The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the dramatically increasing number of students requiring high standards of education either as a part of the continuing higher education program or for occupational education and training, or for adult basic skills and literacy education, by creating a new, independent system of community and technical colleges which will:
(1) Offer an open door to every citizen, regardless of his or her academic background or experience, at a cost normally within his or her economic means;
(2) Ensure that each college district, in coordination with adjacent college districts, shall offer thoroughly comprehensive educational, training, and service programs to meet the needs of both the communities and students served by combining high standards of excellence in academic transfer courses; realistic and practical courses in occupational education, both graded and ungraded; community services of an educational, cultural, and recreational nature; and adult education, including basic skills and general, family, and workforce literacy programs and services;
(3) Provide for basic skills and literacy education, and occupational education and technical training in order to prepare students for careers in a competitive workforce;
(4) Provide or coordinate related and supplemental instruction for apprentices at community and technical colleges;
(5) Provide administration by state and local boards which will avoid unnecessary duplication of facilities, programs, student services, or administrative functions; and which will encourage efficiency in operation and creativity and imagination in education, training, and service to meet the needs of the community and students;
(6) Allow for the growth, improvement, flexibility and modification of the community colleges and their education, training, and service programs as future needs occur; and
(7) Establish firmly that as provided under RCW 28B.50.810, community colleges are, for purposes of academic training, two year institutions, and are an independent, unique, and vital section of our state's higher education system, separate from both the common school system and other institutions of higher learning.
[2010 c 246 § 2; 2010 c 245 § 2; 2009 c 64 § 2; 2005 c 258 § 7; 1991 c 238 § 21; 1969 ex.s. c 261 § 17; 1969 ex.s. c 223 § 28B.50.020. Prior: 1967 ex.s. c 8 § 2.]
| Reviser's note: This section was amended by 2010 c 245 § 2 and by 2010 c 246 § 2, each without reference to the other. Both amendments are incorporated in the publication of this section under RCW 1.12.025(2). For rule of construction, see RCW 1.12.025(1).|
Findings -- Intent -- 2010 c 246: "The legislature finds that Washington's community and technical college system consists of thirty-four two-year institutions geographically dispersed across the state to encourage and enable student access and participation. The legislature also finds that, compared with other states, Washington's two-year public participation rate is ranked as high as fifth in the nation. The legislature further finds that Washington's community and technical colleges have been making and are continuing to make great progress towards system efficiencies and coordination of their efforts through such things as common course numbering, the student achievement initiative, associate transfer degrees, eLearning and integrated basic education, skills training, and some common administrative systems. While maintaining Washington's recognized leadership in community and technical college education, the legislature intends to provide mechanisms to encourage further efficiencies that will provide cost savings to be used to enhance student access and success, strengthen academic programs, and develop and retain high quality faculty through cost-effective partnerships and coordination between institutions, including shared services and increased complementary programming, as well as structural administrative efficiencies." [2010 c 246 § 1.]
Findings -- Expand on demand -- System design plan endorsed -- 2010 c 245: "The legislature finds that the state institutions of higher education are providing a high quality education to the citizens of the state. The legislature further finds that to meet goals of the strategic master plan for higher education the state needs a higher education system that is capable of delivering many more degrees. The legislature also finds that expansion of the system should be based on the proven demands of the citizens and the marketplace, a concept called "expand on demand." The legislature further finds that the *higher education coordinating board, in collaboration with the state board for community and technical colleges, the two-year and four-year institutions of higher education, and other stakeholders developed a system design plan that contains seven guiding principles for system expansion, focuses near-term enrollment growth at university branch campuses, comprehensive universities, and university centers where existing capacity is available without new state capital investment, establishes a process for evaluating major new capital expansion, and creates a fund for innovation to foster change and innovation in higher education delivery. The legislature finds that the strategies in the plan support the concept of expand on demand and would increase degree production by first reinvesting in higher education to use existing capacity while also providing long-term strategies to guide decisions on when and where to build new campuses, significantly expand existing sites, and change missions of existing institutions.
The legislature endorses the system design plan, approved by the *higher education coordinating board in November 2009, and adopts the recommendations and strategies in the plan." [2010 c 245 § 1.]
*Reviser's note: The higher education coordinating board was abolished by 2011 1st sp.s. c 11 § 301, effective July 1, 2012.
Intent -- 2009 c 64: "It is the intent of the legislature to allow public technical colleges under the authority of the state board for community and technical colleges to offer associate degrees that prepare students for transfer to bachelor's degrees in professional fields, subject to rules adopted by the state board for community and technical colleges." [2009 c 64 § 1.]
Findings -- Intent--2005 c 258: See note following RCW 28B.45.014.
Severability -- 1969 ex.s. c 261: "If any provision of this 1969 amendatory act, or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act, or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [1969 ex.s. c 261 § 37. Formerly RCW 28.85.911.]