Berkeley City College
|Berkeley City College|
|Berkeley Learning Pavilion, Peralta College for Non-Traditional Study, Vista Community College|
|Chancellor||Dr. Jose Ortiz|
|President||Dr. Debbie Budd|
|Location||Berkeley, California, United States|
|Affiliations||California Community Colleges and Peralta Community College District|
Berkeley City College (BCC), formerly Vista Community College, one of the California Community Colleges, is part of the Peralta Community College District. It is centrally located in downtown Berkeley, two blocks west of the UC Berkeley campus. Berkeley City College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Berkeley City College was founded in 1974 as the Berkeley Learning Pavilion, which was renamed the Peralta College for Non-Traditional Study the same year, as a Peralta community college to serve the northern cities of Alameda County: Albany, Berkeley, and Emeryville. It received initial accreditation through the ACCJC in 1977 and in 1978 it was renamed Vista Community College. By 1981, the number of locations with classes offered exceeded 200. The same year, it received full accreditation from ACCJC. Between 1994 and 1996, the college attempted to deannex itself from the Peralta Community College District, but in exchange for dropping the deannexation effort, the Peralta District built a permanent building for the college in 2006. (Before that, classes were offered in many locations throughout the East Bay including UC Berkeley, West Berkeley YMCA, Berkeley High School, the North Berkeley Community Center, St. Mary Magdalene School, the Summit Educational Center, and the Oakland Army Base.) In June 2006, the name was changed to Berkeley City College when it moved into its first and current building, a six-story, 165,000 square foot campus designed to accommodate 7,800 students.
Berkeley City College serves students who seek general education, transfer to four-year universities, degrees and certificates in liberal arts and occupational areas, career preparation, or precollegiate skills. It offers transfer and occupational training classes, associate degree and certificate programs. The college is an active partner in local economic development and employment training endeavors. Financial aid, academic and career counseling, programs for students with disabilities and assistance for economically disadvantaged students are available.
The student body represents a diverse mix of ethnic, cultural and economic backgrounds. They are high school students enrolled in advanced courses, full-time workers, people who wish to transfer to a four-year university and individuals who are the first in their families to attend college, among others. As of spring 2012, enrollment was 6,457 students, 27% of which were Caucasian, 19% African American, 16% Asian, 12% Latino, 8% multirace, 2% Filipino, >1% Native American, and 15% declined to state. The majority of students were 19-24, with the second largest age group being 25-29. The average age has declined from 44 in 1988 to 31 in 2011.
The college maintains a strong and unique community college-university collaboration with the University of California at Berkeley. The college had the fifth highest transfer rate to UC Berkeley in California in academic year 2004-05 and remains in the top five as of 2011.
Berkeley City College structures its transfer courses into guaranteed afternoon, evening and Saturday schedules so that students can complete University of California and California State University transfer requirements, even if they work full-time.
As part of a CalWORKs collaborative, the college has developed training programs for those affected by welfare reform legislation. The college hosts the Center for International Trade Development which provides counseling and international economic development services to local small businesses.