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South Seattle College Profile

About South Seattle College

Established in 1969 with an 87-acre main campus in West Seattle, South Seattle College serves as a portal of opportunity each year for about 9,000 students with diverse needs to meet their educational and career goals.

South Seattle College offers educational opportunities to meet a wide variety of interests and needs, whether on the main campus in West Seattle, through online courses, or at one of the satellite specialty training centers.

Students can choose from a wide variety of educational opportunities, like career training apprenticeships and certificates; associate degrees, including academic transfer options; high school completion and learning English and basic skills; and even bachelor’s degrees. Two bachelor’s degree programs are offered:  

  • Hospitality Management Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS)
  • Sustainable Building Science Technology BAS

South takes pride in celebrating a diverse campus that includes a wide mix of students from regions all over the globe, and our faculty and staff are committed to student success and to helping them turn their academic dreams into reality. Students find themselves part of a close-knit community dedicated to making them feel welcome, inspired, and ready to take on the world.  

South’s main campus overlooks downtown Seattle and Elliott Bay. The college’s six-acre arboretum is adjacent to the site of the developing Seattle Chinese Garden. South also operates three specialized Training Centers in other locations across the city.

Specialized Training Centers

North students working together 

South Seattle College’s Georgetown campus is known as the area’s premier workforce education and training center. The Apprenticeship & Education Center is the largest apprenticeship training facility on the West Coast serving over 3,000 apprentices and journey-level workers in more than 50 trades. Georgetown also houses Corporate & Customized Training to meet the education and training needs of the business community.

Also located on the Georgetown Campus, the Washington State Labor, Education, and Research Center works with unions, community-based organizations and within colleges to provide training and workshops to help working women and men develop the skills, confidence, and knowledge to be leaders at work and in their communities.

A winner of U.S. Department of Labor grant rounds, the Georgetown campus is well-positioned to deliver training and services to people experiencing long-term unemployment, those ready to transition into new careers, and local employers. 

Harbor Island Training Center is a collaborative, public-private partnership established on-site at Vigor Industrial Shipyards on Harbor Island to train maritime welders for the regional shipbuilding and repair community. This “classroom-In-a-shipyard" is designed to meet the needs of maritime companies in Puget Sound with instructors who are industry professionals teaching the necessary skills students need to become highly employable shipyard welders.

NewHolly is a community with the mission to foster the success of youth, adults, and families. In implementing this mission, South Seattle College, along with community partners, values and promotes services that build on strengths, diversity and multiculturalism, public-private collaboration, an open and engaged community, and a commitment to innovation. South Seattle College primarily offers English as a Second Language (ESL) programs at NewHolly.

South Seattle College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.  

South Seattle College is among 34 public community and technical colleges in Washington state that are members of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC). The SBCTC is governed by a nine-member, governor-appointed board and is responsible for administering the Community and Technical College Act.

Our Mission, Vision, and Values

Our Mission    
As an open-access learning institution, Seattle Colleges prepares each student for success in life and work, fostering a diverse, engaged, and dynamic community.

Our Vision    
Seattle Colleges is recognized as an exemplary learning institution that transforms lives, promotes equity, and enriches the community.

Our Values

  1. Accessibility for all learners and partners
  2. Collaboration through open communication and commitment to working together
  3. Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity for all individuals, particularly the underserved in our community
  4. Fiscal Sustainability for long-term viability and excellence in service and operations
  5. Growth and Engagement of faculty and staff through professional development
  6. Innovation in instruction, student services, operations, and organizational culture
  7. Integrity by adhering to the highest standards of ethics and public stewardship

Our Leadership

South exterior students walking on campusThe president serves as the top executive and leader of South Seattle College.

South Seattle College is part of Seattle Colleges, a multi-college district that also includes North Seattle College and Seattle Central College. The three college presidents report to the chancellor, who serves as the chief executive officer for Seattle Colleges. The three college presidents are part of the chancellor’s executive cabinet.  

Seattle Colleges is governed by a five-member board of trustees appointed by the Washington state governor and approved by the state Senate. Trustees serve sequential five-year terms and are responsible for hiring the chancellor, who reports to the board.

Together our chancellor, our college presidents, and their teams work with our board of trustees to guide Seattle Colleges toward excellence.

