In 1941, Topeka High School established Topeka Trade School at 602 SW Harrison Street. The first courses were Machine Shop and Auto Mechanics and additional courses were soon added. Wartime and civil service training for Topeka Army Air Field personnel took place at the school during World War II as well as pre-induction training for Topeka Public School students bound for military service. Following WWII and the Korean War, many veterans received training from Topeka Trade School at the Forbes Center location.
In 1964, legislation allowed the creation of Northeast Kansas Vocational Technical School. The school's name was changed to Kaw Area Vocational Technical School in 1967, and changed again in 1992 to Kaw Area Technical School. Land for the campus was purchased from Mrs. Alf Landon, wife of the former governor, and the new building was dedicated in1968. KATS began with the creation of a consortium of the boards of education of five school districts. Today, KATS is the managing partner based on existing vocational education agreements with a consortium of 17 unified school districts. In 2008, the management of KATS shifted from Topeka Unified School District 501 Board of Education to be operated as a unit administered by Washburn University and governed by the WU Board of Regents. The current name is Washburn Institute of Technology.
Washburn Institute of Technology is committed to providing high quality instruction and programs consistent with current needs in today's technologies. Learn about what Washburn Tech does to enhance the student opportunities including financial aid, schedules, calendars, counseling, and other general information.
Programs of Study
Washburn Tech's courses vary greatly, from computers to welding, from graphic design to automotive. Explore the many different programs to find what interests you.
Business & Industry Training
If you are a business interested in customized training in business or industry for your employees, Washburn Tech provides information on how we can help you. Washburn Tech can help upgrade the skills of your current employees and provide high quality training for new employees.
Plan ahead with the Washburn Tech calendar! View upcoming school holidays, special events, and other important information.
The Washburn Bridge
Students have the opportunity to extend their academic careers by pursuing an associate of applied studies degrees at Washburn University, based on hours earned at both schools.
Washburn Tech Annual Report
The Washburn Tech Annual Report is produced yearly by our Graphics/Printing Technology students. The report contains the Director's Report, Business/Industry Training, Student Enrollment statistics, Graduation, Student Honors, and Skills USA Championships.
Download Annual Report (updated February 2008): PDF (2.63 MB)