May 18, 2024  
2023-24 Catalog 
2023-24 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

About Our College

About BTC

BTC History

Bellingham Technical College began in 1957, serving Whatcom County adults as Bellingham Vocational Technical Institute, and was operated by Bellingham School District. In 1991, through state legislative action, the institution was designated a member of the Washington State Community and Technical College system as Bellingham Technical College (BTC). The college is located in a district of 2,210 square miles with a population of over 212,284. The majority of students are local, with a growing number moving to the area to enroll at BTC.

About Our Students

In the 2020-21 academic year, the college served 4,100 students (1,579 full-time equivalent students). Of those students, 57% identified as female and 41% as male (2% not reporting), 25% identified as students of color (22% not reporting), and the average age was 29 years old. Of the 2,715 degree-/certificate-seeking students, 60% identified as first-generation college students, 55% attended full-time, and 56% received some kind of financial aid. Of students who left BTC during the 2019-20 academic year with at least 45 credits, 72% were employed within nine months of their last BTC course enrollment (Washington State Community and Technical College average was 71%).

(Data sources: BTC Operational Data Store, SBCTC After College Outcomes Dashboard)

Accreditation Status

Bellingham Technical College (BTC) is a Member institution with the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). BTC’s accreditation status is Accreditation Reaffirmed. The NWCCU’s most recent action related to BTC’s accreditation status was to reaffirm accreditation in June 2022. NWCCU is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Accreditation by NWCCU indicates that BTC meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of institutional quality evaluated through a peer review process. An accredited college or university is one that has available the necessary resources to achieve its stated purposes through appropriate educational programs, is substantially doing so, and gives reasonable evidence that it will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.

Accreditation by NWCCU applies to the institution as a whole. It provides reasonable assurance about the quality of opportunities available to students who attend the institution. As such, it is not a guarantee of every course or program offered, or the competence of individual graduates.

Inquiries regarding BTC’s accredited status should be directed to BTC’s administrative staff or by contacting:

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
8060 165th Avenue NE, Suite 200, Redmond, WA, 98052

In addition to institutional accreditation, many of BTC’s programs (e.g., Culinary Arts, Dental Hygiene, Nursing, Surgery Technology, Veterinary Technician. Emergency Medical Technician) have national certification or accreditation. These are highlighted in the program descriptions.

Advisory Committees

The degree and certificate programs at Bellingham Technical College rely on the involvement and support of approximately 225 businesses, industry employers and employees from the community. Advice and direction offered by experts in the working world ensure that students are acquiring knowledge and skills that are in demand in the workforce.

An advisory committee representing each specific professional technical field meets regularly with faculty of the same instructional area on matters of curriculum review and development, facilities and equipment, guidance and career advisement, employment opportunities and placement, plus public relations and promotional activities.

Drug-Free Workplace

Bellingham Technical College is committed to providing a drug-free, healthful, safe, and secure workplace and environment, and has implemented a drug and alcohol abuse, prevention, and assistance program. The College annually notifies employees and students that the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol on College property, or as any part of College activity, is prohibited (WAC 495B-121-265 (10)).

Bellingham Technical College intends to promote a drug-free, healthful, safe, and secure work environment. The unlawful manufacture, sale, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of alcohol or any controlled substance is prohibited in or on property owned or controlled by Bellingham Technical College. The use of alcohol or any unlawful controlled substance while in or on property owned or controlled by Bellingham Technical College is prohibited. While state law permits the recreational use of marijuana, federal law prohibits such use on college premises or in connection with college activities. Prescription drug usage must be accomplished in a lawful and safe manner pursuant to a valid medical prescription. No employee will report to work while under the influence of alcohol or any unlawful controlled substance. A controlled substance is defined by RCW 69.50.201 through RCW 69.50.214 or pursuant to Title 21 USC Section 821 (Schedules I-IV), as now enacted or subsequently amended.

BTC recognizes drug dependency to be an illness and major health problem. The institution also classifies drug usage and abuse as a potential safety and security problem. Employees needing assistance in dealing with such problems are strongly encouraged to utilize the Employee Assistance Program, provided by health insurance plans, when appropriate.

Equal Opportunity Statement

Bellingham Technical College provides equal opportunity and access in education and employment and does not exclude, deny benefits to, or otherwise discriminate against any person on the basis of race, ethnicity, creed, color, sex, gender, citizenship status, national origin, age, marital status, religious preference, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, reliance on public assistance, sexual orientation, veteran status, political opinions or affiliations, or genetic information under any of its programs, activities, and services. The College complies with all Washington State anti-discrimination laws (RCW 49.60) and the following federal laws relating to equal opportunity: Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.

