Chief Seattle Thelma Dewitty Thomas Foley Carrie Chapman Catt Anna Louise Strong Mark Tobey Helene Madison Home
Search Encyclopedia
Advanced Search
Featured Essay
Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search
7100 essays now available      
Donation system not supported by Safari     Donate Subscribe


Cyberpedias Cyberpedias
Timeline Essays Timeline Essays
People's Histories People's Histories

Selected Collections
Cities & Towns Cities & Towns
County Thumbnails Counties
Biographies Biographies
Interactive Cybertours Interactive Cybertours
Slide Shows Slideshows
Public Ports Public Ports
Audio & Video Audio & Video

Research Shortcuts

Map Searches
Alphabetical Search
Timeline Date Search
Topic Search


Book of the Fortnight
Audio/Video Enhanced
History Bookshelf
Klondike Gold Rush Database
Duvall Newspaper Index
Wellington Scrapbook

More History

Washington FAQs
Washington Milestones
Honor Rolls
Columbia Basin
Walla Walla
Roads & Rails

Timeline Library

< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >

Bellevue Community College opens on January 3, 1966. Essay 3336 : Printer-Friendly Format

On January 3, 1966, Bellevue Community College (BCC) opens with approximately 450 students and 40 faculty members. Classes are held in portable buildings on the campus of Newport High School. By 2010-2011 the school will be enrolling 38,000 students annually. Its main campus will comprise 100 acres and include 12 buildings. On April 13, 2009, the name will change to Bellevue College.

The Rise of Adult Education

The idea of a community college east of Lake Washington came from educators from the Bellevue School District's adult-education program. Nationwide, there was a movement to provide for post-secondary education at the community level. In 1962, area voters approved a $575,000 levy for a junior college. In 1963, land for the new school was purchased. In 1965, the Greater Eastside Community College Advisory Council lobbied the state legislature for $30,000 to plan a community college for the Eastside.

In June 1966, Merle Landerholm (d. 1976) was appointed the college's first president. In the fall of 1969, 2,200 students started classes at BCC's new home on 148th Avenue SE in Bellevue. Welding was a popular vocational course and helped students qualify for jobs in Seattle's shipyards.

New Technologies for Learning

BCC also embraced new technologies to better serve students. Automated registration systems and electronic teaching aids came into use in the 1970s. In the 1980s, telecourses and distance learning programs were offered. In 1995, the National Science Foundation awarded BCC $5 million for the Northwest Center for Emerging Technologies where student educators are prepared for developments in information technology.

In 2001, Bellevue Community College had three campuses -- its main campus, one at Factoria Center, and the North Campus on Northup Way in Bellevue. By 2010-2011 the school was enrolling 38,000 students annually. Its main campus comprised 100 acres and included 12 buildings. On April 13, 2009, the name of the college changed to Bellevue College.

Kristin Graham, "BCC: Then and Now," Bellevue Community College website (; "35 Years of Excellence: Founder's Day Remembered," Ibid., (; Bellevue College webside accessed January 3, 2012 (
Note: This essay was updated on January 3, 2012.

Travel through time (chronological order):
< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >

Related Topics: Education | Science & Technology |

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

Major Support for Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You

Students register for first classes at Bellevue Community College, September 1965
Courtesy Bellevue Community College

Temporary classrooms at Bellevue Community College, ca. 1966
Courtesy Bellevue Community College

Northwest Center for Emerging Technologies at Bellevue Community College, 2001
Courtesy Bellevue Community College

Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search is the first online encyclopedia of local and state history created expressly for the Internet. (SM) is a free public and educational resource produced by History Ink, a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt corporation.
Contact us by phone at 206.447.8140, by mail at Historylink, 1411 4th Ave. Suite 803, Seattle WA 98101 or email