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
Fielding Graduate University Santa Barbara CA private, not-for-profit 1046

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

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