President´s Welcome


On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the faculty and staff of Whatcom Community College, I want to extend a warm “Whatcom Welcome” to you.

The faculty and staff at Whatcom Community College can help you get from wherever you are in life, to where you want to be. Whatcom's tradition of serving the community with a student-centered approach is what makes our college so special. We are committed to helping our students achieve success in their academic pursuits and collegial experiences. Whether you are preparing to transfer to a university, pursuing career training, or participating in courses for personal or professional enrichment, Whatcom is a great place to be.

There are countless reasons why Whatcom may be the right choice for you. WCC offers a wide range of programs, degrees, and certificates instructed by exemplary faculty. The courses offered through Community and Continuing Education provide for additional lifelong learning opportunities. The campus is one of the most beautiful in the state and boasts high-tech resources, including campus-wide wireless access. Student life is active and exciting with numerous student clubs, activities and sports.

In addition to an outstanding campus and classroom experience, you’ll enjoy exploring the surrounding area. Whatcom is located in Bellingham, WA, situated on Bellingham Bay with Mount Baker as its backdrop. The last major city before the Washington coastline meets the Canadian border, Bellingham is 85 miles north of Seattle and 50 miles south of Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Bellingham is an acclaimed outdoor recreation haven and has been named “Best Place to Play Year Round,” “Adventure Town USA” and “Best Place to Retire and Live” by various media. To learn more about our community, follow the links on this page.

All of us at Whatcom Community College look forward to helping you achieve a rich and fulfilling educational experience. It is an investment that will most certainly last you a lifetime. I hope to see you on campus soon.

Dr. Kathi Hiyane-Brown
College President

Community links:


About the President

Kathi H. Hiyane-Brown, Ed.D., became the fourth president of Whatcom Community College in 2007.  Dr. Hiyane-Brown leads this comprehensive community college that serves 4,500 FTE and 7,800 students each quarter, employs more than 400 employees, and operates with an annual state budget of approximately $20 million.  During her tenure, she has built vital community partnerships, inspired innovation and excellence throughout the College, and encouraged a culture of inclusiveness.

Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, Whatcom offers associate degrees in academic transfer, general studies, and professional/technical.  The College is recognized for its strong transfer program, its international education initiatives, allied health programs, cybersecurity education center, and collaborative efforts with higher education institutions in the region.  Whatcom is developing a solid College Foundation and a comprehensive professional development program. 

A na­tionally recognized advocate of community college education, Dr. Hiyane-Brown currently serves as the chair of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Presidents Academy Executive Committee (PAEC);  and on the board of the National Asian Pacific Islander Council (NAPIC), an affiliate council AACC. She previously served as president and founding member of this council.  Additionally, she was a past director on the AACC Board of Directors, and past chair of the Commission on Diversity, Inclusion and Equity for AACC.

As a member of the Washington Association of Community and Technical Colleges (WACTC), Dr. Hiyane-Brown serves on the WACTC Legislative Committee and is past chair of the Critical Issues Committee and Educational Services Committee.   Her local leadership experience includes serving on the Boards of the Northwest Economic Council (NWDC) and the Whatcom Alliance for Healthcare Access (WAHA).  In addition to statewide committees focused on the work of the two-year college system, she is a member of the Governor’s Taskforce on Adult Education Advisory Council and serves on the board of The Association (the Washington Community and Technical College Administrative Training Association).  Dr. Hiyane-Brown’s national involvement with professional development includes her experiences as a member of the National Council for Staff, Program, and Organizational Development (NCSPOD), having served in numerous leadership positions, including President, for that organization. She conducts training and workshops on leadership and diversity in venues locally, na­tionally and internationally.   She is committed to supporting leadership development initiatives with underrepresented groups and is a mentor to many aspiring leaders.

Dr. Hiyane-Brown was the President of Normandale Community College, Bloomington, MN, for four years prior to being appointed president at WCC. She also held administrative posts at Tacoma Community College, Tacoma, WA; Leeward Community College, Pearl City, HI; and Muscatine Community College, Muscatine, IA.

Born in Hawai‘i, Dr. Hiyane-Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, Grinnell College; a Master of Arts in Instructional Design and Technology, University of Iowa; and a Doctor of Education in Community College Leadership, Oregon State University.  Dr. Hiyane-Brown has been recognized as one of 2010’s Outstanding Women Educators by the Northwest Asian Weekly Foundation and was the recipient of the 2002 Leadership Award from The Association.  In recognition of her commitment to staff and program development, she received NCSPOD’s College President’s Award in 2012. She also received the 2014 CEO of the Year Award from Washington Trustees Association of Community and Technical Colleges.

Contact Information

To connect with Dr. Hiyane-Brown, please send messages to

For general inquiries about the College, please contact the Public Information Officer at or 360.383.3310.