Affirmative Action

Section: IV. ADSV - 200
Approved By: Dr. Pamela J. Transue, 11/15/10
Last Review: 07/01/11
Last Revision: 11/15/10
Prior Revisions: 1993, 01/28/04 
Initial Adoption: 04/30/87


It is the policy of the College to undertake a program of Affirmative Action designed to prohibit discrimination and provide equitable employment and equal access to its programs and services without regard to race, creed, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, status as a disabled or Vietnam era veteran, the presence of a sensory, mental or physical disability or genetic information.

The college further reaffirms its commitment to affirmative action for Asian/Pacific Islanders, African Americans/Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans/Alaskan Natives, women, and persons over 40, persons of disability and disabled and Vietnam era veterans.  It encourages College staff to strive to eliminate barriers to equal employment opportunity encountered by protected class members and improve employment opportunities available to underutilized groups.

The Human Resources administrator is responsible to establish and implement employment practices consistent with those prescribed for all agencies of the State of Washington.

Copies of this policy will be distributed to all college employees.

Residency (Classification of Students)

Tacoma Community College shall classify its students as residents or non-residents according to WAC 250.18, the permanent rules and regulations adopted by the Council for Post-Secondary Education in June 1983, as hereinafter amended.  The College shall develop regulations and procedures to assure that the residency of all students enrolled in credit classes is determined.  International students must be in compliance with immigration requirements.  (See also Tuition & Fee Waiver Policy)

Running Start Admissions Requirements

The Running Start Program was authorized by the 1990 legislature as part of the educational “choice” program.  This legislation allows students the choice of earning dual credit for both high school requirements and community/technical college credits through college course work.

To be admitted to Tacoma Community College’s Running Start Program, a student must:

1.         Be under 21 years of age.

2.         Be enrolled or registered as a junior or senior in a Washington public high school.

3.         Place at or above Reading 110 and English 101 through TCC’s entry skills assessment testing program.

4.         Have a high school grade point average of 2.5 or above.


Students with high school grade point averages of 2.5 or without a high school transcript will be admitted provisionally, pending successful completion of one academic quarter.

Under-age Admissions

TCC’s primary educational mission is focused on serving adults in an adult environment that may not meet the needs of younger students.  Exceptions to the general admissions policy will be considered when a student has clearly excelled beyond the high school level in a particular subject area and advanced courses are not available through any high school program (exceptions will not apply to foreign language courses unavailable at the high school).

The process for requesting an exception to the admissions policy is available in the Admissions office or the Running Start office in Building 18.


The purpose of this policy is to comply with applicable state and federal law regarding affirmative action and to establish policy to implement a successful program of affirmative action.

To Whom Does This Policy Apply

This policy applies to all employees of the college and applicants for employment.


Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act

Executive Order 93-07 – Affirming Commitment to Diversity and Equity in Service Delivery and in the Communities of the State, RE-Establishing Affirmative Action and Prohibiting Discrimination in State Workplaces.

Title 162  WAC - Human Rights Commission

Chapter 357-25 Affirmative Action

Section 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

ADA Amendments ACT of 2008

Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008

RCW 41.06 State Civil Service Law


Affirmative Action – Actions, policies, and procedures to which an employer commits itself that are designed to achieve equal employment opportunity.  The affirmative action obligation includes 1) thorough, systematic efforts to prevent discrimination from occurring or to detect it and eliminate it as promptly as possible; and 2) recruitment and outreach measures.

Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) – A plan by which a government contractor or employer sets forth specific affirmative actions to eliminate and remedy past discrimination against or underutilization of protected classes.  It shall not mean any sort of quota system.

American Indian or Alaskan Native – a person with origins in any of the original peoples of North America and who maintains cultural identification through documented tribal affiliation or community recognition.

Asian/Pacific Islander – A person with origins in any part of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands.  For example, China, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, the Philippine Republic, and Samoa.

Black/African American – A person with origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa.

Disabled Person – Federal and state definitions vary.  The term disability is substitute for the term handicap in the following definitions:

  1. The Federal Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Definition – A person is disabled who: a) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities; b) has a record of such an impairment or c) Is regarded as having such an impairment (Section 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990).

The Washington State Affirmative Action Definition – (1) "Disability" is short for the statutory term "the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability," except when it appears as part of the full term.

     (2) "The presence of a sensory, mental, or physical disability" includes, but is not limited to, circumstances where a sensory, mental, or physical condition:

     (a) Is medically cognizable or diagnosable;

     (b) Exists as a record or history;

     (c) Is perceived to exist whether or not it exists in fact.

     A condition is a "sensory, mental, or physical disability" if it is an abnormality and is a reason why the person having the condition did not get or keep the job in question, or was denied equal pay for equal work, or was discriminated against in other terms and conditions of employment, or was denied equal treatment in other areas covered by the statutes. In other words, for enforcement purposes a person will be considered to be disabled by a sensory, mental, or physical condition if he or she is discriminated against because of the condition and the condition is abnormal.

Disabled Veteran – A person entitled to disability compensation under laws administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for disability rated at 30 percent or more, or a person whose discharge or release from active duty was for a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.

Equal Employment Opportunity – The opportunity to obtain employment, promotions, and other benefits of employment without discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, marital status, sexual preference, national origin, age, physical, sensory or mental disability or status as a disabled or Vietnam era veteran.

Genetic Information - includes information about an individual’s genetic tests and the genetic tests of an individual’s family members, as well as information about any disease, disorder, or condition of an individual’s family members (i.e. an individual’s family medical history). Family medical history is included in the definition of genetic information because it is often used to determine whether someone has an increased risk of getting a disease, disorder, or condition in the future

Hispanic – A person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.  For example, persons from Brazil, Guyana, or other Surinam would be classified according to their race and would not necessarily be included in the Hispanic category.  This category does not include persons from Portugal, who should be classified according to race.

Martial Status – The legal status of being married, single, separated, divorced or widowed.  It does not include consideration of cohabitating relationships.

Sexual Orientation – Heterosexual, bisexual, or homosexual.

White/Caucasian – A person with origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East.

Vietnam era Veteran – A person who served on active duty for a period of more than 180 days, any part of which occurred between August 5, 1964 and May 7, 1975, and was discharged or released from duty with other than a dishonorable discharge.

See College Policy - Definitions