Holiday Closure

Bellingham Technical College will be closed from Thursday, November 26 through Sunday, November 29, 2020 for the Thanksgiving Holiday.

Bellingham Technical College provides student-centered, high-quality professional technical education for today’s needs and tomorrow’s opportunities. With over 39 degrees and 55 certificates, there are a variety of careers and programs to choose from.

We understand that attending college is a big decision and we're excited to work alongside you to help you achieve your goals. This Explore Your Pathway page is to assist you with learning the basics about collegehow to explore BTC’s programs, and providing you the information you need to begin at BTC. Be sure to check the bolded terms below in the glossary of terms.  

Steps for Success

Explore your Program

Bellingham Technical College is an open-admission institutionso every student is generally accepted to BTC when the application is completed! When determining the degree or certificate you would like to study at BTC, you will want to explore the program page and the program’s entry tab for further information.

Each BTC program will have minimum entry requirements students must complete to be eligible to register for program classes. Some programs only require minimum assessment or test scores to be met, while some programs have required prerequisite classes. If a program has prerequisite classes, you will be considered an Early Program student when you are completing the prerequisite classes. To determine if you met the program’s entry requirements, you will need to complete step two in the admissions process, assessing your starting point.

When exploring the program page, you will want to find when the program classes start. Some programs are set up in a cohort model, which means they start first quarter classes during specific quarters throughout the school year. For example, our Process Technology program admits new students into the program each Fall and Winter quarterthe Pastry Arts program only admits new students once a year in Fall quarter, and our Engineering AAS programs admit new students quarterly. Be sure to plan ahead and view the academic calendar below to view dates for new student registration and quarter starts.

A program may require general education classesthese classes can be taken any quarter (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer) and can be taken before your program classes start or they can be incorporated into your program class schedule.

Career Exploration

Not sure where your interests lie? Take the Holland Codes Career Exploration Quiz and find out! Choosing a career, college major, or training program that matches your personality and interests is more likely to lead to career satisfaction and success.

After you take the Holland Codes Career Exploration Quiz, if you still need assistance choosing a program you can set up a Career Exploration appointment with an academic advisor or navigator. Academic advisors help you clarify goals, interests, and values to plan for a rewarding career. Academic advisors and navigators work with students in all stages of the career planning process, from developing career goals to gaining the interviewing skills needed to land your dream job. Call Admissions & Advising at 360.752.8345 to schedule a Career Exploration appointment.

Admissions Steps

Now that you decided on your program, you are ready to start the Admissions Steps. Follow the four simple admissions steps to begin your next chapter at BTC.

It is recommended that you complete admissions steps one, two and three before new student registration opens for your intended quarter start date. Find the new student registration and quarter start dates on the academic calendar below. You can still complete the admission steps and register for classes after new student registration opens, but many classes are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Paying for College

While you are beginning the admission steps, it is recommended to be simultaneously completing the funding steps too. View more information about tuition & fees, program cost estimates, funding resources and more on the Paying for College page.

As a technical college, we focus on hands-on learning. In addition to tuition and fees, programs may have additional costs such as supplies, tools, clothing, textbooks, etc., that are required. View the estimated materials and textbook costs on the program page.

Glossary of Terms

  • Academic Advisor and Navigator

    Academic Advisors and Navigators are staff members assigned to students for your program or degree. They help students choose degrees and certificates, design a course of study called an academic plan and help ensure students fulfill graduation requirements.

  • Applying vs. Registering

    Applying to BTC is the first step in the admissions process, completing the application to BTC. The application is online, free and takes about 15 minutes. As an open-door institution, every student is generally accepted to BTC when they submit the application!

    Registering refers to reserving your place in your classes. Students can register for classes in step three of the admissions process. Classes may have entry requirements or prerequisites, so be sure to check your program page’s entry tab for further information

  • Cohort

    A group of students working through a curriculum together towards the same degree. Many programs at BTC are set up in a cohort model and the program’s first quarter classes start during specific quarter(s) throughout the school year.

  • Counselor

    BTC Counseling provides free, confidential personal counseling services to enrolled students. In addition to this short-term, solution-focused service, the BTC Counselor can also provide information on campus and community resources that may be of help to you.

  • Credits

    A measure of a class’s time based on how many hours students spend in class. One credit is approximately one hour of class time per week. Classes typically range from 1-5 credits.

