Colleges in California

The state of California has the largest public post-secondary education system of all 50 US states. Vocational and technical training as well as science and liberal arts degree programs serve around 1.7 million students at 137 colleges in California annually. It is one of the strongest systems of public education in the world.

From the beginning of the United States as an independent nation, the provision of public education has traditionally fallen to the individual states. In fact, the words education and schooling aren't even mentioned in the US Constitution. The founding fathers did discuss the idea of a national university but it was dismissed. All states rely on executive, legislative and judicial branches that run parallel to the Federal government to meet the responsibilities of education.

Schools in California include three public systems of higher education in California: the University of California system, the California State University system and the California Community College system.

In 1973 the California Post Secondary Education Commission was formed for California colleges. Its function was to provide for the planning and coordination of public higher education. The CPSEC makes recommendations on matters of budget, proposed academic programs, admission and student aid policies to the governor and legislature. The commission is made up of 17 members. Nine of the 17 members represent the public and are chosen by the governor and legislative leaders. Two members, appointed by the governor, represent students. The remaining six represent both public and private institutions of higher education.

California schools include 71 community college districts. They operate 107 campuses state wide. These districts differ from the California State University and University of California systems in that they are administered by boards of trustees that are locally elected and statewide board of governors. They select the president of each college, approve curriculum and allocate funds to campuses in their jurisdiction.

A California community college can be a gate-way to higher education. After completing the two-year course requirements, students have the option to apply at a four-year college or university to earn a baccalaureate degree. The universities also offer advanced degree. The admission requirements for a freshman applying to the same institution would not apply to that student.

Among the largest and most notable California State University system colleges and universities are Stanford University, University of California at Berkeley, California State University at Los Angeles, California State Polytechnical University and the City College of San Francisco.

Online courses offered by companies through higher education institutes are gaining in number and popularity. They are convenient, affordable and sometimes free.

The economy of California is more like that of a separate nation than a state. It has the largest gross state product (GSP) of any other US state. In the fiscal year of 2011, the GSP was reported as being close to $2 trillion. The state makes up a little over 13 percent of the United State's total gross domestic product (GDP). There are only eight countries in the world that have a larger GDP than this state.

Jobs are most plentiful in California in the the areas of transportation, utilities, trade, government, professional services, business services, health services, education and hospitality and leisure.

Trade is important to the state's economy. About one-fourth of the economy relies on trade and international related commerce accounts. In 2008, $144 billion in goods were exported from California. Computers and electronic products were the number one export making up 42 percent of total exports.

Agriculture has traditionally been important to the state's economy. Citrus and other fresh produce and wines are popular exports from California. Since 1980 agricultural related sales more than quadrupled even though the acreage devoted to farming shrunk by 15 percent. This rise is attributed to more active use of existing farmland and technological improvements in farming. Agricultural product revenue was $43.5 billion in 2011 with grapes, shelled almonds, milk and cream bringing in the most revenue

California's per capita GDP ranked 11th in the nation in 2007 at $38,956. The state's coastal cities tend to have the nation's wealthiest per-capita areas. The high technology areas such as Silicon Valley are no longer considered to be in the recent economic downturn that was caused by the dot.com bust.

Industry is a large part of California's economy and provides a large percentage of jobs for the state residents. The majority of industries produce clothing, food products, electronic and electrical equipment, fabricated and industrial machinery and transportation equipment. The bulk of the manufacturing centers are located in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas.

The state's largest publically owned corporations are aerospace and computer manufactures. Corporations such as Hewlett-Packard, Tandem Computers and Silicon graphics provide a huge variety and amount of jobs in the area south of San Francisco. Rockwell International, Northrop, Lockheed and Computer Sciences are manufactures that lead in Southern California's employment opportunities.

Several of California's private companies are among the states leading manufacturers. Companies such as Levi Strauss, Sunkist growers, Del Monte and Julio Gallo Winery contribute to the economy with many job opportunities.

The aerospace industry is another large sector of California's economy. It accounts for $28 billion in annual sales and provides jobs for around 117,000 Californians.

The film and television production industry also plays a large role in the state's economy. At the end of the 20th century the motion picture industry generated a yearly payroll of $13.4 billion providing jobs to 475,000 of the state's residents.

California is one of the world's most visited areas for tourists. The year-round warm weather,long coast line and multiple theme parks contribute greatly to the state's economy bringing in at least $60 billion in annual sales and providing approximately 700,000 jobs.

