Tacoma Community College, Pierce College, Bates Technical College, and Clover Park Technical Colleges are all excellent college options in Tacoma.
Tacoma colleges offer a variety of educational opportunities for both residents of the city and those who chose to come here to study. There are four colleges in Tacoma to choose from as well as two private universities. The four technical and community colleges in Tacoma are great places to take extra classes, get professional certifications, or earn Associates degrees—all while saving thousands of dollars over students who choose a four-year university.
For students seeking to start out at a community college or pick up a few classes, Tacoma Community College and Pierce College are your options in Tacoma.
Tacoma Community College is located at in Tacoma, Washington. There is another main campus located in Gig Harbor, Washington, as well as smaller campuses at Evergreen State College-Tacoma, the Washington Corrections Center for Women, and Mission Creek Corrections Center. TCC has about 15,000 students with about half of these as full-time students.
Pierce College has campuses in both Lakewood and Puyallup, Washington, which makes this campus more accessible for students who live in Pierce County, but not in Tacoma.
Both TCC and Pierce strive to offer online, day, evening, and weekend classes so that students with any type of schedule can earn an Associates degree. It is possible to earn an Associates almost entirely online at TCC, but as of 2020, lab science and PE classes are not offered online so students must work with an advisor on this issue if they are not able to come to the campus for courses. Pierce also offers custom writing courses using the same system (called Angel) as TCC, and has many class times to accommodate just about any schedule.
Both TCC and Pierce College offer a wide range of certificates, professional, and technical education options, and also has a strong focus on transfer education for students who wish to go on to universities. Continuing education courses are also offered, both for credit and personal enrichment.
Pierce and TCC are both excellent choices for any student wishing to transfer to a university, especially within Washington State. Both also offer similar campus styles so the main deciding factor between the two is largely location as it can take anywhere between a half hour and an hour to get from one side of Pierce County to the other.
For students who wish to get a technical Associates degree, certificate, or industry certifications, a technical college may be a better option than a community college. In Tacoma, there are two technical colleges: Bates Technical College and Clover Park Technical College. These options are not for students who wish to transfer to a four-year university.
The main campus of Bates Technical College is located in Downtown Tacoma at 1101 South Yakima Avenue. Clover Park Technical College is located at 4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW, just off South Tacoma Way in South Tacoma. As these campuses are across town from each other, deciding which school to go to may come down to location.
Programs at Bates Technical College include things you will find at other community colleges such as accounting and administrative as