The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination, equal opportunity, affirmative action or the ADA policies: Executive Director of Human Resources, 3028 Lindbergh Avenue, Bellingham, WA 98225, 360.752.8354. For Title IX/504 compliance, contact: Vice President of Student Services, 3028 Lindbergh Avenue, Bellingham, WA 98225, 360.752.8440.

BTC publications are available in alternate formats upon request by contacting the Accessibility Resources office at 360.752.8576.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Bellingham Technical College is committed to maintaining a welcoming, safe, and accessible campus environment by strengthening diversity, equity, and inclusivity in its campus community. The College recognizes these are essential elements of a healthy campus community.

The College believes every student deserves an opportunity for success in their education, so the College welcomes all students, inclusive of any race, color, creed, religion, sex, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained guide or service animal by a person with a disability, or national origin, citizenship or immigration status, or genetic information under any of its programs, activities, and services.

The College states that Equity means that BTC seeks to create an educational experience that prepares all students to live as critical thinkers and engaged members of a global world. Our graduates will be prepared to enter their careers as leaders who honor the importance of diverse communities. BTC is dedicated to the ongoing training and education of our students and employees around topics of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

BTC is engaged in reducing institutional barriers and harm that students of historically underrepresented groups are experiencing daily. BC is committed to supporting our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color community (BIPOC) members and working to define, identify, and dismantle inequitable structures of power, privilege and oppression that have and continue to hinder the education of historically underrepresented peoples.

The Bellingham Technical College Board of Trustees recognizes the importance of these as essential elements of a healthy campus community, supports efforts to achieve their ends, and acknowledges that this commitment to diversity applies to employees, students, and guests of Bellingham Technical College.

In order to manifest these values across campus, BTC has established a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (DEI Committee). The DEI Committee is a cross-constituency group that provides policy direction and recommendations to the College Assembly, and is a deliberative body that sets the DEI agenda for the college and monitors its progress toward achieving its goals. DEI Committee also serves as an operation committee, serving in a communication and advocacy capacity to maintain consistency of major college diversity, equity, and inclusion processes and procedures.

2018-23 Strategic Plan

The Strategic Plan was developed by the employees and students of Bellingham Technical College and guides our institutional work. We prioritize our activities, allocate our resources, and collaborate with others based on our strategic themes and goals, and are committed to creating, evaluating, and improving college practices and policies to support the Strategic Plan.


Bellingham Technical College provides student-centered, high-quality professional technical education for today’s needs and tomorrow’s opportunities.


Bellingham Technical College will be a recognized leader in providing innovative and effective technical education, maximizing student potential and supporting the regional economy through development of a competitive workforce.


As a learning community, Bellingham Technical College is committed to educational excellence and equity realized through a positive, values-based campus environment. To fulfill BTC’s mission and vision, the college will adhere to the following values:

Student-Centered  Creating a supportive and inclusive community that results in a high level of student competence, professionalism, and success.

Responsive  Embracing positive, effective change that creates opportunity and meets current and emerging needs.

Collaborative  Creating and leveraging partnerships and resources to achieve shared values and goals for students, the college, and the community.

Principled  Promoting a culture of respect and accountability, reflecting integrity in decision-making, and ensuring responsible stewardship of all resources.


Teaching & Learning: Foster teaching and learning through quality instructional methods, effective student learning environments, job skills training, and professional development.

Student Career Preparation & Achievement: Facilitate student career preparation and achievement through career advising, workplace readiness and soft skills training, job placement and support, and strong employer relationships.

Innovation & Responsiveness: Promote innovation and responsiveness by keeping up with current workplace practices, trends, and latest technology; supporting adaptation to change; and developing external partnerships.

Campus Community & Culture: Strengthen campus community and culture through a collaborative workplace, connected infrastructure, transparent governance, respectful and open communication, and a welcoming and safe environment.

Bellingham Technical College Foundation

The Bellingham Technical College Foundation’s mission is to change lives by expanding access to quality education.

The Foundation Board of Directors and staff forward this mission by partnering with individuals, businesses, alumni, grant-making institutions, and other community organizations.

The Foundation Board set an ambitious three-year fundraising goal (2023-2026), including the commitment to raise:

  • $1,500,000 to support scholarships for BTC students;
  • $600,000 in direct support of BTC programs;
  • $300,000 to support the foundation’s “Greatest Need Fund,” which supports a variety of campus priorities, including: emergency grants and other assistance for students; faculty and staff professional development; support for BTC veterans; and the campus food pantry.