Found 1201 Post-Secondary Schools In California


Title City State Type Enrollment
City College of San Francisco San Francisco CA 2-year public 39386
University of California - Los Angeles Los Angeles CA 4-year public 36890
San Diego State University San Diego CA 4-year public 31609
University of California - Berkeley Berkeley CA 4-year public 31277
California State University - Long Beach Long Beach CA 4-year public 30918
University of Southern California Los Angeles CA 4-year private, not-for-profit 29194
California State University - Northridge Northridge CA 4-year public 29066
American River College Sacramento CA 2-year public 28420
California State University - Fullerton Fullerton CA 4-year public 28381
Mt San Antonio College Walnut CA 2-year public 28329
Santa Monica College Santa Monica CA 2-year public 27868
Santa Ana College Santa Ana CA 2-year public 27571
East Los Angeles College Monterey Park CA 2-year public 27199
San Diego City College San Diego CA 2-year public 27165
Santa Rosa Junior College Santa Rosa CA 2-year public 27020
San Francisco State University San Francisco CA 4-year public 26826
San Jose State University San Jose CA 4-year public 26698
University of California - Davis Davis CA 4-year public 26094
California State University - Sacramento Sacramento CA 4-year public 25714
Cerritos College Norwalk CA 2-year public 24536
El Camino College Torrance CA 2-year public 24067
Orange Coast College Costa Mesa CA 2-year public 23315
Pasadena City College Pasadena CA 2-year public 22948
De Anza College Cupertino CA 2-year public 22770
Riverside Community College Riverside CA 2-year public 22107
Diablo Valley College Pleasant Hill CA 2-year public 21581
Cypress College Cypress CA 2-year public 21361
San Diego Mesa College San Diego CA 2-year public 21233
Palomar College San Marcos CA 2-year public 21062
Long Beach City College Long Beach CA 2-year public 20926
Sacramento City College Sacramento CA 2-year public 20878
University of California - Irvine Irvine CA 4-year public 20211
University of California - San Diego La Jolla CA 4-year public 20197
Fullerton College Fullerton CA 2-year public 19993
University of California - Santa Barbara Santa Barbara CA 4-year public 19962
California State University - Los Angeles Los Angeles CA 4-year public 19593
Rio Hondo College Whittier CA 2-year public 19506
Fresno City College Fresno CA 2-year public 19351
California State University - Fresno Fresno CA 4-year public 19056
Saddleback College Mission Viejo CA 2-year public 18563
Stanford University Stanford CA 4-year private, not-for-profit 18549
California State Polytechnic University - Pomona Pomona CA 4-year public 18424
Los Angeles Trade Technical College Los Angeles CA 2-year public 18164
University of Phoenix - Southern California Campus Fountain Valley CA 4-year private, for-profit 18075
Southwestern College Chula Vista CA 2-year public 17994
Sierra College Rocklin CA 2-year public 17517
Los Angeles Valley College Valley Glen CA 2-year public 17393
San Joaquin Delta College Stockton CA 2-year public 16973
California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo CA 4-year public 16877
National University La Jolla CA 4-year private, not-for-profit 16848
Cosumnes River College Sacramento CA 2-year public 16493
Grossmont College El Cajon CA 2-year public 16309
Los Angeles Pierce College Woodland Hills CA 2-year public 16111
California State University - Chico Chico CA 4-year public 15912
Glendale Community College Glendale CA 2-year public 15596
Chaffey College Rancho Cucamonga CA 2-year public 15220
Los Angeles City College Los Angeles CA 2-year public 15174
California State University - San Bernardino San Bernardino CA 4-year public 14909
Bakersfield College Bakersfield CA 2-year public 14466
Foothill College Los Altos Hills CA 2-year public 14193
Santa Barbara City College Santa Barbara CA 2-year public 13834
Chabot College Hayward CA 2-year public 13615
Golden West College Huntington Beach CA 2-year public 13538
Moorpark College Moorpark CA 2-year public 13233
University of California - Riverside Riverside CA 4-year public 13015
California State University - Dominguez Hills Carson CA 4-year public 12848
Cabrillo College Aptos CA 2-year public 12807
California State University - East Bay Hayward CA 4-year public 12705
Evergreen Valley College San Jose CA 2-year public 12404
University of California - Santa Cruz Santa Cruz CA 4-year public 12144
Allan Hancock College Santa Maria CA 2-year public 12110
San Bernardino Valley College San Bernardino CA 2-year public 12025
Ventura College Ventura CA 2-year public 11837
Butte College Oroville CA 2-year public 11542
Laney College Oakland CA 2-year public 11531
Citrus College Glendora CA 2-year public 11486
San Jose City College San Jose CA 2-year public 11295
College of San Mateo San Mateo CA 2-year public 10756
West Valley College Saratoga CA 2-year public 10719
Merced College Merced CA 2-year public 10700
College of the Canyons Santa Clarita CA 2-year public 10528
Solano Community College Fairfield CA 2-year public 10507
West Los Angeles College Culver City CA 2-year public 10404
Antelope Valley College Lancaster CA 2-year public 10315
Yuba College Marysville CA 2-year public 10295
College of the Sequoias Visalia CA 2-year public 10251
Irvine Valley College Irvine CA 2-year public 10074
Santiago Canyon College Orange CA 2-year public 10039
Miracosta College Oceanside CA 2-year public 9863
Mission College Santa Clara CA 2-year public 9821
Cuesta College San Luis Obispo CA 2-year public 9496
Ohlone College Fremont CA 2-year public 9444
Monterey Peninsula College Monterey CA 2-year public 9421
Victor Valley Community College Victorville CA 2-year public 9221
Los Medanos College Pittsburg CA 2-year public 9212
Shasta College Redding CA 2-year public 9112
Reedley College Reedley CA 2-year public 9081
Mt San Jacinto College San Jacinto CA 2-year public 9045
Los Angeles Harbor College Wilmington CA 2-year public 8741
Skyline College San Bruno CA 2-year public 8689

Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

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