Postsecondary Technical Education
Contact: Nancy Dick
State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
P.O. Box 42495
Olympia, WA 98504-2495
Telephone: (360) 704-4333
State Website: www.sbctc.edu
Local College Links: www.sbctc.edu/general/c_index.aspx
Participation: 148,771 students were served by Postsecondary Professional-Technical Education between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014. A total of 124,828 of those students were state-supported ( 67,924 full time equivalents or FTES).
Who is Served: Community and technical college programs are open to all high school graduates or anyone aged 18 years or older. Those under 18 who have not completed high school may be admitted with permission from their local school districts. Of all state supported students in 2013-14, 44 percent indicated their purpose for attending was to participate in workforce education programs.
There are no eligibility requirements for postsecondary workforce training. Full-time students are assessed at admission and placed into appropriate courses. Some programs have prerequisites or selection criteria dictated by licensing or accreditation requirements. Training is offered at more than 600 sites operated by the 34 primary campuses and multiple extension sites, including branch campuses, technology centers, business centers, and state prisons. Community and technical college services are available in every county across the state.
Program Description: A variety of workforce opportunities are offered at community and technical colleges, including professional-technical education for employment; upgraded training and retraining to improve or supplement workers’ skills in order to remain competitively employed; supplemental classroom apprenticeship training for apprentices; and developmental education to improve reading, writing, and math skills for entry or success in a professional-technical program.
Community and Technical Colleges Professional-Technical Education, which provides students with skills required for specific occupations, is a key component of the state’s workforce development system. The performance results of this program are measured each year.
Other Program Characteristics: The Perkins IV component of career and technical education more fully develops the academic, occupational, and technical skills of secondary and postsecondary students who enroll in career and technical education programs. Perkins IV builds on the efforts of states and localities to develop challenging academic standards; integrates academic, occupational, and technical instruction; links secondary and postsecondary education; increases state and local flexibility to develop, implement, and improve career and technical education; and disseminates national research and provides professional development and technical assistance to improve career and technical education programs, services, and activities.
Program History: The first community colleges were established in the 1920s and were locally funded until the Legislature enacted the state’s first junior colleges law in 1941. The law included a provision that specified career and technical education programs as part of the two-year college mission. The current system is framed in state law by the Community College Act of 1967 and the Technical College Act of 1991. The 1991 law merged the technical and community colleges and gave the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) responsibility for Adult Basic Education programs. Federal funding for career and technical education legislation began with the Smith Hughes Act of 1917. In 1976, the Vocational Education Act set aside funds to assist special populations, such as people with disabilities, educationally disadvantaged, and single parents. The current law is the third reauthorization of a 1984 act. Known as Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, the act emphasizes career and technical education programs integrating academic and occupational education, technology use, teacher training, and distance learning.
Planning Cycle: Five-year state and college plans and annual updates.
State Core Measures: See Workforce Training Results at http://wtb.wa.gov/WorkforceTrainingResults.asp
Other Outcome Measures: Outcome measures include program completion, employment, earnings, employer satisfaction, and student satisfaction. The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act includes such outcomes as attainment of occupational, technical, and academic skill proficiencies; acquisition of degrees or credentials; placement and retention in postsecondary education or employment; and completion of career and technical programs leading to nontraditional training and employment.
Funding and Regional Division: About 46 percent of the community and technical college system’s operating budget is appropriated by the Legislature from the State General Fund. The balance consists of tuition (27 percent), grants and contracts (16percent), and local funds (11 percent). Perkins funds are allotted by the U.S. Department of Education to each state’s “eligible agency” for strategic disbursement. The Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board is Washington’s eligible agency. SBCTC’s disbursement is distributed to local campuses by a formula, following an annual local plan review and approval for each campus.
State Funding: $190,822,000 (July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014) Workforce State Share. Note: this funding amount does not include tuition, the Job Skills Program or the Worker Retraining Program. The Job Skills Program and Worker Retraining Program are reported elsewhere in this directory.
Federal Funding: $10,997,723 (July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015) U.S. Department of Education.
Statutory Authority: Federal-Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act as amended in 2006, P.L. 109-270. State-Community and Technical College Act of 1991, RCW 28B.50. Administered by the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.