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Western Washington University will offer summer classes in King County this year for the first time in its history in an effort to help students graduate within four years.

The classes will be offered at North Seattle Community College and will begin June 19. The 30 to 35 offerings will include both for-credit and adult enrichment classes. Here’s a link to Western’s offerings in Seattle.

Forty percent of WWU’s freshmen and transfer students are from King County, and the classes give students who return home to Seattle in the summer an opportunity to keep taking classes and complete their degree requirements faster, university officials said.

Only about 36 percent of full-time, first-time freshmen at WWU completed their degree within four years in 2010, according to theĀ National Center for Education Statisticsā€™ Integrated Postsecondary Education System; the six-year graduation rate is 68 percent. (Those rates are reported here.)

Last year, students complained – and administrators acknowledged – that state budget cuts made it more difficult for students to sign up for and complete all the classes they needed to graduate on time, since not all classes are offered every quarter.

Registration opens May 7. The classes are open to the public, and formal admission to WWU is not required.