LWIT Receives Four-Year Baccalaureate Level Accreditation

February  27, 2012

Contact: Jen Boyer, Media Relations
Lake Washington Institute of Technology


Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWIT) received accreditation at the baccalaureate level this month from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), the region's authority on higher education accreditation. The new designation includes the college's Bachelor of Technology in Applied Design (BTAD) degree and came in conjunction with the reaccreditation of LWIT's associate degree level programs.

"The Commission applauds the Institute for establishing a rigorous and viable Bachelor of Technology degree program in Applied Design which provides options for further education for students in current careers and future opportunities," wrote NWCCU President Sandra Elman in a letter to LWIT President Dr. David Woodall announcing the accreditation decision.

The BTAD program admits students who hold a design-related associate degree and prepares them to lead teams of creative and technical professionals. Upper division coursework includes design theory, management, and technology. BTAD students come from LWIT's AAS programs in Multimedia Design and Production and Engineering Graphics, as well as design-related programs from other two-year colleges. Courses are held in the evenings and online to meet the needs of working students.

Accreditation at the baccalaureate level is a milestone for LWIT, which changed its name last July to reflect its growth and expansion into a polytechnic institute. LWIT is in the planning stages to offer additional four-year degree programs in the near future.

"With education costs on the rise and demand for employees with college degrees increasing, our college system has to think outside the box to meet the needs of students and employers close to home," said Dr. Woodall. "Four-year degree offerings from community and technical colleges like ours help bridge that gap and open new pathways for our future workforce. This is a significant milestone for our college. We're very excited to be on the cutting edge of this movement and look forward to growing our baccalaureate programs."

LWIT applied for accreditation candidacy at the baccalaureate level and was granted candidacy status in October 2008. The BTAD program began in September 2009, with the first students graduating in 2011.

LWIT is one of only seven Washington community and technical colleges offering baccalaureate degrees.

Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWIT) is a broad-based polytechnic college offering instruction in 35 programs toward a spectrum of more than 100 bachelor and associate level degrees and certificates designed to give students the latest cutting edge skills relevant to today's workplace. Founded in 1949, LWIT offers hands-on, real-world training in manufacturing, transportation, energy, business, allied health, computer and information systems, food and hospitality, and health and fitness. For information and news about LWIT programs, please visit lwtech.edu/press_room. Information on the BTAD program is available at www.lwtech.edu/btad.