Name Change to Bellevue College

Bellevue Community College became Bellevue College on April 13, 2009.

Why did the college change name?

This was a defining moment in our school’s history. The name Bellevue College more accurately describes our school’s current identity as we take it to the next level.

A community college, almost by definition, is a two-year school and Bellevue now offers bachelor’s degrees with the possibility of expanding the college’s Bachelor of Arts (BA) opportunities. The first BA graduates will receive their diplomas at this spring’s commencement, and they will graduate from Bellevue College.

Bellevue has long been a place of exceptional learning where great things happen and the name change will signal the latest step in our successful history.

What were the official steps on the name change?

We filed a “change of rule” with Washington state in February. When that was accepted, our college Board of Trustees voted to approve the name change to Bellevue College.

Did the change affect the programs we have traditionally offered?

Nothing changed on that front because of the name change. We are still a part of the state community & technical college system. We still continue to fulfill our community college mission – to be an open door or opportunity for all.

We still continue to meet the needs of students and the community, and to remain touch with community values. Bellevue has long been the top producer of transfer students to the University of Washington. And that’s exactly why we continue to explore the opportunities to offer more four-year options.

What is a likely future for four-year degrees at Bellevue College?

We are looking for more opportunities to provide four-year opportunities for students, in disciplines that are not available at other colleges or universities in the area. Bills in the state legislature have addressed giving the college authority to create more four-year programs and there has been considerable public discussion about the future of higher education in our area.

What was the broader community’s reaction?

Very positive, there is strong support. Frankly, the greater community has long used “Bellevue College” as a synonym for Bellevue Community College. There is a great deal of community enthusiasm for our college’s move to offer four-year degrees. Changing the name gets people’s attention in a good way. It signals growth and will help us in the competitive market for enrollment. This simple change retains all the positive associations that BCC has accumulated over 40 years and captures the ascendancy of Bellevue to most influential Eastside city.

Haven’t a lot of other community colleges already dropped the word “community.”

Yes, it has been a nationwide trend over the past several years. In our state several colleges have made the move, including Centralia, Peninsula and Olympic made the move.

Last Updated July 27, 2015