Orange Coast College

Coordinates: 33°40′14″N 117°54′43″W / 33.67056°N 117.91194°W / 33.67056; -117.91194
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Orange Coast College (OCC)
MottoWe'll help you get there.
TypePublic community college
Parent institution
Coast Community College District
Endowment$10 million[1]
PresidentAngelica Suarez
Students25,000 (Fall 2016)[2]
Location, ,
United States

33°40′14″N 117°54′43″W / 33.67056°N 117.91194°W / 33.67056; -117.91194
CampusSuburban, 164 acres
Colors    Orange and Blue
MascotPete the Pirate
OCC's lawn surrounding the Art Building
Orange Coast College Sailing Base

Orange Coast College (OCC) is a public community college in Costa Mesa in Orange County, California. It was founded in 1947, with its first classes opening in the fall of 1948. It provides Associate of Art and Associate of Science degrees, certificates of achievement, and lower-division classes transferable to other colleges and universities. The college enrolls approximately 24,000 undergraduate students. In terms of population size, Orange Coast College is the third-largest college in Orange County.


Orange Coast College was formed after local voters passed a measure in the January 1947 election to establish a new junior college on a 243-acre (0.98 km2) site, secured from the War Assets Administration in Washington, D.C, and part of the 1,300-acre (5.3 km2) deactivated Santa Ana Army Air Base.[3]

The first official District board of trustees hired the college's founding president and district superintendent, Basil Hyrum Peterson, on July 28, 1947. Construction of campus classrooms and facilities began when Peterson hired Fran Albers as the college's carpenter in February 1948. Albers' crew of 35 workers (mostly Coast football players paid 60 cents an hour) turned an Army movie theatre into an auditorium and concert hall; a service club into a 500-seat gymnasium; an Army chapel into a facility for theatre productions and student/staff weddings; a military storage building into a library; an Army PX into a student center; a battalion headquarters building into an administration building; and several cadet barracks into student dormitories and married student and faculty housing.[4]

The first campus building phase occurred in the early 1950s when renowned architect Richard Neutra was brought in to re-design the campus. Leaving many of the original buildings intact, Neutra added several modernist structures including the strikingly minimalist Campus Theater and two large lecture halls. These were laid out on a 45-degree angle to the city street grid, in much the same manner as The Parkinsons' layout of USC. The second and largest building phase occurred in the 1970s when local architect William Blurock was hired to replace many of the original Army buildings with structures more suitable for educational purposes.

In December 2002, Rabbit Island,[5][6] a 38-acre (150,000 m2) island located in the North Gulf Islands of the Georgia Strait 50 miles (80 km) west of the city of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada, was donated to the Orange Coast College Foundation. Since then the OCC Foundation, using funds designated for the Orange Coast College School of Sailing & Seamanship, has refurbished the facilities on the island, made significant capital improvements, and has helped fund the use of the island as a field station to teach summer classes in Island Ecology, Biological Diversity, Vertebrate Biology, Intertidal Ecology, kayaking, and photography. It is now referred to as "Wheeler Station" at Rabbit Island (in honor of the donor, Henry Wheeler). OCC marine science and biology instructors have used the island to conduct research on species diversity, standing stock, species distribution, and oceanography. Plans were underway to find separate funding for the island outside of OCC. Possible funding sources included the National Science Foundation, rental of the island facilities to Canadians, funding from the Associated Students of OCC (ASOCC), and through other foundation grants and private donations. In March 2007, the Orange Coast College Foundation Board of Directors voted to sell the island after determining that keeping and maintaining it was unfeasible. As of July 2007, the island was in talks to be sold to a private party for $2.41 million.[7] However, the sale did not materialize and the island was sold in March 2008 to a privately held Canadian corporation for $2.19 million.[8]

In 2015, a plan is in effect to remove the early Neutra buildings in the center of the campus and open up a large central park around which both the outlying 1970s buildings and several newer buildings will be clustered.[9]

2016 recording controversy[edit]

In November 2016, an OCC student recorded a lecture by a professor of human sexuality, violating the school's Student Code of Conduct. In the lecture, the professor criticized President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, calling their election "an act of terrorism" against members of the LGBTQ community. The student shared the recording with a student club on campus, which then posted it on their public Facebook page. The video promptly went viral, sparking backlash and death threats against the professor.[10]

After an investigation, the student was suspended for one semester, and required to write an essay and apologize to the professor. After public outcry, the punishment was overturned in a special meeting of the Coast Community College District Board of Trustees, in the interest of bringing "closure to a chain of events that has led to the distress for many, most especially, an OCC teacher and student."

