Apr 14, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog SVC 
2023-2024 Catalog SVC

About Our College

President’s Message

Whether you want to finish high school, upgrade your skills, pursue a bachelor’s degree, or prepare for a career, Skagit Valley College (SVC) has options for you. SVC serves Skagit, Island, and San Juan counties by providing access to higher education for all who seek a better future.

SVC is deeply committed to equity in access, achievement, and community. Choose from on-campus, virtual, or hybrid classes and enjoy a diverse learning environment where you are a valued member of the Cardinal community. You belong here, and we will be here to provide the support you need to succeed. Our faculty and staff are ready to meet you where you are right now. We continue to adapt our instruction, services, and resources to meet your needs and support the health and safety of the SVC community.

On behalf of the SVC Board of Trustees, faculty, and staff, welcome to our community of learners. We look forward to supporting your educational goals and celebrating your academic success!

Dr. Christopher Villa
President, Skagit Valley College


Skagit Valley College cultivates student learning and achievement; contributes to the educational, personal, and economic success of students; and promotes equitable and thriving communities.


The primary focus of Skagit Valley College is student-centered teaching and learning. We are committed to:

  • Equitable student outcomes in access, achievement, and community
  • Our Guiding Principles
  • Decisions based on strategy and evidence
  • Development of our employees
  • A diverse and inclusive college community where everyone belongs

Guiding Principles

  • Respect
  • Integrity
  • Open and Honest Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Compassion

A Quick Look at Skagit Valley College

Skagit Valley College is a public community college, operating under the supervision of a local Board of Trustees appointed by the governor. SVC’s district includes Skagit, Island, and San Juan counties.


Skagit Valley College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Accreditation of an institution of higher education by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of institutional quality evaluated through a peer review process. An accredited college or university is one which has available the necessary resources to achieve its stated purposes through appropriate educational programs, is substantially doing so, and gives reasonable evidence that it will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Institutional integrity is also addressed through accreditation.

Accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities is not partial but applies to the institution as a whole. As such, it is not a guarantee of every course or program offered, or the competence of individual graduates. Rather, it provides reasonable assurance about the quality of opportunities available to students who attend the institution.

Inquiries regarding an institution’s accredited status by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities should be directed to the administrative staff of the institution. Individuals may also contact: 

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
8060 165th Avenue N.E., Suite 100
Redmond, WA 98052 (425) 558‐4224


Brief History

Skagit Valley College (SVC), originally named Mount Vernon Junior College, began serving students in 1926 as an adjunct to Union High School in Mount Vernon. The name was changed to Skagit Valley Junior College in 1948, and in 1958 the present name was adopted. SVC has the proud distinction of being the second oldest community college in Washington state.

During the early years, classes were held on the top floor of the high school building. In 1955, a permanent site of 35 acres was purchased and a complex of six buildings was completed in 1959. Because of immediate increases in student enrollment, another 10 acres of land was purchased and a new Library building was constructed. Additional purchases of land have brought the total campus area in Mount Vernon to more than 110 acres.

Currently, SVC serves students at the Mount Vernon Campus in Mount Vernon and at the Whidbey Island Campus in Oak Harbor. The college also operates three centers: San Juan Center in Friday Harbor, Marine Technology Center in Anacortes, and the Cardinal Craft Brewing Academy in Burlington.

Skagit Valley College Foundation

Since 1978, generous donors, enthusiastic alums, and dedicated volunteers have helped sustain and grow the SVC Foundation with their donations, talent, and insight to build one of the premier community college foundations in Washington. The SVC Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that assists students with scholarships, emergency funds, and childcare vouchers, enhances innovative instruction, and supports campus development programs. A volunteer Board of Governors provides leadership to the SVC Foundation. To learn more about opportunities to support SVC programs and students, visit www.skagitfoundation.org or call 360.416.7717.

A Learning College

SVC has a deep commitment to putting learning first and providing you with challenging and affordable educational opportunities through many delivery modes.


We know you look for the best value: SVC is an affordable option. Our tuition is lower than tuition at a four-year college or university, resulting in a real savings to you. If you find that you need financial assistance, scholarships, loans, and grants may be available to you. Find out more about Financial Aid & Scholarships  in this catalog.

Diverse Course & Program Options

  • As a transfer degree student, you can take your first two years of college at SVC and then transfer to a four-year college or university as a junior. Our graduates who go on to universities do as well or better than students who begin college at four-year schools.
  • Or, if your goal is to retool or launch a new career, we offer Professional/Technical degrees and certificates in some of today’s most in-demand fields: Nursing and Diesel Power Technology, to mention two.
  • If you have been away from college for some time, our advising staff can help make the transition less stressful.
  • Our Basic Skills courses are designed to help you brush up on subjects like Math, English and Reading, complete high school or get your GED®.
  • Learn in the classroom or online.
  • We also offer English Language Acquisition courses.
  • Of course, you are also welcome to take courses for personal enrichment.

Exceptional Faculty/Small Class Size

At SVC, we keep class sizes small to allow personal interaction with your instructors and with other students. We believe communication, interaction, and critical thinking are essential skills to your success at SVC. Faculty members at Skagit Valley College are dedicated to helping you achieve the well-rounded education and up-to-date skills that you expect. They bring their enthusiasm for learning into the classroom.

Quality Curriculum

If you want to challenge your mind, SVC is right for you! SVC is a national leader in teaching interdisciplinary classes. For example, you can study Drama and Physics in a Learning Community or study English linked with a distribution course. These innovative courses link faculty from different departments and have earned high praise from SVC graduates.

Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and Safety

Skagit Valley College believes that you are a unique individual and that you deserve an opportunity to learn and live in a positive environment. Our goal is to foster values that promote open-mindedness, awareness, sensitivity, and respect for differences.

Research & Assessment Activities

In order to determine whether we are accomplishing our college mission, vision, and guiding principles, we evaluate and assess our programs, courses, services, and students.

Assessment starts with what matters most-you, the student. You may be asked to cooperate in various surveys, interviews, focus groups, and other data-collection efforts by the college. Since our mission is directed to the education of the whole person, your achievement can be measured only by evidence concerning the whole person. We use the information gathered through assessment for research purposes. The college protects the privacy of student records in keeping with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA.) For more information about FERPA, visit Enrollment Services at your campus or center. Our goal through assessment is to increase your learning, satisfaction, and success. We value your contribution to the assessment effort. Contact the Institutional Planning & Effectiveness Office at 360.416.7738 for more information.