There are many ways to support BTC through the Foundation, including: making an annual or named scholarship donation, establishing an endowed scholarship, donating gifts of stock or other assets, making a pledged gift over time, or donating equipment to support our college’s programs.

If you or someone you know would like to support the BTC Foundation’s mission, you may do so online at or by calling us at 360.752.8684. We are happy to assist you in any way possible.

The BTC Foundation is located on the second floor of the Morse Center Building (rooms 201-202).

Bellingham Technical College Foundation
3028 Lindbergh Ave Bellingham, WA 98225

Tax ID #91-1658027


Over the past five years, the BTC Foundation has awarded an average of $500,000 in scholarships each year to an average of 50% of the students who apply. The scholarship application is available online at the beginning of Spring Quarter with the application deadline typically on or around June 30.

Learn more at

College Calendar 2023-2024

Summer 2023


Fall 2023

Independence Day Holiday

July 4


Fall BTC Classes Begin

Sept 20

Summer BTC Classes Begin

July 5

Fall Nelnet Last Day to Sign Up

Sept 26

Summer Nelnet Last Day to Sign Up

July 11

Fall Last Day for 100% Refund **

Sept 26

Summer Last Day for 100% Refund **

July 11

Fall Last Day to Drop without a W on transcript ***

Oct 3

Fall “What’s Happening” Available July 13 Fall Last Day for 50% Refund **

Oct 9

Summer Last Day to Drop without a W on transcript *** July 17 Check Your Winter Enrollment Appointment in myBTC          

Oct 16

Summer Last Day for 50% Refund **

July 24

Winter Class Information Available Online

Oct 16

Summer Residency & Waiver Request Deadline

Aug 3

Fall Residency & Waiver Request Deadline Oct 19
Summer Grade Rosters Open in Faculty Center

Aug 15

Winter 2023-2024 FAFSA / WASFA Due Nov 1
Summer Last Day to Withdraw or Change Schedule ***

Aug 17

All Documents for Winter to Student Financial Resources Nov 1

Summer Quarter Ends

Aug 29

Winter “What’s Happening” Available

Nov 3

Summer Grades Final - Check Your Transcript

Sept 1

Winter Early Enrollment Begins 

Nov 6

Labor Day Holiday

Sept 4

Faculty In-service Day (no daytime program classes)

Nov 9

Fall Tuition & Fees Due in Full *

Sept 11

Veterans Day Holiday

Nov 10



Winter Nelnet First Day to Sign Up Nov 13


Winter Open Enrollment Begins Nov 13

Fall Last Day to Withdraw or Change Schedule ***

Nov 16



Fall Grade Rosters Open in Faculty Center

Nov 22

    Thanksgiving Holiday

Nov 23-24



Fall Quarter Ends

Dec 8



Winter Break

Dec 11-Jan 2


Fall Grades Final - Check Your Transcript

Dec 13


Winter Holiday

Dec 22-25

  Winter Tuition & Fees Due in Full *

Dec 26


Winter 2024


Spring 2024

New Year’s Day Holiday

Jan 1


Spring BTC Classes Begin

Apr 2

Winter BTC Classes Begin

Jan 3

Spring Nelnet Last Day to Sign Up

Apr 8

Winter Nelnet Last Day to Sign Up

Jan 9

Spring Last Day for 100% Refund **

Apr 8

Winter Last Day for 100% Refund **

Jan 9

Spring Last Day to Drop without a W on transcript ***

Apr 15

Martin Luther King Day Holiday

Jan 15

Spring Last Day for 50% Refund **

Apr 21

Winter Last Day to Drop without a W on transcript ***

Jan 17

Summer 2024-2025 FAFSA / WASFA Due

May 1

Winter Last Day for 50% Refund **

Jan 22

All Documents for Summer to Student Financial Resources May 1
Spring 2023-2024 FAFSA / WASFA Due

Feb 1

Spring Residency & Waiver Request Deadline May 1

All Documents for Spring to Student Financial Resources

Feb 1

Summer & Fall Class Information Available Online

May 3

Winter Residency & Waiver Request Deadline

Feb 1

Check your Summer & Fall registration time in myBTC

May 3

Spring Class Information Available Online

Feb 5

Summer “What’s Happening” Available

May 19

Check your Spring Enrollment Appointment in myBTC

Feb 5

Summer & Fall Nelnet First Day to Sign Up

May 23

Spring “What’s Happening” Available

Feb 16

Summer & Fall Early Enrollment Begins

May 23

Presidents Day Holiday

Feb 19

Memorial Day Holiday

May 27

Faculty In-service Day (no daytime program classes)

