East Los Angeles College

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East Los Angeles College
Seal East LAC.jpg
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
PresidentAlberto J. Román
United States

Coordinates: 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 member of the Los Angeles Community College District. With fourteen communities comprising its primary service area and an enrollment of 35,403 students, ELAC has the largest student body campus by enrollment in the state of California as of 2018. It was located in northeastern East Los Angeles before that part of unincorporated East Los Angeles was annexed by Monterey Park in the early 1970s. The college uses a semester-based academic year. The highest degree offered at East Los Angeles College is an associate degree. ELAC offers non-degree certificates in 27 different fields.


At the end of World War II, another city college was needed, due to a great numbers of returning servicemen. At the time the first and only city college during the 1940s was Los Angeles City College (LACC). Transportation was limited and costly, lowering the number of students able to attend LACC while at the same time the Eastside rapidly becoming an industrial center. Arthur Baum, editor of the East Los Angeles Tribune, headed a citizen's committee, a group of presidents of all clubs and organizations in the community, Principal D. Raymond Brothers of Garfield, County Supervisor Smith, Superintendent Kersey and various industrial leaders. The group presented the proposition of 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 to establish a Junior College to become Elac on the Garfield High School campus. East Los Angeles College would be the second city college (or junior college) existing in the Los Angeles area. The Los Angeles City Board of Education established East Los Angeles College in June 1945. The college opened for classes on September 4, 1945. It opened on the campus of Garfield High School with an enrollment of 373 students and a faculty of nineteen, although the school board authorized a faculty of 25, selected from the faculty of LACC. 107 students attended college classes at Garfield, while 266 attended at L.A. County Hospital in health careers, primarily nursing. The junior college was part of the Los Angeles City Public Schools (L.A. Unified School District today).[2]

On September 19, 1945, the first edition of the Campus News (temporary paper) of the college was issued, while on September 25 a constitution for the Junior College was adopted and presented at an assembly. The college would have to deal with the overwhelming numbers of returning servicemen (veterans) coming in and using the G.I. Bill. About 50,000 men were being discharged in the state every month.

The college was moved to its present 82-acre (33 ha) site on Avenida Cesar Chavez in February 1948. The college is located six miles from the Los Angeles Civic Center. A part of the 2005 Goal! movie was filmed at the ELAC Weingart Stadium stadium. The ELAC men's basketball team is featured in the Netflix series Last Chance U: Basketball, a spin-off series of Last Chance U, which aired on March 10, 2021.[3]

Student life[edit]

Fall Demographics of student body
Ethnic Breakdown 2018[4] 2017[5]
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%

The school uses a semester-based academic year. The student-faculty ratio is 34-to-1. The in-state tuition and fees for 2017–2018 were $1,220, and 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. Full-time enrollment 7,810 and Part-time enrollment 27,593. Total entering students for fall 2017 was 34,697 full-time 8,538 and part time was 26,569.

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

South Gate Campus[edit]

The East Los Angeles College (ELAC) South Gate Campus is an extension of East Los Angeles College. South Gate campus was created to extend East Los Angeles College's academic services to the southeast corridor of Los Angeles. Construction of a new South Gate campus started in 2019 on the former site of Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. It is expected to open in fall 2022.[6] On March 22, 2021, the California Community Colleges Board of Governors approved the South Gate Campus as an official "education center".[7]

Theater and arts[edit]

ELAC is home to the Vincent Price Art Museum, a contemporary art museum named in honor of American actor and art collector Vincent Price. In 1957, impressed by the spirit of the students and the community's need for the opportunity to experience original art works first hand, Vincent and Mary Grant Price donated 90 pieces from their private collection to establish the museum, which was the first "teaching art collection" owned by a community college in the United States. The Price family ultimately donated 2,000 pieces over the course of their lifetimes and the museum's permanent collection now contains over 9,000 pieces valued in excess of $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 worked as an arts educator and chair of the Chicano Studies department. Although the mural was destroyed by the college, the mural, its impact and the political questions surrounding the destruction were detailed 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] Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA Beyond Borders in 2017.

Clubs and organizations[edit]

All clubs in East Los Angeles College are operated and chartered with the ELAC Associate Student Union.

The East Los Angeles College Alumni Association is responsible for continually connecting graduates to the student body and holds annual and bi-annual events to raise money for scholarships.

East Los Angeles College Campus News is the college's newspaper, and it was established in 1945. The paper is managed by the students after they have successfully completed Journalism 101. A print edition comes out every Wednesday during the Spring and Fall semesters. The current adviser is Jean Stapleton. Other organizations include East Side Spirit and Pride, the organization that founded the Husky marching band on campus, as well as helping to restore the football program in 1995. In addition, ESSP is now the alumni association for the college with Dennis Sanchez as the chairperson and a board of directors of 23 members.

Honors Program[edit]

The East Los Angeles Honors Program, which is recognized by the UC system, the Claremont Colleges, Occidental College and Loyola Marymount, offers rigorous courses that are designed to help students transfer and successfully transition to four-year universities. The Honors Program is open to both part 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.[12]


In 2016 the school ranked 13th for Best 2-Year College for adult learners under America's Best Colleges for Adult Learners by Washington Monthly.[13] In 2019 it was ranked number 1 in California and number 6 in the nation in awarding degrees and certificates to Hispanic Students, according to Hispanic outlook on education Magazine.[14]

Activity with area high school[edit]

ELAC's football field at the Weingart Stadium the site of graduation ceremonies for local high schools such as Garfield High School in East Los Angeles. It has also hosted the "East L.A. Classic" football game between Garfield against Theodore Roosevelt High School, that traditionally draws over 20,000 fans.[15] In the 2016 even U.S. Senate candidate congresswoman Loretta Sanchez was in attendance.

First-time director Billy McMillin's film documentary The Classic about the football game won the 2017 storytelling award from the LA Film Festival.[16]

Notable alumni[edit]


See also[edit]

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


  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. ^ "Netlix Announces ELAC Basketball to be Featured in New Last Chance U Season". East Los Angeles College. February 10, 2021. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
  4. ^ "2018 USNEWS: East Los Angeles College Overview".
  5. ^ "2017 USNEWS: East Los Angeles College Overview".
  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. ^ elac.edu/academics/programs/honors
  13. ^ "Washington Monthly 2016 College Rankings: What Can Colleges do for the Country?" (PDF).
  14. ^ "South Gate Campus" (PDF). State of the College. East Los Angeles College. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  15. ^ NFLHS.COM – State Stories Archived September 27, 2007(Date mismatch), at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "The Classic wins storytelling award from LA Film Festival".
  17. ^ "New reviews and more from NBCC members". National Book Critics Circle. August 23, 2021. Retrieved April 27, 2022.

External links[edit]