- The California Community
Colleges system of 72 districts, 116 colleges and 6
continuing education centers constitutes the largest system
of higher education in the United States
- Just under 2 million students enroll each year
(compared to 671,000 in the University of California and
California State University systems combined).
- This student population represents 20% of the
nation’s community college student population and 1 in
10 students in American higher education.
- The colleges’ primary mission is to provide academic and
vocational instruction for students of all ages through the first
two years of undergraduate education.
- In addition, the colleges provide remedial instruction,
courses in English as a second language, adult noncredit
instruction, community service courses, and workforce training.
- The student body is broadly representative of the state’s
diversity, closely matching the ethnic makeup of California’s
high school graduates.
40% of students access some form of financial aid.
Three out of 10 Californians aged 18-24 are enrolled
in a community college.
- Community college students are far more likely to be
part-time (70%) than their counterparts at CSU (26%) and
- Nearly a third of University of California graduates
and more than half of California State University
graduates got their start at a community college and
- California Community Colleges educate 70% of nurses
in California and train 80% of firefighters, law enforcement
personnel, and EMTs.
- Transfer students from the California Community Colleges to
the UC system currently account for 48% of UC’s bachelor’s
degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.