Sometimes we want you to have your head in the clouds, and your feet on the ground

Blog - TechnologyAll types of business, industry and services are changing rapidly. New technologies present new possibilities and create new opportunities. As an existing employee or new hire, keeping up with those changes can be challenging. Likewise for companies: as they adapt new technologies, there may be an entire workforce that needs to be trained.

Lake Washington Institute of Technology is a workforce college. We offer programs and classes to help people to prepare for today’s careers and tomorrow’s opportunities. We offer teaching that is practical, purposeful, and promising. Whatever the latest technology related to our programs of study, we strive to provide the most relevant and rigorous training available.

It may be Cloud computing that helps businesses create innovative services, improve operational efficiency and shrink the time to expand or contract their IT infrastructure. It may be a DIRT Lab (Design, Innovation, Research and Technology) for entrepreneurs and creative thinkers. It may be technology applied to any of our 45+ professional programs, from automobile fuel cells, to multimedia design and production, to advances in any of our health services programs, and including such programs as fitness specialist/personal trainer.

So, yes, new technology may mean have your head in the clouds. It’s a whole new world out there, and we want you to be able to hit the ground running with useful, solid workforce training. As a workforce college, it is our mission and responsibility to be on the cutting edge of these technologies. Our expertly trained faculty and committed program advisers work together to insure that the needs of business, industry, and services are met, and that you get the best education in the latest technologies.

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Two new Bachelor’s Degrees of Applied Science offered!

LWIT_logoEmployers and students alike have told us that professional credentials, certificates and degrees are crucial to getting jobs and advancing in careers. In addition to the 45 professional areas offered at Lake Washington, we are pleased that we recently received approval to offer two new Bachelor‘s in Applied Science degrees:

• Public Health and Transportation

• Logistics Management

These degrees join with our existing Bachelor of Technology in Applied Design to build a solid foundation to career pathways needed by our students.

Public Health – It allows current students in health and social service programs to use their two-year associate degree as the first two years of the bachelor-level program. It also provides a pathway for high school students enrolled at the Lake Washington Technical Academy to earn their high school diploma and move directly toward completing their Associate and Bachelor’s Degrees.  Public Health is a rapidly changing field with many disciplines looking for well-educated employees.

Transportation and Logistics Management – Students who complete this program will be well positioned for many current and new jobs in such areas shipping, receiving and traffic, team managers, purchasing agents and logistics.  Students can move into this program from many disciplines — business administration, auto repair, diesel and heavy equipment technician, motorcycle, marine and power equipment technician, to name just a few.  Workers who want to upgrade their skills or move into management positions by completing this new degree program come from many industries – road, air, rail and maritime transport; airports, seaports and public transit authorities; manufacturers and trade-related organizations.

The Bachelor of Technology in Applied Design program is a very different kind of design program. It is similar to a Bachelor of Art or Bachelor of Science degree program as far as academic rigor, course content and credit; however, it is different in mission. With our workforce focus, the BTAD brings relevance to design education in alignment with industry best practices. The primary areas of teaching in this program are concerned with innovation, creative process and managing complexity.

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Architectural Graphics Students Awarded CSI Scholarships

CSI LogoPlease help me congratulate seven students enrolled the in LWIT Architectural Graphics program who recently received the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) — Puget Sound Chapter — Annual Student Sponsorship Award. Each award is valued at $800 and will cover the student’s annual CSI membership dues and cost of monthly dinner meetings, and their Construction Document Technician Training (CDT) in preparation for their certification examinations:

Michael Donaldson, Jason Foster, Matt Mitchell, Zachary O’Leary, Ben Shields, James Shofstall and Mark Winn.

LWITs long-standing partnership with CSI has provided student and program exposure within the region’s Architecture/Engineering and Construction Industry. The benefits of this partnership are practical and purposeful: educational and job placement support, mentoring opportunities, and networking directly with industry professionals. LWIT has one of only two student affiliate chapters in the United States and is recognized nationally for outstanding student participation, as well as consistent encouragement and support by department faculty.

Congratulations to Architectural Design Faculty Bob Mandy for developing and sustaining such a successful industry partnership program.

