In 2009, Bellevue Community College officially became Bellevue College. What seemed a minor name change at the time actually began a lengthy reinvention as a hybrid institution with four-year degrees and official state recognition. Over the next several years, Bellevue College will launch a massive expansion to include, among other features, a 20-acre branch campus in the Issaquah Highlands.
When done, the expansion will total three campuses in Bellevue, Redmond and the Highlands. In fall of last year, the college submitted its master plan to the city of Issaquah, featuring seven buildings and an amphitheater. There are green terraces and rooftop gardens; for every acre of concrete, the college will keep another forested.
With more than half of higher-ed students enrolled in community colleges, says Bellevue College President David Rule, increasing capacity is a social need. He believes that community and technical colleges are the logical place to absorb that capacity.