Bellevue Community CollegeBCC is at 3000 Landerholm Circle S. E., Bellevue, WA 98007. For further information, call 425-564-1000 or visit Once temporarily housed at...

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Bellevue Community College

BCC is at 3000 Landerholm Circle S.E., Bellevue, WA 98007. For further information, call 425-564-1000 or visit

Once temporarily housed at Newport High School, Bellevue Community College now serves as an intellectual center of the community. Its wooded hillside campus at Landerholm Circle hosts film festivals, political rallies, poetry readings, original radio programming and public forums.

In the 1950s, residents who wanted higher education had to drive across Lake Washington. To remedy this, civic leaders in Bellevue and other Eastside communities began planning a community college in 1957. They persuaded voters to pass a $575,000 levy in 1962 to create one, and BCC moved for the time being into Newport High School in 1966. The permanent, 95-acre campus six miles southeast of downtown opened in 1969.

The college’s 21,000 students come from every habitable continent, and more than one-fourth are people of color. The diverse student body is represented by an equally pluralistic student life, which includes, for example, a Black Student Union, a philosophy club and a Korean Student Association.

Launching pad

The college sends more of its students to the state’s four-year public institutions than any community college in the state.

For one-third of the college’s students, however, BCC is a destination, a place to learn new skills for a changing marketplace, or to update old skills. In response, the college opened a new facility in 1998 called the National Workforce Center for Emerging Technologies, a training ground for workers who require the new skills of the information economy. Night, weekend and online courses allow these students to learn around their work schedules.

The college’s course offerings are extensive, from nuclear medicine to recreation leadership, forestry to history, biology to chemistry.

Campus dialogue

In an attempt to create a common intellectual life and dialogue on campus, last year the college created a Center for Liberal Arts, which sponsors a visiting scholar, a lecture series and a campuswide reading of a single book, among other activities.

Jean Floten, president of the college since 1989, summed up BCC’s mission last fall:

“The heart of our collective enterprise is to reach students by using human intellect and spirit to inform, involve and inspire. We are confirmed in that purpose, every day, as we see the flash of learning in the eye.”