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South Seattle Community College is changing its name to just South Seattle College with the official change over taking effect in time for fall quarter 2014.

South Seattle Community College changing name; Will become South Seattle College next fall

The Seattle Community Colleges District Board of Trustees voted unanimously at its meeting March 13, 2014, to change the name of the District to Seattle Colleges and to change the names of the colleges to North Seattle College, Seattle Central College, and South Seattle College.

The college, founded in 1970, includes programs in nursing (NAC, LPN and RN), aviation, culinary arts, health care, horticulture, the construction trades and winemaking. It is home to the South Seattle Community College Arboretum and incorporates the Georgetown Campus near Boeing Field.

The decision came after a year-long exploration of national and statewide trends; opinion surveys of students, employees and community partners; and consultation with business and civic leaders and representatives from Seattle Public Schools.

All three of the District’s colleges offer bachelor’s degrees now. These Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) degree programs provide the third and fourth year of college work for people who have completed a two-year technical degree. Previously the two-year technical degrees were considered “terminal degrees” with no next educational step.

In her presentation to the Board, District Chancellor Jill Wakefield said, “We believe this will inspire prospective students to reach higher than they thought possible. With the same open admissions policies and the same low tuition, local students can start at a local college that can eventually take them all the way to a bachelor’s degree.”

Changing the colleges’ names, she said, will “signal that we are part of the baccalaureate level program” and is a move to “raise the ceiling” for all our students.

In making its decision, the Board reinforced its commitment to the District’s mission to “provide excellent, accessible educational opportunities to prepare our students for a challenging future.” Albert Shen, Board Chair, said, “We believe that meeting that ‘challenging future’ means the colleges must continue to take new approaches and offer new pathways to access and completion.”

The name changes are expected to be fully implemented by September, in time for the start of the Fall Quarter.

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