Feb 20

Faculty In-service Day (no daytime program classes)

May 28

Spring Nelnet First Day to Sign Up

Feb 26

Summer & Fall Open Enrollment Begins

May 29

Spring Early Enrollment Begins

Feb 26

Fall 2024-2025 FAFSA / WASFA Due

June 1

Spring Open Enrollment Begins

Mar 4

Spring Last Day to Withdraw or Change Schedule ***

June 3

Winter Last Day to Withdraw or Change Schedule ***

Mar 4

Spring Grade Rosters Open in Faculty Center

June 7

Winter Grade Rosters Open in Faculty Center

Mar 8

Juneteenth Holiday

June 19

Winter Quarter Ends

Mar 22

Commencement Ceremony

June 21

Spring Tuition & Fees Due in Full *

Mar 25

Spring Quarter Ends

June 21

Spring Break

Mar 25-Apr 1

Summer Tuition & Fees Due in Full *

June 24

Winter Grades Final - Check Your Transcript

Mar 27

Spring Grades Final - Check Your Transcript

June 26






*   If enrolling after Tuition & Fee Due Date, payment is due within 48 hours. After quarter start, payment is due within 24 hours.
**  Published Refund dates are for full-quarter length classes. Shorter classes are pro-rated. Please see the Refund Policy.
*** Published Drop & Withdrawal dates are for full-quarter length classes. Dates vary for classes with alternative schedules.

The College Calendar is tentative, pending final approval, and is subject to change.
Visit us on the web at


Bellingham Technical College reserves the option to amend, modify, or revise any provision of this catalog and its programs for any reason, including but not limited to:

  • A lack of funds to operate a program or course
  • Unavailability of faculty
  • A change in administrative or Board of Trustees policy
  • A change in laws, rules, or regulations of local, state, or federal laws which govern the operation of technical colleges.

BTC Map & Directions to Campus

How to Find our Campus

From I-5: Take Exit 258 (airport exit). Follow the signs - left off the exit, left onto Bennett Drive, left onto Marine Drive, left onto Lindbergh Ave. For College Services Bldg., turn left onto Nome St.

From Downtown Bellingham: Follow Holly St. to Eldridge Ave. After the stone bridge (watch for sign), turn right onto Nequalicum Ave. For College Services Bldg., go straight onto Nome St.

From Guide Meridian: At the south end of Guide Meridian, turn right on Broadway. Right onto Eldridge Ave. After the stone bridge, turn right onto Nequalicum Ave. For College Services Bldg., go straight onto Nome St.

BTC Campus Map  

A Literacy Council, Transitional Studies/Basic Education for Adults
B Electrician, Machining, Industrial Maintenance & Mechatronics
C Dental Assisting & Dental Hygiene, Dental Clinic
CC Campus Center Campus Store, Business Courses, Cafe Culinaire, Culinary Arts, Computer Networking, Common Grounds Coffee Shop, Library, Settlemyer HallStudent Center, 
CS College Services Bldg. Student Services, Administration, Human Resources, Cashier
DMC Desmond McArdle Center Instrumentation & Control Technology, Process Technology, Electronics Engineering Technology
G Lindbergh Avenue Deli & Grill and Café Culinaire to go window (Spring Quarter)
H Health Sciences, Nursing Skills and Simulation Lab, Continuing Ed, Tutoring Center
HC Haskell Center Assessment Center, Nursing, Radiologic Technology, Surgery Technology, Sciences
J Engineering Technology, Civil Engineering, Geomatics (formerly Surveying & Mapping), Mechanical Design
K Facilities
M Automotive Technology
MC Morse Center Welding, Auto Collision, Foundation
R Veterinary Technician
T Diesel Technology
Y Family Learning Center

Off Campus locations: Technology Development Center (TDC), 1000 F St., Bellingham: Composites Engineering; Perry Center for Fisheries & Aquaculture Sciences, 1600 C St., Bellingham: Fisheries & Aquaculture Sciences.

Instructional sites are easily accessible to students using wheelchairs or crutches. Building M is not barrier-free. Disabled students who wish to take a class at a site which does not accommodate their disability should contact Accessibility Resources at 360.752.8576 or