CSI is a national association of more than 13,000 volunteers, including specifiers, architects, engineers, contractors, facility managers, product representatives, manufacturers, owners and others who are experts in building construction and the materials used therein. They are dedicated to improving the communication of construction information through:

  • A diversified membership base of allied professionals involved in the creation and management of the built environment.
  • Continuous development and transformation of standards and formats.
  • Education and certification of professionals to improve project delivery processes.
  • Creation of practice tools to assist users throughout the facility life-cycle

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Food, Employment & Training Program is national model included in Farm Bill

BFET LogoHelping students get into and succeed in college is our most important job. Across the country, people are talking about what colleges can do to focus on student success.  It was the topic of the recent White House Skills Summit, and now is woven into language of the national Farm Bill.

Congresswoman Suzan DelBene serves on the House Agriculture Committee and has been a member of the House-Senate Conference Committee to reach a compromise on the final five-year Farm Bill. The bipartisan agreement includes an Employment and Training pilot that will create programs across the country modeled after Washington State’s Basic Food, Employment and Training (BFET). That program was highlighted in my January 17 blog post.

DelBene’s news about the bipartisan agreement included these comments: “I’m proud that the Farm Bill includes $200 million to fund my proposal to expand job-training programs for SNAP recipients to learn the skills they need to get a good paying job. The programs funded by this new money will be based on Washington state’s successful Basic Food Employment & Training program, demonstrating again our state’s leadership in helping expand economic opportunity for our most vulnerable.”

DelBene’s staff said that LWIT played an important role in helping to highlight the impacts of the BFET program in the state, and the benefits of expanding a pilot program nationwide. They appreciated the time that Congresswoman DelBene was able to spend on campus.

The BFET is a federally funded program designed for students who are receiving food stamps.

Through a partnership with the YWCA and DSHS, students who are not participating in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program can get benefits that may include money for books, childcare assistance, eligibility for food stamps, personal support, career planning and more.

We are proud of the work of our faculty and staff who use programs such as BFET to insure student success. It’s one of the many ways we focus on student learning and success at Lake Washington Institute of Technology.

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The World is a Classroom

In the kitchen at Busan Institute of Technology during the 2013 LWIT Culinary Arts study tour to Busan, South Korea.

In the kitchen at Busan Institute of Technology during the 2013 LWIT Culinary Arts study tour to Busan, South Korea.

Students and chefs from LWIT had such a great time studying, cooking and eating in Korea last year that they wanted to return the favor. February 5–10, the college will host nine students and two faculty members from partner college Busan Institute of Science and Technology, School of Hotel and Culinary Arts. Students from Korea will participate in several college cooking classes at the Kirkland campus and enjoy some of the Seattle food scene.

They will learn how to make cheese with Chef Mimi Stockmann, have a chocolate demonstration with Chef Janet Waters, and learn about American and Italian cuisine with Chef Matt DiMeo. In Seattle, they will tour Pike Place Market, take the Savor Seattle tour, and visit the Space Needle with dinner at the Seattle Center House. Their visit also includes a short weekend trip to Vancouver, B.C. and a stop in Los Angeles.

Busan Institute of Technology (BIST), formerly Sungii Technical Junior College, was established in 1977. It focuses on approaching technological education in a humanistic manner. BIST strives to “cultivate new technicians with scientific knowledge, creative practical techniques, and service minds for the society.” The School of Hotel and Culinary Arts is one of seven professional schools at the Institute.

We are proud to be able to participate with this study exchange, and thank our international programs staff for making it happen.

Chefs and culinary arts students at LWIT are so pleased to be able to host this visit with their Korean colleagues and friends.  Please help us welcome them to campus.

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Connecting with our Community

Open HouseThe college annual Open House will be here soon – March 6, 4:00 – 7:00PM at the Kirkland Campus.  It’s a time for residents to discover what LWIT has to offer.  You can visit classrooms, meet faculty members, and learn first-hand about more than 40 professional and technical programs that lead to high-demand careers.  The Open House will cover everything from tasting award-winning creations from Culinary & Baking Arts to checking out the hot rods and art in the Automotive program, from getting a 20% discount in the bookstore to learning about how to pay for college (and learning how high school students can go to college for free).

The March 6 Open House gives you a one-day glimpse of what faculty, staff and students at Lake Washington Institute of Technology do every day – connect with our community.  Business leaders serve on college advisory committees, staff members hold workshops and training sessions about how to get into and pay for college, professional programs participate in such community activities as Free Kids Dental Health Day (coming up February 8, 9 AM – 2 PM at the Kirkland campus) and scrumptious meals served Wednesday – Friday in the Chef City Grill.

Students, faculty and staff at LWIT are proud to be part of the community, and we continually seek input and advice on how we can improve our educational programs and community service.