In 2017, the professor was awarded the Faculty of the Year award by her peers, which she declined to accept and did not want to participate in related activities.[11]

Organization and admissions[edit]

OCC Crew Base

The college is one of three in the Coast Community College District (CCCD) which also includes Golden West College in Huntington Beach, and Coastline Community College. CCCD is a regional organization providing administrative services and funding for post-secondary education. The district is chartered by the state of California to provide community college services.

The mission of OCC is to provide inexpensive education in the trades, licensed trades and skilled professions, as well as remedial and transferable lower-division courses for students who plan to transfer to either a California State University or University of California campus.


OCC is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. It also has specialized accreditation by American Dental Association (Commission on Dental Accreditation), the American Dietetic Association (Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education), and the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology.[12]


Orange Coast College sponsors 25 sports programs.[13] The 12 men's sports programs are baseball, basketball, crew, cross country, football, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball and water polo. The 13 women's programs are cheerleading/dance, basketball, beach volleyball, crew, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball and water polo.

LeBard Stadium is located on the campus.

The Los Angeles Chargers have held training camp and regular season practices at the campus facilities.[14][15]

Coast Report[edit]

Coast Report has been OCC's campus newspaper since 1948. Coast Report is now an entirely digital news outlet.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. June 30, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 14, 2017. Retrieved February 2, 2010.
  2. ^ "California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office - Data Mart". Archived from the original on 2012-12-31. Retrieved 2013-01-15.
  3. ^ Carnett, Jim (2008-01-02). "Orange Coast College Secures Its Campus 60 Years Ago This Month". Orange Coast College. Archived from the original on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2009-01-04.
  4. ^ Carnett, Jim. "OCC Names Two Campus Buildings In Honor Of Charter Staff Members". Archived from the original on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2009-01-04.
  5. ^ Powers, Ashley (February 18, 2007). "Island-owning college may decide to sell". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 25, 2012. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
  6. ^ Rabbit Island Archived 2006-10-18 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Ryan, Carmela (September 12, 2007). "Island Sale Nearly Done". The Coast Report. Retrieved 2008-04-10.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Hosboyar, Lisa (March 5, 2008). "Rabbit Island is Sold". The Coast Report. Retrieved 2008-04-10.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Hodgins, Paul (July 12, 2015). "Design 'gems' on a cramped campus". The Orange County Register. pp. News 1, 7. Archived from the original on 2015-07-14. Retrieved 2015-07-16.
  10. ^ Recalde-Martinez, Joshua. "Orange Coast College Teacher Call Trump Supporters Terrorist". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2016-12-08. Retrieved 2017-07-09.
  11. ^ Vega, Priscella (March 22, 2017). "OCC professor who made anti-Trump comments declines Faculty of the Year award". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2017-08-01. Retrieved 2017-07-09.
  12. ^ "Institute of Education Sciences, US Department of Education web site". Archived from the original on 2011-05-22. Retrieved 2008-04-12.
  13. ^ "OCC Pirates Athletics". Archived from the original on 2018-01-26. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  14. ^ "Chargers to open training camp in Irvine on July 29, then Chargers train in Costa Mesa on July 30". 22 June 2017. Archived from the original on 19 December 2018. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  15. ^ "Bengals Prep Begins". Archived from the original on 2018-12-19. Retrieved 2018-12-19.
  16. ^ "Tiki Ghosn UFC Bio". Archived from the original on August 20, 2014. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
  17. ^ "Matthew Harper's Biography". Vote Smart. Archived from the original on September 6, 2022. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-05-29. Retrieved 2013-02-24.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ "Men's Volleyball Athlete Profile - Casey Jennings". Brigham Young University. Archived from the original on January 11, 2019. Retrieved January 15, 2010.
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-04-08. Retrieved 2013-02-24.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-05-29. Retrieved 2013-02-24.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "Francisco Rivera OCC Alumni". Archived from the original on March 18, 2018. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
  23. ^ "Francisco Rivera UFC Profile". Archived from the original on September 25, 2014. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
  24. ^ "Occidental". Archived from the original on 2013-02-17. Retrieved 2013-02-24.

External links[edit]