and Universities. The college offers many educational options including associate degrees, bachelor degrees and other career related degrees and certificates.
The main campus is located in a suburban setting on 100 acres of wooded land that hold 12 buildings including a library, labs and a bookstore. The college also has an art gallery which showcases student and faculty artwork and a planetarium with a 30-foot dome. The planetarium was the first of its kind in Puget Sound and offers tours and education programs to the community. In addition to the main campus, Bellevue has interim facilities at the Robinswood and City University campuses as well as 25 additional sites throughout the community where continuing education courses are taught.
Some of the more recent degrees added include the Bachelor of Applied Science in Radiation and Imaging Sciences and Bachelor of Applied Arts in Interior Design. The programs are designed to serve a diverse student body including traditional undergraduate students, as well as those wishing to advance their career opportunities by increasing their education or changing career direction. Many students take their freshmen and sophomore level courses and then transfer to the four-year institution of their choice to complete their bachelor’s degrees.
The college is dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion within the student body and the wider community. One example of this is the associate’s degree program in Occupational Life Skills (OLS-Venture), which is a degree program designed for students with learning, cognitive, and intellectual disabilities. In addition, the Disability Resource Center provides accommodation services to any student with a documented disability. The program serves approximately 600 students with disabilities on an annual basis.
There are a number of flexible options to allow students to complete their education while working around career, family, and other obligations. The continuing education program allows students to enhance their career by taking professional certificate programs in Computer Programming, Database Administration, Information Technology Support, and Project Management. These courses are offered in day and evening sessions many of the certificates can be completed in 6 months.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The Running Start program allows high school juniors and seniors to take classes free of charge. Students can receive recognition for personal study, certification examinations and work portfolios by offering non-traditional credits. Students can apply non-traditional credits towards up to 25% of the total credits required for a certificate or degree. Non-traditional credits do not count towards the GPA and can’t be used to meet requirements for residency.
Prospective students must submit an application online and pay the associated fees. Students are also required to take a math and English Skills Assessment prior to registering for classes. Applications are accepted on a quarterly basis but students are encouraged to apply early to have the best selection of courses available to them for enrollment.
Some programs have a selective admission process with specific application dates. These programs include interior design, nursing, radiologic technology, radiation therapy, nuclear Medicine technology, diagnostic ultrasound and fire service. Students interested in these programs should contact the programs directly to understand specific application requirements and dates.
The financial aid office can assist students with identifying financial aid resources to cover the costs of education. Financial aid options include scholarships, grants, loans and work study options. Because students come from a wide range of backgrounds, several additional sources of funding are available. The Student Tuition Easy Pre-Payment Plan, STEPP, allows student to pay tuition in three separate installments prior to the quarter in which the courses are taken. Other available programs include Workforce Education Programs including the Basic Food Employment Training Program, Opportunity Grant, Worker Retraining Program and Work First.
Bellevue has both men’s and women’s sports teams including basketball, soccer, tennis and golf. Teams compete in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges. Athletic grants are available to student athletes. The Bellevue College baseball team plays their home games at Courter Field which is one of the top baseball facilities in the Pacific Northwest. In addition to Courter Field, students have access to the recently renovated, 19,000 square-foot gymnasium.
Additional School Information
The school encourages students to embrace a culture of diversity and pluralism. The Equity and Pluralism Office, Multicultural Services and Disability Resource Center, provide services to students and faculty to ensure that everyone in the academic community is welcome to enjoy the full services of the college. A Pluralism Compact affirms the commitment of the faculty and staff to provide an inclusive environment free from harassment and discrimination.
Notable alumni include actor Jim Caviezel. In addition, director Stanley Kramer taught film courses here in the early 1980s. In another claim to fame, the North Campus building was once the headquarters for a fledgling Microsoft Corporation.
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.