East Los Angeles College

Coordinates: 34°02′30″N 118°09′00″W / 34.0416°N 118.1500°W / 34.0416; -118.1500
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East Los Angeles College
MottoVitam amplificare hominibus hominesque societati (Latin)
Motto in English
People extend the lifespan of the community
TypePublic community college
Parent institution
California Community Colleges System, Los Angeles Community College District
PresidentAlberto J. Román
Location, ,
United States

34°02′30″N 118°09′00″W / 34.0416°N 118.1500°W / 34.0416; -118.1500
Colors   Green and white
Sporting affiliations
CCCAASouth Coast Conference
MascotThe Husky

East Los Angeles College (ELAC) is a public community college in Monterey Park, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. It is part of the California Community Colleges System and the Los Angeles Community College District. With fourteen communities comprising its primary service area and an enrollment of 35,403 students, ELAC had the largest student body campus by enrollment in the state of California as of 2018. It was situated in northeastern East Los Angeles before that part of unincorporated East Los Angeles was annexed by Monterey Park in the early 1970s. ELAC offers associate degrees and certificates.


At the end of World War II, Los Angeles faced the need for another city college to accommodate the vast numbers of servicemen returning from deployment. Los Angeles City College (LACC) was the first city college serving Los Angeles, and by the war's end, it remained the only one in the area. Limited and costly transportation hindered the number of students who could attend LACC. Meanwhile, the Eastside was rapidly evolving into the city's industrial hub.

Arthur Baum, the editor of the East Los Angeles Tribune, led a citizens' committee, composed of presidents of various clubs and organizations in the community. The committee included Principal D. Raymond Brothers of Garfield High School, County Supervisor Smith, Superintendent Kersey, and several industrial leaders. They presented the proposition of establishing a junior college to the Los Angeles City Board of Education in a special meeting on March 1, 1945. The Los Angeles Board of Education voted in favor, leading to the establishment of a Junior College on the Garfield High School campus in June 1945. This marked the creation of East Los Angeles College, only the second city college (or junior college) serving the Los Angeles area.

The college commenced classes on September 4, 1945, operating on the Garfield High School campus with an initial enrollment of 373 students and 19 faculty members, even though the school board had authorized a faculty of 25, drawn from the LACC staff. Of these, 107 students attended college classes at Garfield, while 266 pursued health careers at L.A. County Hospital, primarily in nursing. The junior college was part of the Los Angeles City Public Schools system (now part of the L.A. Unified School District)."[2]

Fall Demographics of student body
Ethnic Breakdown 2018[3] 2017[4]
Hispanic and Latino American 68% 67%
Black 3% 3%
Asian American 7% 8%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0% 0%
White 5% 5%
Multiracial Americans 0% 0%
International students 2% 3%
Unknown 13% 13%
Female 51% 51%
Male 49% 49%

On September 19, 1945, the first edition of the Campus News (a temporary newspaper) for the college was published. On September 25, a constitution for the Junior College was adopted and presented during an assembly. The college had to cope with the significant number of returning servicemen (veterans) enrolling, thanks to the G.I. Bill, as approximately 50,000 men were being discharged in the state each month.

The college relocated to its current 82-acre (33 ha) site on Avenida Cesar Chavez in February 1948. It is situated six miles from the Los Angeles Civic Center. A portion of the 2005 movie Goal! was filmed at the ELAC Weingart Stadium. The ELAC men's basketball team is prominently featured in the Netflix series Last Chance U: Basketball, a spin-off of the original Last Chance U, which premiered on March 10, 2021.[5]

East Los Angeles College will offer the state's first community college program in Central American studies.

College presidents[edit]

Presidents of ELAC Years as president
Armando Rodriguez 1973–1978
Marvin Martinez July 2013 – June 14, 2019
Alberto J. Roman January 1, 2021 – June 30, 2023

South Gate Campus[edit]

The East Los Angeles College (ELAC) South Gate Campus is an extension of East Los Angeles College, created to expand its academic services to the southeast corridor of Los Angeles. Construction of the new South Gate campus began in 2019 on the former site of Firestone Tire and Rubber Co., with an expected opening in fall 2022.[6] On March 22, 2021, the California Community Colleges Board of Governors officially approved the South Gate Campus as an 'education center.[7]

Performing Arts and Theatrical Expression[edit]

ELAC is home to the Vincent Price Art Museum, a contemporary art museum named in honor of the American actor and art collector, Vincent Price. In 1957, inspired by the students' spirit and the community's need to experience original artworks firsthand, Vincent and Mary Grant Price donated 90 pieces from their private collection to establish the museum. It was the first 'teaching art collection' owned by a community college in the United States. Over their lifetimes, the Price family ultimately donated 2,000 pieces, and the museum's permanent collection now boasts over 9,000 pieces valued at over $5 million.[8]

In 1974, Roberto Esteban Chavez painted The Path to Knowledge and the False University, a 200-foot mural on the East Los Angeles Community College campus,[9] where he served as an arts educator and chair of the Chicano Studies department. Although the college destroyed the mural, its impact and the political questions surrounding its destruction were documented in two museum exhibits: 'Roberto Chavez and The False University: A Retrospective' at the Vincent Price Museum[10] and "Murales Rebeldes: L.A. Chicana/o Murals under Siege"[11] as part of the Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA Beyond Borders initiative in 2017.

