From Modest Beginnings...
We’ve come a long way since we first opened our doors more than 50 years ago. Name changes, student population growth, facilities expansion, and lots of new programs are among the notable topics of our history. And while we have seen many shifts in our history, one constant has remained — we desire to make a positive impact by providing opportunities for our students to grow.
In 1971, when we were first chartered, our name was Washington Technical College. Our first classes were held at Washington Elementary School and we offered three programs — Secretarial Science, Industrial Technology, and Data Processing. Our origins were modest but invaluable to the 37 initial students. In 1973 we held our first commencement with eight graduates, and the following year, that number grew to 40.
Our home for the 1970s and 1980s was the current Washington County Career Center on Route 676. During that time, we were accredited for the first time by North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (1974) and several new programs were added. Enrollment jumped by 42% in the mid-to-late 1970s. By the middle of the 1980s, our enrollment had grown to over 1,000 students, and a 33,000 square-foot expansion provided much-needed additional space. We were quickly outgrowing the existing campus, and it was evident that a new home for the College was necessary.
In 1989, the College was on the cusp of a monumental transformation. Within two years, the College would be rechartered as a community college, move to a new campus, and experience a dramatic increase in both students and employees.
The last decade of the 20th century brought lots of change. We outgrew not only our physical site, but our original mission. We initially rooted ourselves in technical education, but found that, in addition to breaking ground at a new location, it was time to expand the programs to offer the Associate of Arts & Associate of Science degrees. So in 1990, as we opened the doors to our Colegate Drive 180-acre campus, our name officially changed to Washington State Community College.
From the beginning, the student body growth exceeded the size of the main building, and between 1996 and 2003, the College expanded the campus to include an additional four facilities, including the Arts & Sciences Center, Carson K. Miller Library, Center for Business and Technology, and the Evergreen Child Development Center.
Today our campus is alive with exploration, discovery and knowledge. We offer more than 40 certificate and associate degree programs, we have 250+ employees and serve more than 2,300 students. So, whether you are a recent high school graduate or an adult student looking to enrich your life, at WSCC, we cultivate pathways to guide you toward future growth.