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Food for Thought and Learning

BFET PixSometimes, there are potholes in the proverbial path to completing college. Students may have family and work obligations, and there may be difficulties – finances and other issues of daily living. During the recent economic recession, many students have had to face the fear of losing jobs, and maybe even their house and car. Some people face homelessness, and may not even have enough to eat.

Many services are available at LWIT to help students. One is called the Basic Food, Employment and Training program, or BFET. It’s a federally funded program designed for students who are receiving food stamps.  Through a partnership with DSHS, students who are not participating in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) can get benefits that may include money for books, childcare assistance, eligibility for food stamps, personal support, career planning and more. LWIT also partners with such community based organizations as the YWCA to provide additional support services.

The BFET program has expanded statewide, and is consider a model program. At a recent press conference held at LWIT, Congresswoman Susan DelBene stressed the importance of these programs as an investment in people, families, and the economy.

DelBene is now working with Congress on the House-passed Farm Bill currently in conference that includes $30 million for states to develop similar programs. The National Skills Coalition noted at a recent forum that they are “encouraged by the interest of the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and other states in learning about Washington’s successful program,” which has become the model on which other programs should be based. We are pleased to have been part of the Washington State pilot project, and look forward to expanding these kinds of services for our students.

LWIT’s Student Services division helps students get individual “wrap-around” support when it is available. In addition to BFET, students may qualify for disability services, worker retraining, workfirst, grants and scholarships, financial aid, tuition assistance programs and more.

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Attending the White House Skills Summit

The White HouseWhether coming to college from high school or coming back to college after years of working, many people need to brush up on their academic skills to successfully complete college. At Lake Washington Institute of Technology, we serve primarily working adults who need to retool quickly and in a manner that applies directly to their profession. To help students quickly regain those needed academic skills, faculty here provide accelerated English and math classes that apply directly to the student’s field of study.

We feel honored to be invited to bring that perspective to the White House Skills Summit on January 16.  At the Summit, people from colleges, the private sector, city and state leaders, non-profits and philanthropy will share their best practices and come up with strategies for how to get people into college and help them succeed. A major Summit topic will be the pre-college developmental classes that help students brush up on their academic skills.

At Lake Washington Institute of Technology, we want to always keep sight of what students need to update their skills and credentials for new jobs and promotions. We want to continually improve the ways we deliver what students need. The White House Skills Summit is an important national discussion about how to do just that.

On behalf of the faculty who have developed and continue to offer innovative programs for students, it is a pleasure and honor to share that success in Washington D.C., and also to be able to learn from other people about how we might improve even more.

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Celebrating Our Faculty

Proclamation_103013Ask any student at Lake Washington what they appreciate about their education here and the response you’ll most often hear is the quality of the faculty.

Because we are a workforce college, many of our faculty come from, or are closely affiliated with, industry. Our programs – with the strong support of advisory councils – strive to be responsive to the needs of industry so that students leave here prepared to succeed in their career of choice.

Our ability to be responsive to the ever-changing needs of industry is due, in large part, to our great adjunct and part-time faculty who allow us to offer variety and depth in our programs. Too often, their valuable contributions go unrecognized. That is why we are delighted to join in Governor Inslee’s recognition of adjunct and part-time faculty.

We are fortunate to have outstanding adjunct and part-time faculty at Lake Washington and ask you to join us today, October 30, 2013, in celebrating Adjunct and Part-time Faculty Recognition Day.

Spread the word by acknowledging and thanking a faculty member who has made a difference in your life.

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Learning with Support

Learning with SupportOne of my personal passions is ensuring that students who come to Lake Washington will complete their educational goals and find their career of choice. However, the path to achieving those educational goals is not necessarily easy for many of our students. Some of our students face significant life challenges – family and job commitments, divorce, disability, and financial issues. Other students struggle with learning skills as first time college students or as students who are returning to college after years in the workforce. All of these situations could, without support, impede their progress to achieving their dreams.

At Lake Washington, we make it a priority to provide students with needed support – especially around learning skills. The TRiO Learning Lab is one such resource, providing facilitators and certified tutors to help students succeed. At a recent Open House, we celebrated the TRiO Learning Lab’s new location in E214. Senators Rosemary McAuliffe and Andy Hill were in attendance as well as a representative from Congresswoman Suzan DelBene’s office. We are fortunate to have elected officials who not only understand the challenges our students face, but who are also aligned in offering Lake Washington’s students their support.

For more information about the TRiO Learning Lab, contact Dr. Patricia Hunter at or 425-739-8361.

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