Morse Center

About BTC

Office of the President

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Dr Patricia McKeown - President

Welcome to Bellingham Technical College (BTC). This past year BTC’s campus has undergone a major facelift with the opening of the new Campus Center and a major grounds upgrade. The new Campus Center adds exceptional learning facilities to our welcoming campus environment. Stop by and visit our campus and see how BTC is reflecting excellence.

BTC is known as a leading educational institution preparing students for careers in over forty fields. Our approach is high-tech, hands-on and student-centered. Located in beautiful northwest Washington, on the shore of north Puget Sound and close to downtown, BTC is a diverse community of students and faculty engaged in the pursuit of learning.

At BTC, you will find exemplary faculty who, along with our dedicated staff, are committed to preparing you for a career in two years. We also have more options than ever before so you can transfer from BTC to earn a baccalaureate degree. BTC is recognized as having relevant, cutting-edge labs with state of the art equipment, so our graduates enter the workforce prepared and have the skills and knowledge to progress up the career ladder. This is a great place to learn!

As testament of our commitment to ensuring students earn their degree or certificate, BTC has identified Student Success as the priority goal of BTC’s Strategic Goals. We have joined the national student completion movement by participating in Achieving the Dream. This project—paired with support from College Spark—illustrates our commitment to achieving four principles toward student completion and success: committed leadership, use of evidence to improve programs and services, broad engagement, and systemic institutional improvement. Our ultimate goal is to have our students graduate with a degree or certificate and a clear pathway to the career of their dreams. Thank you for your interest in Bellingham Technical College and again, welcome to our campus.

Patricia McKeown, Ed.D


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Board Meetings

BTC is governed by a five-member Board of Trustees. Each member is appointed by the governor, and serves a five-year term.

The Board’s activities include strategic planning, policy creation, appointing the College President, approving operating budgets, and awarding tenure.

For additional information regarding the Board of Trustees please contact the College President's office at 360.752.8334.


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Jim Groves

Appointed to the BTC Board of Trustees November 2009 and serves as the current board chair.


Journeyman Electrician, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 191. Whatcom County Central Labor Council, recording secretary.


Attended BTC and graduated from Bellingham High School.


Whatcom County Central Labor Council.

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James W. Cunningham

Appointed to the BTC Board of Trustees in 1998. Mr. Cunningham was reappointed in June 2005 and served as the Board Chair, 2001 - 2003.


Retired General Manager, Bellingham Operations, Georgia-Pacific Inc.


Attended Seattle University, B.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering and Oceanography, University of Washington.


Bellingham Rotary Club; Actively involved in Lake Whatcom Watershed issues through the Lake Whatcom Stewardship Association.

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Debbie Ahl

Appointed to the BTC Board of Trustees in November 2011


Currently works with small businesses and entrepreneurial startups to support economic growth in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. (Retired) President & CEO Sterling Life Insurance Company. (Retired) President & CEO, Olympic Health Management Systems, Inc.


Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Washington University in Communications.


Joint Quality Committee for Peace Health St. Joseph Hospital. Board for the Center for Excellence in Management Education for the College of Business & Economics, Western Washington University.

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Lisa Woo

Appointed to Bellingham Technical College’s Board of Trustees May 2011


Woo has been a property developer since 1999, owning and managing multi-use properties and has worked as a Washington State Realtor since 1998. She is also a commercial property and small business owner, having owned the Gateway building downtown and Red Berry since 2007.


Woo received her education from Western Washington University, Fairhaven College.


WWU Foundation Board from 2001 to present, Mt. Baker Theatre Board of Directors, Downtown Renaissance Network and Korean Realtors Association.

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Kelly Espinoza

Appointed to Bellingham Technical College’s Board of Trustees January 2013


Currently serves as the Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer for PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center where she has oversight for patient care services including nursing, pharmacy, social services, behavioral health, rehabilitation services, therapies, professional practice, emergency services and trauma.

Kelly also served as the President of the Nevada State Board of Nursing and was awarded the Northern Nevada Nurse of Achievement for LEADERSHIP in 2012 and participates in numerous professional organizations including but not limited to Sigma Theta Tau, American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), and Association of Nurse Executives (AONE).


Master’s of Science in Nursing from University of Nevada, Reno, and is pursuing her PhD in Nursing Education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas

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Bellingham Technical College provides student-centered, high-quality professional technical education for today’s needs and tomorrow’s opportunities.


Bellingham Technical College will be a recognized leader in providing innovative and effective technical education, maximizing student potential and supporting the regional economy through development of a competitive workforce.


    Excellence and Innovation

    BTC will support and promote excellence and innovation throughout the College.


    BTC will increase student access to seamless educational pathways.

    Student Success

    BTC will increase students’ goal achievement by providing activities and opportunities for learning, growth, and leadership.


    BTC will maintain and develop effective partnerships that enrich the communities we serve.

    Welcoming Campus Environment

    BTC will create and maintain an attractive and inclusive campus environment that promotes a sense of community, respect for individuals, and effective work and learning.


    BTC will demonstrate to its constituents the effective, efficient, ethical, and strategic use of all resources.

    Marketing and Resource Development

    BTC will broaden resources and community support to ensure the College’s growth and viability.