For more information:

Our Strategic Plan

Seattle Colleges’ strategic planning process is cyclical, with planning, implementation, and review built into each comprehensive strategic plan. The board of trustees—in consultation with the district community, including faculty, staff, students, administrative leadership, and external partners—initiates and approves each plan.

The most recent planning phase took place in 2016-2017 and culminated in the multiyear Seattle Colleges Strategic Plan for 2017-23, which provided broad, forward-looking direction with a strong, intentional focus on fostering student success.

An updated districtwide Strategic Plan will be developed during the 2023-2024 academic year. This updated plan will reflect a common purpose, beliefs, commitments, and priorities. It will also establish a set of major goals to be achieved over time across the district and at each college. The foundation for this planning is facilitated at the district level and is formulated through extensive involvement from Central, North, and South.  

Accompanying the districtwide Strategic Plan will be a set of Action Plans—one for each college. Each Action Plan recognizes the unique characteristics of each of the colleges and includes a range of high-level strategies that will be operationalized in a manner appropriate for each college. Individual college Action Plans, in turn, are devised and implemented to reinforce the overarching goals outlined in the districtwide Strategic Plan. These plans are locally crafted at the divisional and departmental levels. Embedded within the Strategic Plan and Action Plans are strategies designed to steer and bolster districtwide goals and objectives.

For more information:


Our Student Demographics

Like our city and surrounding region, our student body is dynamic and among the most diverse in the Pacific Northwest.

South Seattle College

  • 9,216 total students
  • 60% male, 30% female, <1% nonbinary, 10% not reported
  • 3% of students are parents
  • 42% identify as students of color
  • 31% full-time students
  • 69% part-time students
  • Median age is 29

South Seattle College

  • 8,892 total students
  • 61% male, 32% female, <1% nonbinary, 7% not reported
  • 3% of students are parents
  • 43% identify as students of color
  • 30% full-time students
  • 70% part-time students
  • Median age is 28

Source: the data above is provided by the Seattle Colleges Office of Institutional Effectiveness. For more information, see our data dashboard.

For more information:  

Images from the annual MLK event

Our People

Seattle Colleges has more than 2,000 employees districtwide.

  • Full-time faculty employees: 271
  • Part-time faculty employees: approximately 500 per quarter
  • Classified staff employees: 420
  • Professional staff employees: 208
  • Exempt nonrepresented employees: 155
  • Part-time temporary hourly employees: 555

More than 70 percent of our employees are represented by one of three unions:

  • American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Seattle Local 1789, AFL-CIO
  • American Federation of Teachers Seattle Professional Staff (AFT-SPS) Local 6550, AFL-CIO
  • Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE), AFSCME Council 28, AFL-CIO  

Source: the data above is from April 2023 and is provided by the Seattle Colleges Office of Human Resources.

South students in class

Our Programs

Seattle Colleges' 130-plus programs are organized around eight areas of study.

  • Arts, Design, and Graphics
  • Business and Accounting
  • Culinary, Hospitality, and Wine
  • Education and Human Services
  • Health and Medical
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
  • Skilled Trades and Technical Training
  • Social Sciences, Humanities, and Language

We offer:

  • Bachelor's degrees
  • Associate of Applied Science, Arts, Business, Science, and Fine Arts transfer degrees
  • Career and Technical Education
  • Certificates
  • General Education Degree preparation
  • ESL/Basic and Transitional Studies  

For more information:

Seattle skyline at sunset featuring skyscrapers and the Space Needle from the vantage point of Lake Washington

Our Neighborhood and City

South Seattle College is located in the largely residential West Seattle neighborhood. Our 87-acre campus sits on a spacious hilltop with a panoramic view of the city skyline, Elliott Bay, and majestic Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges.

Seattle is an urban, cosmopolitan hub surrounded by water, forests, and mountains. As a major port and Washington state's largest city, Seattle is a center of not only commerce and tourism, but also technology, healthcare, education, and the arts. Its diverse population and eclectic neighborhoods create a rich cultural diversity that is reflected in its businesses, restaurants, events, and music.  

On behalf of the Seattle Colleges, we acknowledge that we occupy the traditional ancestral lands of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish, Muckleshoot, Tulalip, Snoqualmie and Suquamish—a people that are still here, continuing to honor and bring to light their ancient heritage.  

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