The Seattle Community College District is a group of community colleges located in Seattle, Washington. Its main divisions are North Seattle Community College, Seattle Central Community College (including the Wood Construction Center and Seattle Marine Academy), South Seattle Community College (including the Duwamish Industrial Education Center), and the Seattle Vocational Institute. Together the colleges form the second largest institution of higher education in the state, behind the University of Washington, to which many of their graduates transfer.
The district's origins can be traced to 1902, with the opening of Broadway High School on Capitol Hill. It operated as a traditional high school until the end of World War II, when it was converted to a vocational and adult education institution for the benefit of veterans who wanted to finish high school but no longer fit in at regular schools. As a result, in 1946, Broadway High School was renamed Edison Technical School. Edison started offering college-level courses 21 years later, and it was reconstituted as Seattle Community College in September 1966.
North Seattle Community College and South Seattle Community College opened their doors in 1970, whereupon Seattle Community College was renamed Seattle Central Community College.
SeattleCentral has also created one of the nation's most expansive programs of "learning communities" courses that are centered on a common theme and bring together students and faculty from different disciplines.
But with 52% from minority groups, SeattleCentral is one of the most diverse colleges in the U.S. And the diversity goes beyond race: 26% of the students are age 35 or older, 25% are immigrants, and about 65% are the first in their family to go to college.
The college's overall retention rate is 70%, a strong number for a communitycollege serving such a low-income population.
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