  • Degrees & Certificates

    The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree are two-year degrees for students who want to start a career immediately after graduation.

    Associate of Applied Science-Transfer (AAS-T) degrees are two-year, job-training degrees. They prepare students for immediate employment. These degrees transfer only to: Applied baccalaureate degrees at community or technical colleges, or universities that have an agreement with the community or technical college issuing the degree. Check with your academic advisor or navigator to make sure this is the right path for your transfer goals, and explore more information on the Transfer Options page.

    Certificates provide you with a set of skills to find a job or stay current in your profession. Certificates typically last 1 to 3 quarters. Many certificates are designed to build on top of each other and eventually lead to a longer-term certificate or degree. These are called "stackable" certificates.

  • Early Program vs. Core Program

    Early program students are students completing the prerequisite classes that are required for the program classes. Core program students are students completing the program classes.

  • Face-to-Face vs. Online vs. Hybrid Classes

    Face-to-face classes:
    Most people are familiar with traditional face-to-face classes. Students and instructors meet together for a certain number of hours, in a classroom and on a regular weekly schedule.

    Online Classes:
    Online courses are completed fully online. Students can take an online course when and where they choose. Instructors give assignments and due dates throughout the quarter to keep students on track. In some cases, students are required to interact with each other and the teacher online for a certain number of times during the week or quarter. Some online courses are entirely self-paced.

    Hybrid Classes:
    Hybrid courses combine face-to-face classroom time with online instruction. Students in a hybrid course come to campus at scheduled times and meet face-to-face with instructors and fellow students. Many class activities are conducted online, including course work assignments, discussions and group projects.

  • Full-time vs. Part-time

    Full-time and part-time refers to how many credits a student takes per quarter. Full-time consists of taking 12 credits or more per quarter, typically ranging from 3-5 classes. Part-time is 11 credits or less per quarter, typically ranging between 1-2 classes. Some degrees or certificates only offer a full-time option, while others may offer a full or part-time schedule.

  • General Education (GE) Classes

    Your program courses focus on teaching you the necessary skills to fulfill the technical requirements of your career choice. General education classes are designed to improve your math, communication and human-relation skills for your certificate or degree. General education classes can be taken before your core program classes or incorporated within your core program classes. In admissions step three, you will meet with an advisor/navigator to create an academic plan to determine when you will take each class. View more information about general education classes

  • Open Admission

    Open admission (or open enrollment) refers to allowing all applicants to attend BTC! Many programs or degrees at BTC have minimum entry requirements, so be sure to check the program page’s Entry tab for more information. If you don’t have a high school diploma or a GED, you can connect with BTC’s Transitional Studies department to transition to college level coursework.

  • Prerequisite

    A prerequisite means a class or other requirement that a student must have taken prior to enrolling in a specific class or program. A corequisite means a class or other requirement that a student must take at the same time as another class or requirement.

  • Student ID Number (SID)

    This is the 9-digit number that you will receive from BTC in your admissions email after you apply.

  • Quarters vs. Semesters

    The academic year is often divided into terms—most commonly in the form of semesters or quarters. Semesters typically include a fall and spring semester. At BTC, we are on the quarter system. Quarters divide the year into four terms (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer).

Event Calendar

Outreach

While our office is currently closed to the public, we’re here to assist you virtually!

Our Outreach staff work with prospective students, parents, high school guidance counselors and community partners to help connect people with the educational opportunities at BTC. We can participate in college fairs, career days, college visits and offer general or specific presentations, we can organize a campus event, or connect you with other BTC faculty and staff. Let us know how we can partner with you!

Want to bring a group to BTC?

Group tours and campus visits for 7 or more people require a reservation. Please contact us at least two weeks in advance in order to ensure appropriate staffing for your group. We may also be able to provide other prospective student related services, upon request.

For groups less than 7 people, please visit the Calendar page to see weekly scheduled campus tours and to sign up. Don’t see a time that works for you? Contact the Outreach team and we will try to accommodate your schedule!

High School Guidance Counselors & College Navigators

Members of the Outreach staff regularly visit local high schools throughout the school year. We can also arrange special visits. Examples of events that our staff attend include:

  • Classroom presentations
  • College & career fairs
  • Community events
  • Personalized assistance through admissions steps

Contact the Outreach Team

Send us an email at outreach@btc.edu or call us at 360.752.8345. While our office is currently closed to the public, we’re here to assist you virtually!