Bates Technical College

Washington - United States


Celebrating nearly 75 years in the Tacoma and Pierce County community, Bates is an innovator. Our mission is to inspire, challenge and educate. With Bates as your educational partner, you can reinvent yourself.

Vocational training began in Tacoma on Sept. 4, 1940, in the basement of Hawthorne Elementary School. During the 1941-42 school year, the program became known as the Tacoma Vocational School.

In 1944 the Tacoma School District hired L. H. (LaVerne Hazen) Bates as the school's director. The school's name was changed to the Tacoma Vocational-Technical Institute in 1947.

Verne Bates retired from the director's position in 1969. The Tacoma School Board changed the Institute's name to the L. H. Bates Vocational Technical Institute in honor of Mr. Bates' service and dedication to the Institute and vocational education.

In 1991, state legislation separated the state's vocational technical institutes from local school districts and merged them under the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.

Today, Bates Technical College annually serves approximately 3,000 career training students and 10,000 more community members on three campuses in programs such as Continuing Education, Child Studies, High School, General Education and Basic Studies, Business & Management Training Center, and others.

Our unique classroom settings mirror the workplace, providing students with opportunities to practice and develop skills to levels required for successful employment. Bates offers two-year associate of technology degrees, certificates of competency, certificates of training, industry certifications and, in specific programs, prepares students for the achievement of state licensure. The college maintains articulation degrees with several four-year universities, making some of the college's two-year degrees transferable.



Civil Engineering

Digital Media

Marketing and Business Management

Practical Nursing

Web Design

English Requirements


Thanks to the generosity of our many donors, the foundation is able to offer over $75,000 each year in scholarships to support students in their educational endeavors. Scholarships are awarded every quarter, with applications made available approximately three months prior to the start of the quarter. Some scholarships are designated for students enrolled in specific programs, whiles others are available to all students. Scholarships are typically able to be used for tuition, books, tools and other supplies. Students who are enrolled half time or greater (6+ credits) are eligible to apply for scholarships.

Application Deadlines - at NOON on the date indicated below

Fall 2014: Application will be available in July.

Tution Fee

Tuition and fees must be paid at the time of registration.International student tuition is also available for review. Tuition and fees are subject to change without notice.

Paying for Tuition 

Students in career education and general education courses can pay for their tuition in the cashier's office with a check, credit card or cash, via phone, or online using a credit card. We accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover.

Tuition Refund Policy

A student who has paid tuition before the quarter starts but is unable to attend the class may receive a full tuition refund. After the first day of class, Bates grants refunds as follows:

  • From the 1st to the 5th calendar day - 80%
  • From the 6th day to the 15th calendar day - 40%
  • After the 15th calendar day, there is no refund.

The tuition refund policy applies to all students in state-supported programs. It is the student's responsibility to complete a withdrawal form and submit it to the registration office. The date the withdrawal is received will be used for calculating refunds.

Self-Support Courses

Continuing education classes are self-supported; therefore Bates will cancel a class if there are too few participants enrolled to cover the cost of the class. The refund policy for self-support classes is as follows:

  • If the college cancels the class - 100%
  • Withdrawal on or before one business day prior to the 1st class - 100%
  • Student registers but doesn't attend - No refund

State Support of Higher Education Students

RCW 28B.15.0681 reads that Institutions of higher education shall provide the following information to all undergraduate resident students : (a) The sources of all institutional revenue received during the prior academic or fiscal year, including but not limited to state, federal, local, and private sources; (b) The uses of tuition revenue collected during the prior academic or fiscal year by program category as determined by the office of financial management. Information for Bates for FY 2011 can be found here. The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges has provided information for 2012-2013. 

Limitation of Liability

The college's total liability for claims arising from a contractual relationship with the student in any way related to classes or programs shall be limited to the tuition and expenses paid by the student to the college for those classes or programs. In no event shall the college be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, or consequential damages, including but not limited to, loss or earnings or profits.