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-college-president-jack-berminghamHighline is led by President Jack Bermingham, Ph.D., and is governed by a five-member Board of Trustees: Dan Altmayer, Debrena Jackson Gandy, Fredrick Mendoza, Bob Roegner and Sili Savusa. Faculty members are actively involved in campus governance.

Organizational Chart
Board of Trustees
President Jack Bermingham, Ph.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 the prestigious Award of Excellence from the American Association of Community Colleges for increasing diversity and social equity on campus. Highline was one of six colleges in the nation earning recognition in 2014, winning in the Advancing Diversity category. The national awards recognize innovation and promising practices that boost student achievement and help meet America’s economic and workforce needs.

2015 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity AwardFor the third straight 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. Given by Insight into Diversity, the largest and oldest diversity magazine and website in higher education, the 2015 HEED Award was presented to only 92 institutions across the nation. Highline was one of only two colleges in the state, and the only community college in Washington, to receive the award.

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.

Economic Benefits of International Students

The organization NAFSA: Association of International Educators estimated that international students and their dependents contributed approximately $737 million to Washington state’s economy for the 2013–14 academic year, which translated into 483 direct and indirect jobs in the 9th Congressional District. Highline’s international students contributed approximately $16.03 million to the local economy that year through tuition costs and living expenses.

$737 million

$737 million contributed to the state’s economy

483 Jobs

483 direct and indirect jobs in the 9th Congressional District

$16.03 million

$16.03 million (approx.) contributed to the local economy

Highline’s Funding Sources

$40.2 Million

For the 2014-15 academic year, Highline received $40.2 million in funding.


Other Funding


Student Tuition and Fees


State Support

Quarterly Tuition (2015-16 academic year)Cost
Resident (full time/15 credits) $1,282
Nonresident (full time/15 credits)$3,083

Special Initiatives / Grants

Student Demographics (2014-15 academic year)


Total credit and non-credit students


Female Students


Male Students


Total credit students (64% of all students)


Median age of credit students


Total number of international students


Total number of Running Start students

Ethnicity of the Student Population

17%African American
<1%Native American or Alaska Native
<1%Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander

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LGBTQ Survey Responses

(all credit enrolled students, ~74% response rate)

%Sexual Orientation
30%Prefer not to answer

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%Gender Identity
27%Prefer not to answer
2%Gender Neutral

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Why Students Enroll at Highline

49%attend to transfer to a four-year college/university
30%attend for basic skills programs
17%attend for work-related courses (current or future)
3%attend for high school completion programs
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
24%of enrollments in basic skills
9%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. The balance comes from neighboring counties.

Highline Students by City‡

CityNumber of StudentsPercentage of Students
Federal Way3,42120.4%
Des Moines2,34814.0%
Tacoma metro7194.3%
Seattle metro6003.6%
White Center2151.3%
Other (cities<1%)9996.0%

‡Of the 16,762 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.


As a major employer in Des Moines, Highline employs 1,246 people who serve 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 four high-demand programs: Cybersecurity and Forensics, Global Trade and Logistics, Respiratory Care, 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 50 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 2014, Highline provided 2,238 hours of service to more than 637 clients and helped launch 17 new business, stabilize 11 existing businesses, create 44 new jobs, retain 11 current jobs, and generate $2.85 million in loans and investments. Highline’s economic development initiatives include StartZone and the Small Business Development Center.


Highline College FoundationEstablished in 1972, the Highline College Foundation is a nonprofit corporation, governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. As of June 30, 2015, the Foundation’s assets were $4.6 million. The Foundation supports scholarships, emergency assistance to students, faculty professional development and technology. Under the leadership of the Foundation’s president, Mark Rasmussen, and Board of Directors, it is actively expanding its capacity to raise external funds. For the year ending June 30, 2015, it had received a total of $635,000 in donations and awarded more than $200,000 in scholarships.


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