Student life[edit]

Student body composition as of May 2, 2022
Race and ethnicity[12] Total
Hispanic 64% 64
Asian 8% 8
Foreign national 1% 1
White 9% 9
Black 6% 6
Other[a] 11% 11
Economic diversity
Low-income[b] 51% 51
Affluent[c] 49% 49

The school follows a semester-based academic year. The student-faculty ratio is 34-to-1. For the 2017–2018 academic year, in-state tuition and fees were $1,220, while out-of-state tuition and fees were $7,746. There is no application fee. As of fall 2018, the total enrollment at ELAC was 35,403, with 7,810 full-time students and 27,593 part-time students. The total number of entering students for fall 2017 was 34,697, with 8,538 full-time students and 26,569 part-time students.

The popular programs include: Social Sciences, Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services, and Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services.

Honors Program[edit]

The East Los Angeles Honors Program, recognized by the UC system, the Claremont Colleges, Occidental College, and Loyola Marymount, offers rigorous courses designed to help students transfer and successfully transition to four-year universities. The Honors Program is open to both part-time and full-time students and requires a 3.0 GPA to apply and be considered for enrollment. Successful completion of the Honors Program guarantees priority consideration for admission at 11 four-year universities throughout California and Washington.[13]


In 2016, the school was ranked 13th for the Best 2-Year College for adult learners in 'America's Best Colleges for Adult Learners' by Washington Monthly.[14] In 2019, it achieved the top ranking in California and the 6th position nationwide for awarding degrees and certificates to Hispanic students, as reported by Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine.[15]

Engagement with local high schools[edit]

East LA Classic halftime at Weingart Stadium.

ELAC's Weingart Stadium, located on its football field, serves as the venue for graduation ceremonies of local high schools, including Garfield High School in East Los Angeles. The stadium also hosts the annual "East L.A. Classic" football game, featuring a matchup between Garfield and Theodore Roosevelt High School. This event traditionally draws over 20,000 fans, with notable figures like U.S. Senate candidate Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez even in attendance at the 2016 game.[16]

Billy McMillin, a first-time director, won the 2017 storytelling award at the LA Film Festival for his documentary film The Classic about the football game.[17]

Notable alumni[edit]

ELAC alumnus Antonio Villaraigosa


See also[edit]

  • Howard E. Dorsey, Los Angeles City Council member, 1937, supported establishing new college in East Los Angeles


  1. ^ Other consists of Multiracial Americans & those who prefer to not say.
  2. ^ The percentage of students who received an income-based federal Pell grant intended for low-income students.
  3. ^ The percentage of students who are a part of the American middle class at the bare minimum.


  1. ^ "California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office - Data Mart".
  2. ^ "South Gate Campus". garfieldhs.org/. JAMES A. GARFIELD SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  3. ^ "2018 USNEWS: East Los Angeles College Overview".
  4. ^ "2017 USNEWS: East Los Angeles College Overview".
  5. ^ "Netlix Announces ELAC Basketball to be Featured in New Last Chance U Season". East Los Angeles College. February 10, 2021. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
  6. ^ "South Gate Campus" (PDF). State of the College. East Los Angeles College. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  7. ^ "STATE APPROVES EDUCATION CENTER STATUS FOR EAST LOS ANGELES COLLEGE SOUTH GATE CAMPUS" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on April 7, 2021. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
  8. ^ Aug. 1992 interview by the Smithsonian. Siris-archives.si.edu (October 25, 1993). Retrieved November 3, 2011.
  9. ^ Venegas, Sybil (2014). Roberto Chavez and the False University. Vincent Price Art Museum. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-692-25542-1.
  10. ^ Venegas, Sybil. "Roberto Chavez and The False University: A Retrospective". Vincent Price Art Museum. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  11. ^ "Exhibit: Murales Rebeldes". Murales Rebeldes. Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  12. ^ "College Scorecard: East Los Angeles College". United States Department of Education. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
  13. ^ elac.edu/academics/programs/honors
  14. ^ "Washington Monthly 2016 College Rankings: What Can Colleges do for the Country?" (PDF).
  15. ^ "South Gate Campus" (PDF). State of the College. East Los Angeles College. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  16. ^ NFLHS.COM – State Stories Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "The Classic wins storytelling award from LA Film Festival".
  18. ^ "New reviews and more from NBCC members". National Book Critics Circle. August 23, 2021. Retrieved April 27, 2022.

External links[edit]