Morse Center

About BTC

Institutional Effectiveness

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The Office of Institutional Research and Planning provides centralized information and support across the areas of data collection, management, access, and analysis, as well as strategic planning and accreditation.


Core Themes

Core Theme 1: Student Success and Access
Core Theme 2: Excellence
Core Theme 3: College Visibility with Strong Community, Business, and Industry Relations

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Bellingham Technical College (BTC) is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the United States Department of Education. BTC’s accreditation was reaffirmed in January 2015.

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:

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
8060 165th Avenue NE, Ste. 100
(425) 558-4224

Core Themes

Core Theme 1: Student Success and Access
Core Theme 2: Excellence
Core Theme 3: College Visibility with Strong Community, Business, and Industry Relations

Documents Related to Our Accreditation:

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Strategic Plan

Campus Initiatives
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)


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.


As a learning community, Bellingham Technical College is committed to educational excellence and equity realized through a positive, values-based environment. To fulfill Bellingham Technical College’s mission and vision, the College will adhere to the following values:

Creating a supportive and inclusive community that results in a high level of student competence, professionalism, and success.

Embracing positive, effective change that creates opportunity and meets current and emerging needs.

Creating and leveraging partnerships and resources to achieve shared values and goals for students, the College, and the community.

Promoting a culture of respect and accountability, reflecting integrity in decision-making, and ensuring responsible stewardship of all resources.


Student Success [priority goal]
Facilitate student success through practices, structure, and policies.

Excellence & Innovation
Promote excellence and innovation throughout the College.

Increase options and improve access for all students through educational pathways.

College Visibility & Resource Development
Strengthen the visibility and support of the College locally, regionally, and nationally.

Campus Environment
Create and maintain a welcoming campus that supports diversity, promotes a sense of community, provides an effective work and learning environment, and encourages respect for individuals.

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Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)


  1. Enrollment - Annual FTE
      • Annual/Five Year Goal: Maintain state FTE enrollment at 11% above State Board allocation target
  2. Transition Rates
    • a. Adult Basic Education (ABE) to College-Level
      • Annual Goal: Improve transition rate from previous year
      • Five Year "Stretch" Goal: Reach 37% transition by 2017-2018
    • b. Developmental Education to College-Level
      • Annual Goal: Improve transition rate from previous year
      • Five Year "Stretch" Goal: Reach 45% transition by 2017-2018
    • c. Pre-Program to Program
      • Annual/Five Year Goal: To be determined summer/fall 2015, once four years of data with new pre-program coding (implemented summer 2011) becomes available.
  3. Retention Rate
      • Annual Goal: Improve retention rate from previous year
      • Five Year “Stretch” Goal: Reach 70% fall-to-fall retention by 2017-2018
  4. Degrees/Certificates Awarded
      • Annual Goal: Increase number of degrees/certificates awarded from previous year
      • Five Year Goal: Reach 870 degrees/certificates awarded by 2017-2018
  5. Graduation Rate
      • Annual Goal: Improve completion rate from previous year
      • Five Year Goal: Reach 50% completion by 2017-2018
  6. Student Satisfaction with Instructional Programs & Support Services
      • Annual/Five Year Goal: Reach 80% satisfaction (aggregate of multiple sub-indicators)
  7. Graduate Employment Rate
      • Annual/Five Year Goal: Achieve 80% employment
  8. Employer Satisfaction with Graduate Performance
      • Annual*/Five Year Goal: Reach 80% satisfaction (aggregate of multiple sub-indicators)
  9. Campus Climate
      • Annual*/Five Year Goal: Achieve a composite climate score reflecting a “high consultative” management style (aggregate of multiple sub-indicators)
  10. Funding Ratio - State/Non-State
      • Annual/Five Year Goal: Achieve/maintain mix of 40% state funding, 60% non-state funding
  11. Unrestricted Fund Balance as Portion of Operating Budget
      • Annual/Five Year Goal: Achieve/maintain unrestricted fund balance as 20% of operating budget with the ability to use 5% to fund strategic initiatives, capital projects, and grant expiration transitions, etc.
*For years in which the survey is administered
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    ATD Image

Achieving the Dream (ATD)

Achieving the Dream, Inc. is a national nonprofit that is dedicated to helping community and technical college students, particularly low-income students and students of color, stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree. Achieving the Dream demonstrated that innovative, evidence-based community college programs and interventions can produce and sustain student success.

BTC became an ATD member institution in February 2011 and receives funding from College Spark. BTC works directly with ATD coaches to gather and assess student data to better assess their needs and help our students graduate with a degree or certificate.

Click on any of the tree leaves below to learn more about BTC’s priority goals, initiatives and data findings.

BTC will update this page with our findings as new information is published—so check back!


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Student Achievement Initiative (SAI)

Student Achievement Initiative information.