Would Ray W. Howard recognize the Shoreline Community College that he helped found in 1964? Dr. Howard, one of Shoreline's greatest education leaders, was the Superintendent of the Shoreline School District at the time the College opened its doors. The Shoreline School District had already begun to develop a strong reputation for excellence in the K-12 system, thanks in part to the work of Dr. Howard. At the same time, he was also looking beyond K-12 and knew that higher education should be available to anyone who desired it and was willing to work for it.
In 1948, the Washington State Legislature passed a law that prevented community colleges from establishing their operations any place where a state four-year institution existed. This measure was intended to restrain institutions from competing with one another or from duplicating their efforts. As a result, community colleges in the Puget Sound region did not come into existence until around the mid 60s when that law was repealed. Dr. Howard was a key proponent of such a measure and actively worked with other school districts in the area to convince legislators of the needs of "non-traditional" students who could not attend the University of Washington or other four-year institutions.
Photos from the SCC 40th Anniversary Celebration - January 2004
These non-traditional students, many of whom were working adults, were part of a growing population of those who desired a college degree, but because of economic circumstances, were forced to work and support families. Many of these students also could not afford the tuition and room and board of a four-year university.
The mission of community colleges in this state has always been to provide access to higher education to students such as these and to offer them the chance to build skills to take them to higher wage levels.
Dr. Howard and many other community college advocates saw this need and the long term benefits to our state economy. With the repeal of the law, the door was opened to found Shoreline Community College.