Seattle Community College opens its doors to 11,000 students at 13 campuses on September 6, 1966.

  • By Dave Wilma
  • Posted 6/11/2001
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 3362
On September 6, 1966, Seattle Community College opens its doors at 13 campuses to 11,000 students. The college is organized by the Seattle School District from the district's Adult and Vocational Division and the Edison Technical School. It is the state's third largest college.

The origins of Seattle Community College can be traced to 1946. Returning World War II veterans who wanted to earn their high school diplomas were not blending well into conventional high schools. The Seattle School District converted Broadway High School into Edison Technical School. Demand grew both for vocational training and for courses that would allow admission to four-year colleges. Seattle became the only place in the nation where adults could earn their high school diplomas during the day or at night.

With the opening of Seattle Community College, two campuses, one north and one south were planned to absorb the student population. South Seattle Community College opened in the fall of 1970 at 6000 16th Avenue SW in West Seattle. North Seattle Community College opened that same term at 9600 College Way N, near Northgate. The Broadway High School site evolved into Seattle Central Community College. The Jackson Vocational Institute opened at 2120 S Jackson Street.

In 2001, Seattle Community College ranks in size in the state only behind the University of Washington.


Sources: Charles Russell, "Scholarly Staff Plans New College," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 6, 1966, p. 30; Charles Russell, "Community College Holds First Student Meeting," Ibid., October 10, 1966, p. 23; Constantine Angelos, "Commity College Will Have 4-Year High School," Seattle Times, August 14, 1966, p. 35; "North Seattle Community College," undated pamphlet, Seattle Colleges Pamphlet File, Archives, University Manuscripts and Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries, Seattle, Washington.

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