San Diego Mesa College

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San Diego Mesa College
MottoA key force in our community to educate our students to shape the future.[citation needed]
TypePublic community college
PresidentPamela Luster
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Undergraduates22,696 (Spring 2018)[1]
Location, ,
CampusSuburban, 104 acres (42 ha)
ColorsNavy Blue, White and Gold
Sporting affiliations
Pacific Coast Athletic Conference
Mesa College logo.png

San Diego Mesa College is a public, two year community college located in the community of Clairemont Mesa in the City of San Diego, California in the United States. It is the largest community college in the city of San Diego[2] and part of the San Diego Community College District along with San Diego City College, San Diego Miramar College and San Diego Continuing Education. The college is known informally as Mesa College or Mesa.

Mesa College is one of the 112 California Community Colleges and the 16th largest community college in the state.


South facade of the Learning Resource Center.

Community college education in San Diego began in 1914 when the Board of Education of the San Diego City Schools authorized post secondary classes for San Diego high school students. Classes opened with four faculty members serving 35 students.

San Diego Mesa College first opened in 1964. Initially offering education to 1,800 students, it has grown to become one of the largest community colleges in California. Classes started at the 900 Building at nearby Stephen Watts Kearny High School in the Fall 1963 Semester while the college was being completed; classes at the college started in January 1964.

Between 1965 and 1968 the college newspaper, The Olympian, was produced by the journalism students. During the academic year, 1967–68, the newspaper became The Daily Olympian, producing four 4-page issues each week and noted at that time as the only junior college daily newspaper in the nation. The journalism students in the same period produced four issues of a monthly magazine, The Dyonisian, drawing the name from the Greek heritage of the college.[clarification needed] At the beginning of the 1968 academic year, the paper returned to weekly publication. The Olympian won a First Class Honor Rating award from the Associated Collegiate Press for the issues published during the Spring 1970 semester. In the Spring of 1971, the paper changed its name to "The School Paper." The publication's name is "The Mesa Press."

In the mid-1990s, Mesa College began to construct on its campus the Learning Resource Center (LRC). This opened on April 20, 1998. It serves as the campus library (employing the Library of Congress Classification system) and offers study areas and computer labs. It was constructed at a cost of $20 million and has four stories occupying 107,000 square feet (9,900 m²). Two bond measures, Prop N and Prop S,[3] passed by San Diego voters in 2002 and another in 2006 will allow construction of additional facilities on campus.

In 2016, Mesa College became one of the first 10 California community colleges to offer four-year, bachelor degrees.[4] Twenty students entered the pilot Health Information Management program. “These are highly valued programs because they lead to the work force and address the fact that employers do require and/or prefer the bachelor’s degree in most of these fields,” Constance Carroll, chancellor of the San Diego Community College District told Inside Higher Ed[1].


The College is administered by the San Diego Community College District. Mesa is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.


Courses are provided in general education, lower-division transfer programs, occupational and developmental education. Mesa has transfer agreements in place with most University of California and California State University schools.

The college newspaper, The Mesa Press, is run by journalism students and covers Mesa-related news.

The Mesa College Foundation offers scholarships to Mesa students. It awarded over $120,000 in scholarships to Mesa students in 2004.[5]


Bachelor's degree[edit]

Bachelor's degree

  • Health Information Management

Associate degrees[edit]

The following are associate degrees available at the college, not including various specializations:[6]

  • Accounting
  • American Sign Language
  • Animal Health Technology
  • Anthropology
  • Architecture
  • Art
  • Biology
  • Black Studies
  • History
  • Business Administration
  • Business Management
  • Building Construction Technology
  • Chemistry
  • Chicano Studies
  • Communication Studies
  • Computer and Information Sciences
  • Computer Business Technology
  • Culinary Arts
  • Dance
  • Dental Assisting
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography
  • Dramatic Arts
  • Economics
  • Engineering
  • English
  • Exercise Science
  • Fashion
  • French
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Health Information Technology
  • History
  • Hospitality
  • Interior Design
  • Japanese
  • Journalism
  • Kinesiology
  • Liberal Studies
  • Marketing
  • Mathematics
  • Medical Assisting
  • Museum Studies
  • Music
  • Nutrition
  • Philosophy
  • Physical Science (general)
  • Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Radiologic Technology
  • Real Estate
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Sustainability
  • Web Development
  • Women's Studies


The Merrill Douglas Stadium (named after the first Athletic Director at the college) provides a venue for the Olympians Football team. It is located to the east of the campus. The baseball field is located next to the stadium. South of the stadium, there is a swimming pool for aquatic sports. It is adjacent to the Tecolote Canyon Natural Park.[7]

The college mascot is the Olympians. The football team has competed in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference (CCCAA) since 1982 in every sport except for football where they have competed under the Central League in the Southern California Football Association.[8]


Almost all of the buildings at Mesa College have been renovated or rebuilt.[citation needed] Some parts of the campus are still under construction. The campus is generally divided into an upper and lower level with the Learning Resource Center overlooking the lower level.[citation needed]

San Diego Mesa College Math and Science building.

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Tony Banks, former NFL Quarterback. Played Quarterback at Mesa college from 1992-1993.[9]
  • Annette Bening, American actress[10]
  • Sam Daghles,[11] Current Jordanian national basketball team head coach & former Jordanian league basketball player. Played at Mesa from 1999-2001.
  • Matt Kofler, Former NFL Quarterback and Head Coach of San Diego Mesa Olympians Football team 2006-2008. Played Quarterback at Mesa from 1978-1979.[12]
  • Shlomo Lipetz, Israeli baseball player as well as Vice President of Programming and Music Director at City Winery in Manhattan. Played at Mesa from 1999-2000.[13]
  • Mike Martz, Former NFL Coordinator and Head Coach. Played Tight End at Mesa in 1969. Coached at Mesa in 1974, 1976, 1977.[14]
  • Darren Comeaux, Former NFL Linebacker. Played at Mesa from 1978-1979.[15]


  1. ^ "California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office - Data Mart". Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  2. ^ Profile on
  3. ^
  4. ^ Smith, Ashley (12 January 2018). "Caution on Expanding Community College 4-Year Degrees". Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  5. ^ Mesa Foundation
  6. ^ SDMC Academic Programs. Accessed November 3, 2018.
  7. ^ Tecolote Canyon Natural Park and Nature Center Archived 2008-05-09 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°48′16″N 117°10′13″W / 32.80444°N 117.17028°W / 32.80444; -117.17028