Bates Technical College delivers career education with a focus on hands-on learning. Serving approximately 7,000 students, BTC has three comprehensive campuses in Tacoma that offer two-year degrees, short-term certificates, academic courses, a Technical High School, and life-long learning.
Part of the state’s public two-year college system, Bates Technical College provides practical and concentrated hands-on education with an affordable, accessible path toward successful employment. Degree and certificate programs are offered in a variety of industries and pathways that include:
- Advanced Manufacturing
- Business and Communication
- Education and Public Safety
- Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
- Transportation and Trades
Year Founded: 1940
Student Success Scorecard
Peer Comparison Dashboard
Highest Enrolled Programs*
Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology
Early Childhood Education
Auto Body Rebuilding and Refinishing
Total Headcount (all sources): 6,837
FTEs (all sources): 3,507
Gender: 40% female, 60% male
Median Age: 30
|American Indian/Alaska Native||4%|
Family, finances and more:
- Students receiving need-based financial aid: 29%
- Students in Workforce Education: 79%
- Students in Basic Skills: 4%
- Students enrolled in academic/transfer: 2%
- Students enrolled in other areas: 15%
- Students with Dependents: 45%
Students in selected programs:
- Apprenticeship: 1,740
- I-BEST: 294
- International: 7
- Running Start: 9
- Technical High School: 623
- Worker Retraining: 427
*Data from 2023 State Board for Community and Technical Colleges Field Guide.
Points of Interest
First lady Jill Biden highlights Bates Technical College’s high school programs
First lady Dr. Jill Biden and Assistant Secretary for the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education Amy Loyd visited Bates to tour two programs that connect youth to workforce education while earning high school diplomas: the youth apprenticeship program and Bates Technical High School. Biden and Loyd visited the college’s Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology program and Welding program, and spoke at a Bates Technical High School event.
Health care partnership fuels industry with much-needed employees
To address the shortage of medical workers, Virginia Mason Franciscan Health has partnered with Bates’ Nursing Assistant Certified program. Through the partnership, VMFH will pay student tuition and fees, an hourly salary as a nursing assistant trainee at St. Joseph Medical Center, a sign-on bonus and a 12-month, full-time position once students complete their certification. A similar partnership with MultiCare Health System is in place with the college’s Phlebotomy program. These partnerships increase access and reduce financial barriers to those considering a health care career.
Demand rises for qualified workers in fire service, broadcasting and digital media fields
In Washington state, demand for firefighters is rising, with a projected growth of 7% from 2020-30*. Likewise in media and communications fields, the state has seen the industry grow faster than average at 29% for broadcasting/video production technicians*, and 47%** for digital media careers like special effects artists and animators. In response, Bates has seen enrollment boosts in related career education programs. With a dedication to hands-on and experiential learning, Digital Media program student Chris says Bates gets students career-ready so they can step into their chosen career prepared to work. Fire Service program graduate Chase notes that area fire departments recognize that hardworking students graduate from Bates. The data and testimonials show the college is fulfilling its workforce-focused mission to inspire, challenge and educate.
*Data from O*Net Online.
**Data from Career OneStop.
Title III grant funds the expansion of student retention, completion and success efforts
The US Department of Education awarded Bates Technical College a $2.25 million competitive Title III grant to strategically focus on student support, completion and retention. The critical funding will bolster efforts that expand access to courses and programs in alternate modalities; transition some programs to competency-based curriculum; provide coaching and expanded work-based learning; and improve institutional effectiveness. These activities align with the college’s strategic plan and directly address necessary improvements to ensure student success.
New Center for Allied Health Education opens in 2022
Bates Technical College will meet increasing industry demands for skilled employees in the health care sector. In spring 2022, a 64,000-square-foot Center for Allied Health Education will be added to the downtown campus and serve as a hub for those who wish to pursue a degree or certificate in the allied health fields. This high-tech facility will also offer continuing education opportunities to people who are already employed in the field and house the college’s dental and denture clinics, which provide low-income individuals with affordable dental care options.
I-BEST program boost student success