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Facts and Information 2017-12-01T13:08:30+00:00

Facts and Information

Highline College Library Resources

About Us

Highline College is nationally and internationally recognized as a premier community college, a reputation earned through the development of an institutional culture that values innovation, globalization of curriculum and community participation. Highline is one of 34 community and technical colleges in Washington state.



Highline’s main campus is located on an 80-acre wooded site in the Pacific Northwest, 20 minutes south of downtown Seattle. Perched on a hill in Des Moines, Wash., the main campus overlooks beautiful Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Classes are also offered at the Marine Science and Technology (MaST) Center at Redondo Beach and additional locations in the community.


Mission Statement

As a public institution of higher education serving a diverse community in a multicultural world and global economy, Highline College promotes student engagement, learning, and achievement, integrates diversity and globalism throughout the college, sustains relationships within its communities, and practices sustainability in human resources, operations, and teaching and learning.


Highline is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the United States Department of Education.


Highline is led by Acting President Jeff Wagnitz, Ed.D., and governed by a five-member Board of Trustees: Dan Altmayer, Debrena Jackson Gandy, Fred Mendoza, Bob Roegner and Sili Savusa. Faculty members are actively involved in campus governance.

Organizational Chart
Board of Trustees
Interim President Jeff Wagnitz, Ed.D.
Vice President for
Michael Pham
Vice President for
Academic Affairs
Jeff Wagnitz, Ed.D.
Vice President for
Student Services
Toni Castro
Vice President for
Institutional Advancement
Lisa Skari, Ed.D.

Recent Notable Achievements and Awards

Highline’s commitment to diversity, social justice and multiculturalism earned the college awards and recognition.

award-of-excellence-highline-2014Highline received a prestigious Award of Excellence from the American Association of Community Colleges twice in the past three years. In 2016, the AACC recognized President Jack Bermingham and the college’s five-member Board of Trustees for their exemplary collaboration and working relationship, and in 2014, Highline was recognized as a leader among the nation’s community colleges for increasing diversity as well as educational and social justice equity.

2016 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity AwardFor the fourth consecutive year, Highline received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. Highline was one of only two institutions in Washington — and one of only nine community colleges nationwide — to receive the 2016 award. The award is given annually by Insight into Diversity magazine.

CCW Top 100 Associate Degree Producers 2015Highline also earned national recognition from Community College Week as one of the top 100 associate degree producers in 2015. Highline ranked 64th out of the top 100 associate degree producers in the Asian-American student category, down slightly from its rank of 48th in 2014. Community College Week used data provided by the U.S. Dept. of Education for these rankings.

More Highline Awards

Economic Impact of Highline College

Having a college in the community is not only a boon for nearby students, but also for those who have never set foot on campus. Why? Highline contributes to the economic vibrancy of the area. For every $1 invested at Highline during 2014–15, society gained $9.80 in added taxes and public sector savings, according to a study by Economic Modeling Specialists International (“Analysis of the Return on Investment and Economic Impact of Education,” Dec. 2016). Learn more and read the full study at “Study Shows Highline Added $631.5 Million to Economy.”

Read Full Report

Economic Benefits of International Students

The organization NAFSA: Association of International Educators estimated that international students and their dependents contributed approximately $825.6 million to Washington state’s economy for the 2015–16 academic year, which translated into 550 direct and indirect jobs in the 9th Congressional District. Highline’s international students contributed approximately $17.7 million to the local economy that year through tuition costs and living expenses.

$825.6 million

$825.6 million contributed to the state’s economy

550 Jobs

550 direct and indirect jobs in the 9th Congressional District

$17.7 million

$17.7 million (approx.) contributed to the local economy

Highline’s Funding Sources

$43.7 Million

For the 2016-17 academic year, Highline received $43.7 million in funding.


