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Ventura College

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Title: Ventura College  
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Subject: Ventura, California, Ventura County Fusion, Oxnard College, Ventura County Community College District, Desmond Penigar
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Ventura College

Ventura College
Established 1925
Endowment $1.1 million (2011/2012)[1]
President Greg Gillespie [2]
Academic staff
141 full-time faculty (Fall 2011)
Students 13,737 [2012][3]
Location 4667 Telegraph Road
Ventura, California
Campus 112 acres (45 ha)

Ventura College is a California-state funded community college located in Ventura, California, USA. Established in 1925, the college has a 112-acre (45 ha) campus with an enrollment of 13,763 students. The college is part of the Ventura County Community College District.


  • History 1
  • The Ventura College Promise 2
  • Student body profile 3
  • Degrees awarded 4
  • Transfer information 5
  • Financial aid information 6
  • Student life 7
  • Notable Alumni 8
  • Gallery 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


Ventura College was established as the first college in Ventura County in 1925, when a junior college department was added at Ventura Union High School. In 1929, the Ventura High School District adopted the four-four plan of secondary education, providing four years of junior high school (grades 7-10) and four years of high school/junior college (grades 11-14). The next year, Ventura Junior College, as the senior four-year school was then known, was moved to a new campus at Main and Catalina Streets in Ventura, the present location of Ventura High School.

In 1952, responding to recommendations from a commissioned study concerning population growth and building needs, the Ventura High School District adopted a 3-3-2 organization, with three years of junior high school (grades 7-9), three years of high school (grades 10-12) and two years of higher education. Ventura Junior College became Ventura College, a two-year institution for the freshman and sophomore years of college.

In 1955, the college moved to its present 112 acre hillside campus at 4667 Telegraph Road in the eastern part of Ventura – so close to the ocean that there is a clear view of the Channel Islands from several spots on campus. In 1962, the voters of Ventura County authorized the formation of a community college district separate from any other public school entity.

In 1974, the college began offering classes in Fillmore to serve the Santa Clara River Valley’s predominantly Hispanic population. In 1980, the East Campus (then known as the Santa Paula Vocational Center) moved to its current location on Dean Drive in Santa Paula. In addition to the East Campus, Ventura College currently utilizes classrooms at Fillmore High School, and occasionally uses the facilities at other community locations.

Ventura County voters went to the polls in March 2002 and voted to authorize a $356 million general obligation bond to renovate and expand all three campuses and the district training facilities for police, fire, and sheriff’s officers. The first Ventura College building constructed using bond funds was the Library and Learning Resources Center, which opened in January 2005. The remodeled Student Services Center opened in April 2008, and the Sportsplex in 2009. The Advanced Technology Center, General Purposes Classroom Building and the Health Sciences Center buildings are currently under construction, as is the training facility for sheriff officers. The Performing Arts Complex and the buildings housing the college’s technical programs are also currently under renovation.

Ventura College serves a diverse student body through both credit and non-credit offerings. The college offers associate of arts or associate of science degrees in thirty-three majors. Students are also able to obtain an associate of arts degree in general studies, using one of three patterns to obtain the required units. In addition, the college offers certificates of achievement in thirty-five career and technical education fields, and proficiency awards in twenty-six fields. The college’s Community Education program offers hundreds of classes three times a year to those interested in learning about music, dance, writing, fitness, cooking, financial planning, languages and a myriad of other topics in a non-competitive, not-for-credit environment.

The Ventura County Community College District has grown to include two additional colleges, Moorpark College and Oxnard College, collectively serving more than 36,000 students per semester. The District Administrative Center offices are located on Stanley Avenue in Ventura.

