California Community College Treasures

California’s community colleges host many outstanding programs. Here is a sampling:

  1. De Anza College is known for its stellar computer and engineering programs, and has a competitive AMATYC Math Team. Washington Monthly ranked De Anza 45th (and the only California community college) on its top 50 community colleges in the national list in 2010 (  

  2. Santa Barbara City College has an exceptional focus on preparing underperforming students for four year colleges with a network of writing labs, developmental math classes and tutoring centers. In 2011, the Aspen Institute ranked Santa Barbara among best community colleges in the country based on student success and completion rates.  

  3. Cañada College awards four year degrees in Allied Health, Business Administration, Child Development, Human Services and Nursing, Psychology and Spanish/English Interpretation (Professional Certification) in partnership with San Francisco State University, Notre Dame de Namur University, National University and National Hispanic University. All classes are taught at Canada.

  4. College of the Siskiyous is especially known for its administration of justice program and fire academy. The photo attached to this blog is of a firefighting exercise at Siskiyous. Located at the base of Mt. Shasta, Siskiyous is one of California’s most beautiful campuses. Siskiyous has a new nursing program. 

  5. Irvine Valley College is known for its performing arts programs, especially its dance curriculum. Preparing students to work in entertainment and to enter four year dance programs, the curriculum concentrates on developing the student's technical ability to at least the intermediate level in modern dance, ballet and jazz dance, with elective courses in tap, African and social dance.  

  6. Pasadena City College has Transfer Admission Guarantee Agreements with UC San Diego, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, Whittier College and Woodbury College. No standardized tests are required, and minimum GPAs vary from 3.5 at UC San Diego and 2.8 at UC Merced. See Transfer Admission Guarantee.

  7. San Diego Mesa College has an especially strong Department of Fine Arts which includes a Museum Studies Program focused on the history, functions and operations of art galleries and museums. Students in their second year have interned at San Diego Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum of the Living Artist, Oceanside Museum of Art, David Zapf Gallery, Voz Alta and Museum of Man.   

  8. Santa Monica College’s Academy of Entertainment and Technology is a rigorous program in animation, game development, post-production and digital effects. The Associate Degree requires four semesters of full-time enrollment. Internships in the entertainment industry are encouraged. Beyond Hollywood productions, the City of Santa Monica has a rapidly growing game development business community. 

  9. Long Beach City College is an athletic powerhouse, fielding intercollegiate teams. Long Beach has won 16 national titles, 7 runner-up national titles, 89 state titles and 50 runner-up state titles, more than any other community college. Two alumni are currently playing in the NFL: Bryan Braman for the Houston Texans and  Stephen Burton for the Minnesota Vikings. 

  10. Cabrillo College’s Nursing Program nursing program has the highest on-time completion rates among California’s community colleges: 96%. The state average for nursing program completion is 69%. All nursing programs are severely oversubscribed, and applications are highly selective. College of the Siskiyous has a new program, and its first classes also graduated 96% of its students on-time.