Other Funding


Student Tuition and Fees


State Support

Quarterly Tuition (2017-18 academic year)Cost
Lower Division Courses:
Resident (full time/15 credits) $1,312
Nonresident (full time/15 credits)$3,118
Upper Division Courses:
Resident (full time/15 credits)$2,105
Nonresident (full time/15 credits)$6,094

Special Initiatives / Grants

Student Demographics (2016-17 academic year)


Total credit and non-credit students


Female Students


Male Students


Total credit students (63% of all students)


Median age of credit students


Total number of international students


Total number of Running Start students

Ethnicity of the Student Population

18%African American
1%Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
<1%Native American or Alaska Native
Chart identifying ethnicity of the Highline College student population

Click image to enlarge

LGBTQ Survey Responses

(all credit enrolled students, 88% response rate)

%Sexual Orientation
19%Prefer not to answer
Chart identifying the sexual orientation LGBTQ Survey Responses of the Highline College student population

Click image to enlarge

%Gender Identity
17%Prefer not to answer
1%Gender Neutral
Chart identifying the gender identity LGBTQ Survey Responses of the Highline College student population

Click image to enlarge

Why Students Enroll at Highline

48%attend to transfer to a four-year college/university
35%attend for basic skills programs
15%attend for work-related courses (current or future)
1%attend for applied baccalaureate
<1%attend for personal enrichment

Type of Course Enrollments*

%Type of Enrollment
35%of enrollments in transfer courses
27%of enrollments in professional/technical courses
26%of enrollments in basic skills
8%of enrollments in pre-college level courses
4%of enrollments in community courses

*Course enrollment may differ from students’ reported purpose for attending.

Serving Our Community

Approximately 92 percent of Highline’s students come from King County.

Highline Students by City‡

CityNumber of StudentsPercentage of Students
Federal Way3,54420.9%
Des Moines2,37514.0%
Tacoma metro7404.4%
Seattle metro6673.9%
White Center1851.1%

‡Top 11 cities of the students reporting

The Area We Serve

Highline College is one of 34 community and technical colleges in Washington state and serves the people of King County.

Download District Map


As of fall 2015, 1,246 people work at Highline, serving students at multiple locations throughout King County. About 84 percent — or 1,046 — of these dedicated professionals live and pay taxes in King County.

Degrees and Programs

Highline offers comprehensive community college programs as well as new bachelor’s degrees in five high-demand programs: Cybersecurity and Forensics, Global Trade and Logistics, Respiratory Care, Teaching and Early Learning, and Youth Development.

Highline’s associate degrees provide preparation for transfer to four-year colleges or universities. The college offers applied associate degrees and/or certificates in more than 60 professional-technical education programs, designed to help students succeed in today’s marketplace. Students also come to Highline for pre-college, basic education and short-term training programs as well as continuing education.

Community Education and Training Services

Community Education and Training Services at Highline College provides options for short-term stackable certificates and pathways to professional-technical degrees in business, health care, human services and retail management. For direct application in today’s competitive business environment, additional professional development courses are also available. Topics include computer technology, entrepreneurial training, languages, and leadership and management. Businesses also use Highline’s Contract Training services to offer customized, professional training and consulting that provide critical knowledge and skills to maximize employees’ and the organization’s performance.

Economic Development

Highline contributes to the economic development of South King County by providing no-cost business training and one-to-one technical assistance for new and existing businesses. Such assistance helps local businesses achieve sustainability and self-efficiency. In 2016, Highline provided 1,351 hours of service to more than 244 clients and helped launch nine new businesses, create 72 new jobs, and generate $2.6 million in loans and investments. Businesses served report $1.3 million increase in revenue. Highline’s economic development initiatives include the Small Business Development Center and StartZone.


Highline College FoundationEstablished in 1972, the Highline College Foundation is a nonprofit corporation, governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. As of June 30, 2017, the Foundation’s assets were $5 million. The Foundation supports scholarships, emergency assistance to students, faculty professional development and technology. Under the leadership of its president, Mike Slater, and its Board of Directors, the Highline Foundation is actively expanding its capacity to raise external funds. For the year ending June 30, 2017, it had awarded more than $225,000 in scholarships.

Visit the Foundation Website


Highline College Student HistoryHighline was founded in 1961 as the first community college in King County. It serves more than 17,000 students and has over 350,000 alumni. The campus was built in 1964 with additional buildings added in following years to meet student and technology needs.

Learn More About Highline’s History


Highline College Facts and Information Brochure 2017-2018Download a copy of the 2017-2018 Highline College Facts and Information brochure. The brochure includes most of the information found on this webpage.

For other college publications, visit the A-Z Index.