The Ventura College Promise

Ventura College is the home of the Ventura College Promise, the largest grant program of its kind in the nation at a community college. Sponsored by the Ventura College Foundation, the "promise" is that all recent Ventura County high school graduates, regardless of family income, the number of units taken, or high school grade point average, will have their enrollment fees covered during their first year of attendance at Ventura College. This same promise is extended to students who have completed their GED requirements or who have completed the coursework for high school but have not yet passed their exit exam. To qualify, the Ventura County applicant must (1) identify an educational goal; (2) take the college's assessment examination; (3) work with a Ventura College counselor to develop an education plan; and (4) complete a Financial Aid Application (FAFSA) to see if he/she qualifies for a California Board of Governor’s fee waiver. In addition, the student must apply for the Ventura College Promise and be enrolled in Ventura College immediately after high school (or GED) completion. The Ventura College Promise is designed to remove the economic barriers to education for graduating high school seniors, to improve the college-going rate, and to enhance the quality of the local workforce. Cohort studies have shown that students who are enrolled in the Promise program enroll in more units, complete more units, complete more semesters, and return to school for their second year at a substantially higher rate than their non-Promise counterparts.

Student body profile

(Fall 2011) Total Enrollment: 13,763

Student Body:

Student Gender Female:7,546 (54.8%) Male: 6,164 (44.8%) Unknown: 53 (0.4%)

Student Ethnicity African American/Black: 514 (3.9%) Asian/Filipino/Pacific Islander: 914 (6.7%) Hispanic: 6,367 (48.5%) Native American: 181 (1.3%) White: 5,065 (34.7%) Other: 752 (4.9%)

Student Age (Avg. Age 25.3 yrs.) <18: 514 (3.9%) 18-19: 3,699 (26.9%) 20-21: 2,866 (20.8%) 22-24: 2,020 (14.7%) 25-29: 1,718 (12.5%) 30-34: 851 (6.2%) 35-39: 544 (4.0%) 40-49: 900 (6.5%) 50-64: 579 (4.2%) 65+: 84 (0.6%) Unknown: 2 (0.0%)

Degrees awarded

2010-11 Associate Degrees awarded: 680 2010-11 Certificates of Achievement awarded: 438 Ventura College is 43rd in the nation (of more than 1,200 community and junior colleges) for awarding Associate’s Degrees to Hispanic students, according to the United States Department of Education data for 2011.

Transfer information

According to its website, Ventura College transfers more students than most California Community Colleges. It is among the top 25% of all California Community Colleges (CCC) transferring students to the UC and CSU systems, and in the top five of all CCCs in the same enrollment range (13,500-15,000 headcount).

Its top UC feeders include Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Cruz, and Berkeley. Its top CSU feeders include Channel Islands, Chico, Long Beach, Northridge, San Diego, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Most Current Transfer Data: 2009-10: University of California colleges: 134 California State University colleges: 587 2009-10: In-state Private Colleges: 184 Out of State Four Year Universities: 167

Financial aid information

2009-10 Total Financial Aid awarded: $21,909,570 2009-10 Total Scholarships awarded: $499,725 2009-10 Ventura College Promise grants awarded: $218,861

Student life

While attending Ventura College, students can participate in their student government, which at Ventura College is called ASVC. The Associated Students of Ventura College (ASVC) assumes responsibility for coordinating student activities and expressing student concerns, interests, and viewpoints to the administration and college community. Students can participate in more than 17 clubs related to their various interests, ethnic background, and majors, and 17 intercollegiate athletic teams and spirit. Ventura College also provides a MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement) program, which serves first generation, low income students who major in STEM.

Pirates Athletic Teams: Men's and Women's Basketball, Men's and Women's Swim/Dive, Men's and Women's Tennis, Men's and Women's Water Polo, Women's Cross-Country, Men's and Women's Track and Field, Men's Golf, Softball, Baseball, Football, Women's Soccer, and Women's Volleyball.

Notable Alumni



  1. ^ College foundations differ widely in how much they raise, what they spend » Ventura County Star
  2. ^ "Reception welcomes new Ventura College president". Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  3. ^ California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office - Data Mart
  4. ^ "Chris Beal UFC Profile". Retrieved 2014. 

External links

  • Official Ventura College web site

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