Renton Technical College came into existence as a war production school. Throughout World War II, the College provided customized pre-employment training and job upgrading/re-training.
After the war, Renton Technical College became a state-funded vocational school with the mission of assisting industry in converting from a war time to a peace time economy. For the next 20 years, Renton Technical College conducted a large number of re-training classes and a small number of high quality training programs.
Renton Technical College moved to a central campus comprised of three new buildings. For the next five years, the basis of the specialized college was laid with its emphasis on open-entry, open-exit, and continuous progress instruction based on achievement of measurable competencies.
Renton Technical College has grown to nearly 400,000 square feet and the student body has increased 500 percent. The original three buildings have been remodeled and expanded, 10 new structures have been built, four portables have been added, and the college has acquired numerous off-campus facilities.
The growth of the central campus has enabled Renton Technical College to improve and expand training in the growing industries of health, service, and information technology – especially those fields that are affected by new technologies. Renton Technical College continues to provide customized training and services to Puget Sound-area businesses.
The next 50 years were marked by the conversion of the state's vocational-technical institutes to technical colleges. As part of this change, governance was shifted to the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges and authorization was given to grant two year, sub-baccalaureate degrees and certificates of completion. Degrees are awarded in 36 preparatory programs, in apprenticeship and through three general occupational degree programs. Certificates are currently provided in 80 programs.
Renton Technical College was recertified as an Achieving the Dream Leader College, a national designation awarded to community colleges that commit to improving student success and closing achievement gaps. Only 16 colleges in the nation received this honor.
Renton Technical College is recognized as one of the Top 10 community and technical colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute. Other accolades include nine RTC students named Siemens Technical Scholars, the most of any college in the U.S. RTC offers its first bachelor’s degree program – the Bachelor of Applied Science in Application Development, meeting a need of the local technology sector.