About Bates

Bates Technical College enriches our diverse communities by inspiring student learning, challenging greater achievement, and educating for employment.  

With Bates as your educational partner, you can transform yourself.

Since 1940, Bates Technical College has provided our region with accessible, affordable and quality educational programs that lead students to careers, and employers to well-trained employees.

The legacy of Bates Technical College began in the basement of an elementary school in East Tacoma. Initially named Tacoma Vocational School, the Tacoma School District-operated school was a vital training location for the area. The site helped meet demand for skilled workers who would support the World War II defense effort.

When longtime Director of Vocational Education LaVerne Bates retired, the school board changed the school’s name to Bates Vocational Technical Institute. A 1991 state bill removed vocational schools from local school districts and set them under what is now the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.

Today, Bates Technical College has grown to three Tacoma locations that offer an education that gives graduates a competitive workplace edge in a wide range of career disciplines.

College employees live its mission to enrich our diverse communities by inspiring student learning, challenging greater achievement, and educating for employment.

Residents of Pierce County and beyond choose Bates as their educational partner because we offer affordable educational opportunities for everyone, from certificates, certifications, Associate in Applied Science, and Associate in Applied Science Transfer degrees, to adult education, lifelong learning, and high school completion options.

Our graduates are in-demand and making a difference. Join us and transform your life today.