15 school districts within Yakima County provide sound, quality education for a total enrollment of approximately 46,000 students, with a student/teacher ratio of 18:1. Schools in Yakima County have received national recognition for quality of education programs. Yakima has one of two high schools in the State authorized to prepare students for the International Baccalaureate (B) Diploma. Vocational Education programs and School-to-Work programs provide youths with practical, real life/real work experiences.
Higher educational needs are met locally by:
- Yakima Valley Community College, a 2-year institution with its main campus in Yakima and a satellite campus in Grandview. YVCC offers AA and AS degrees in academic and vocational areas, as well as multiple certificate programs. Approximate enrollment is 5000.
- Perry Technical Institute, a nationally recognized, privately-endowed, nonprofit technical school offering programs in Graphic Arts, Electronics, Instrumentation, Telecommunications, Machine Technology (CNC), and Auto Mechanics. Approximate enrollment is 450.
- Heritage College, a private 4-year liberal arts institution located in Toppenish, offering 19 undergraduate degree programs, 5 associate degrees and 4 Masters in Education majors. The college has a partnership with the University of Washington to provide access to special programs and faculty resources. Approximate enrollment is 1300.
- Central Washington University, located 35 miles north in the community of Ellensburg. Central is one of six 4-year public universities in Washington State. It offers Bachelor and Graduate degree programs in a variety of disciplines. CWU maintains a Yakima office and a strong presence of courses and scholarly activity in Yakima County. Approximate enrollment is 8000.
Extension courses of Washington State University are also offered in the area.
As a major agricultural area and because of its proximity to the Reservation of the Yakima Nation, the Yakima Valley enjoys a unique mix of peoples, with strong influences from Native American and Hispanic cultures.
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