May 11, 2021  
2020-21 BTC Catalog 
2020-21 BTC 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 2018-19 academic year, the college served over 5,429 students. Of those students, 54% were female and 45% were male, with at least 30% students of color and 35% first-generation college students. The average student age was 31 years old, and 45% of students were full-time (12+ credits). Of students seeking a degree or certificate, 58% received some kind of financial aid. BTC served 2,133 full-time equivalent students. Of students who left BTC with at least 45 credits, 82% were employed within nine months of their last BTC course enrollment.

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

Accreditation Status

Bellingham Technical College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), a regional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the United States Department of Education. BTC’s accreditation was reaffirmed in February 2016.

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 which 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 the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, 8060 165th Avenue NE, Suite 100, Redmond, WA, 98052, 425.558.4224,

In addition to institutional accreditation, many of BTC’s programs (e.g., Culinary Arts, Dental Assisting, Dental Hygiene, Nursing, Surgery Technology, Veterinary 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 375 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 will annually notify 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-121-040 (12-14))

Bellingham Technical College intends to promote a drug-free, healthful, safe, and secure work environment. The unlawful manufacture, 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 (including pregnancy and parenting status), gender identity or expression, 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, 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.

2018-23 Strategic Plan


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.


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


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.


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.

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.

Established in 1987 as a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, the Bellingham Technical College Foundation is governed by a volunteer board of directors. Early on, the foundation’s primary function was to serve as a conduit for scholarship awards and gifts of in-kind equipment. Since the first staff was hired in 1997, the BTC Foundation has played an increasingly important role in enhancing student success and helping Bellingham Technical College reach its goals.

The Foundation Board has set ambitious three-year fundraising goals (2020-2023), including the commitment to raise:

  • $1,080,000 to support scholarships for BTC students;
  • $375,000 in direct support of BTC programs;
  • $345,000 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 through the foundation, 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.

BTC transforms lives. The BTC Foundation is privileged to be able to work on behalf of the college and to champion student success. The 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


The BTC Foundation typically awards more than $300,000 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 2020-2021

Summer 2020


Fall 2020

Independence Day Holiday

July 3


Fall BTC Classes Begin

Sept 28

Summer BTC Classes Begin

July 8

Fall Nelnet Last Day to Sign Up

Oct 2

Summer Last Day for 100% Refund (8-week)**

July 13

Fall Last Day for 100% Refund **

Oct 2

Summer Last Day for 100% Refund (10-week)**

July 14

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

Oct 9

Summer Nelnet Last Day to Sign Up July 14 Fall Last Day for 50% Refund **

Oct 17

Fall Nelnet First Day to Sign Up July 15 Find your Winter registration time in myBTC portal

Oct 19

Fall “What’s Happening” Available

July 16

Winter Class Information Available Online

Oct 19

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

July 21

Fall Residency & Waiver Request Deadline Oct 28
Summer Last Day for 50% Refund (8-week) **

July 23

Winter 2020-2021 FAFSA / WASFA Due Nov 1

Summer Last Day for 50% Refund (10-week) **

July 27

Faculty In-service Day (no daytime program classes)

Nov 6

Fall General Registration Begins 8 a.m.

July 27

Winter Continuing Program Student Registration Begins

Nov 9

Summer Residency & Waiver Request Deadline

Aug 8

Winter Nelnet First Day to Sign Up


Summer Last Day to Withdraw or Change Schedule (8-week) ***

Aug 18

Veterans Day Holiday

Nov 11

Summer Instructor Briefcase Opens for Grading

Aug 20

Winter “What’s Happening” Available

Nov 12

Fall Tuition & Fees Due in Full *

Aug 26

Winter New Program Student Registration Begins Nov 17
All Documents for Fall to Student Financial Resources

Aug 26

Winter General Registration Begins 8:00 am Nov 23

Summer Last Day to Withdraw or Change Schedule (10-week)***

Aug 28

Thanksgiving Holiday Nov 26-27
Summer Classes End (8-week) Sept 1

Fall Last Day to Withdraw or Change Schedule ***

Nov 30

Labor Day Holiday

Sept 7

Fall Instructor Briefcase Opens for Grading

Dec 3

Summer Quarter Ends (10-week) Sept 16 Winter Tuition & Fees Due in Full *

Dec 8

Summer Grades Final - Check Your Transcript

Sept 21

All Documents for Winter to Student Financial Resources

Dec 8 



Fall Quarter Ends

Dec 17


Winter Break

Dec 18- Jan 4


Fall Grades Final - Check Your Transcript

Dec 22

  Winter Holiday

Dec 24-25


Winter 2021


Spring 2021

New Year’s Day Holiday

Jan 1


Spring BTC Classes Begin

Apr 6

Winter BTC Classes Begin

Jan 5

Spring Nelnet Last Day to Sign Up


Winter Nelnet Last Day to Sign Up


Spring Last Day for 100% Refund **

Apr 12

Winter Last Day for 100% Refund **

Jan 11

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

Apr 19

Martin Luther King Day Holiday

Jan 18

Spring Last Day for 50% Refund **

Apr 25

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

Jan 19

Summer 2021-2022 FAFSA / WASFA Due

May 1

Winter Last Day for 50% Refund **

Jan 24

Find your Summer & Fall registration times in myBTC portal May 3
Spring Class Information Available Online

Jan 26

Summer & Fall Class Information Available Online May 3

Find your Spring registration time in myBTC portal

Jan 26

Spring Residency & Waiver Request Deadline

May 6

Spring 2020-2021 FAFSA / WASFA Due

Feb 1

Faculty In-service Day (no daytime program classes)

May 14

Winter Residency & Waiver Request Deadline

Feb 3

Summer & Fall Continuing Student Registration Begins

May 24

Faculty In-service Day (no daytime program classes)

Feb 5

Summer “What’s Happening” Available

May 27

Presidents Day Holiday

Feb 15

Memorial Day Holiday

May 31

Spring Continuing Program Student Registration Begins

Feb 16

Summer & Fall New Student Registration Begins

Jun 2

Spring Nelnet First Day to Sign Up


Spring Last Day to Withdraw or Change Schedule ***

Jun 4

Spring “What’s Happening” Available

Feb 18

Summer General Registration Begins 8:00 am

Jun 7

Spring New Program Student Registration Begins

Feb 23

Spring Instructor Briefcase Opens for Grading

Jun 9

Spring General Registration Begins 8:00 am

Mar 1

Summer Tuition & Fees Due in Full *

Jun 15

Winter Last Day to Withdraw or Change Schedule ***

Mar 8

All Documents for Summer to Student Financial Resources

Jun 15

Winter Instructor Briefcase Opens for Grading

Mar 11

Spring Quarter Ends

Jun 23

Spring Tuition & Fees Due in Full *

Mar 16

Commencement Ceremony, Mt Baker Theatre, 7:00 pm

Jun 23

All Documents for Spring to Student Financial Resources

Mar 16

Spring Grades Final - Check Your Transcript

Jun 28

Winter Quarter Ends

Mar 25

Fall 2021-2022 FAFSA / WASFA Due

Jul 1

Spring Break

Mar 26-Apr 5




Winter Grades Final - Check Your Transcript

Mar 30



*   If registering 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 the State of Washington which governs 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, Student 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 Assessment Center, Health Sciences, Nursing Skills and Simulation Lab, Continuing Ed, Tutoring Center
HC Haskell 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; Railroad Center, 1411 Railroad Ave., Bellingham: Cosmetology

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 360.752.8345 or