Peralta Community College District
The Peralta Community College District is the community college district serving northern Alameda County, California. The district operates four community colleges: Berkeley City College, Laney College and Merritt College in Oakland, and College of Alameda. From 1968 to 1988, non-contiguous Plumas County was part of the district, and Feather River College was operated by the district. Plumas County and Feather River College are now the Feather River Community College District.
Merritt College opened as a general campus in 1954. It had been known as the Merritt School of Business, and along with what is now Laney College, was operated by the Oakland Unified School District as Oakland Junior College.
In 1963, the residents of Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland, and Piedmont voted to form a single community college district. The district began operations under the Peralta name on July 1, 1964. The Peralta name was selected because all of the cities of the district, now a part of the greater Oakland metropolitan region, are located on the original Spanish land grant for Sgt. Luís María Peralta dating from August 1820.
In 1965, a bond issue was passed which established a new downtown Oakland campus building for Laney College (opened in 1970), a new campus for Merritt College (opened in 1971) and the founding of the College of Alameda.
Berkeley City College was established in 1974 and operated under the name Vista Community College until 2006, when it began to operate from a permanent site.
The Peralta district is governed by a seven-member Board of Trustees elected by the public within the district boundaries. Two student members sit on the board, but only have "advisory votes."
The Chancellor of the district is José M. Ortiz. The district has five vice-chancellors.
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