City College of San Francisco

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Coordinates: 37°43′33″N 122°27′01″W / 37.725716°N 122.450178°W / 37.725716; -122.450178

City College of San Francisco
City College of San Francisco logo.svg
Former names
San Francisco Junior College
Motto The Truth Shall Make You Free
Type Community college
Established August 26, 1935 (August 26, 1935)
Budget $202.2 million (2015–16)[1]
President Susan Lamb (interim)
Academic staff
Students 23,702 (2016)[2]
Location San Francisco, California, United States
Campus Urban
Newspaper The Guardsman
Colors Red, white
Nickname Rams
Affiliations CCCS

City College of San Francisco (CCSF or City College) is a public two-year community college in San Francisco, California. Founded as a junior college in 1935, the College plays an important local role, annually enrolling as many as one in nine San Francisco residents.[3]

Comprising the entire San Francisco Community College District, CCSF is the only community college in San Francisco. The Ocean Avenue campus, bordering the Sunnyside, Westwood Park and Ingleside neighborhoods, is the college's largest location. The College has other campuses in South San Francisco, Financial District, Little Saigon, South of Market, Bayview-Hunters Point, Marina District, North of Panhandle, and Mission District.

CCSF offers courses in more than 50 academic programs and over 100 occupational disciplines. There is a wide selection of credit courses that lead to an associate degree, which can be used to meet the general education requirements for transfer to four-year institutions. City College of San Francisco currently has articulation agreements with the California State University, the University of California, and other private and public universities in California and across the United States. Free non-credit courses in subjects such as ESL and citizenship as well as adult education classes are also provided.[3]


San Francisco Junior College[edit]

The founding of a junior college in San Francisco had long been the dream of Archibald Jeter Cloud, the Chief Deputy Superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). In response to Black Tuesday and the ensuing Great Depression, Cloud worked to convince the San Francisco Board of Education of the necessity of a junior college in Depression-era San Francisco and of the District's financial ability to form one. Cloud's presentation of fiscal studies in 1934 convinced the Board of the availability of Federal and State funding for a junior college. City College of San Francisco was established by the Board of Education of the San Francisco Unified School District on February 15, 1935 and officially opened on August 26, 1935 as San Francisco Junior College. The College had no central campus at the time.[4] Instruction began on September 4, 1935, with morning classes held at the University of California Extension building on Powell Street and afternoon classes held at Galileo High School. The long distance between the two locations gave the College the nickname "Trolley Car College."[4] Increasing enrollment gave way to the College's expansion to Lick-Wilmerding High School, Samuel Gompers Trade School, Marina Junior High School, and other locations. A permanent main campus near Ocean Avenue was approved by the San Francisco Board of Education in 1937 and opened in 1940 with the opening of Science Hall.[5]

City College of San Francisco[edit]

Ocean Avenue Campus with Beniamino Bufano's Saint Francis of the Guns of 1968 sculpture in the foreground

In February 1948, the name was changed to City College of San Francisco.[6] It now consists of eleven campuses, the Ocean Campus being the primary one.

In 1970, the College separated from San Francisco Unified School District. The College continued to hold noncredit education programs throughout San Francisco's neighborhoods. However, as a result of CCSF's rapid growth, the San Francisco Community College District divided the programs between a division for credit courses at the Ocean Campus and one other division for noncredit courses throughout locations in San Francisco. The two educational divisions merged as a single division in 1990 with program locations held at campuses of City College of San Francisco.[3]

Since the 1990s, the College has significantly renovated and expanded its locations and developed new buildings and facilities throughout San Francisco.

Since its founding in 1935, City College has evolved into a multicultural, multi-campus community college that is one of the largest in the country. CCSF offers courses in more than 50 academic programs and over 100 occupational disciplines. There is a full range of credit courses leading to the Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees, most of which meet the general education requirements for transfer to a four-year colleges and universities.


City College of San Francisco is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

In 2012, the college began experiencing significant public turmoil. On July 2, 2012, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), gave the college eight months to prove it should remain accredited and ordered it to "make preparations for closure".[7][8][9] As summarized by the San Francisco Chronicle in 2015, "the commission has never found wrongdoing or substandard instruction, but has said the college should lose accreditation because of tangled governance structures, poor fiscal controls and insufficient self-evaluation and reporting."[10] In September 2012, the state chancellor's office warned that a special trustee would be appointed to oversee the institution's finances if the college did not voluntarily invite one; the board of trustees voted to invite a special trustee, despite student protests and objection.[11] A report issued by California's Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance team in September 2012 found the institution to be in a "perilous financial position" caused largely by "poor decisions and a lack of accountability.[12]

In July of 2013, the ACCJC elected to take action to terminate the college's accreditation, subject to a one-year review and appeal period. The decision was based on a variety of deficiencies in standards. A Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team[13] report was expected to be released by the end of July 2013. Nearly two months later, San Francisco city attorney Dennis Herrera filed two legal challenges to stop the ACCJC from revoking City College of San Francisco's accreditation alleging conflicts of interest, a faulty evaluation process, and a politically motivated decision-making process.[14] The 2013 decision to revoke accreditation in 2014 was put on hold pending the legal challenges.[10] In January 2015, with the legal conflict still ongoing, ACCJC said that CCSF remained out of compliance with standards in 32 areas but granted the college a two-year extension for resolving these issues and avoiding a shutdown.[10]

In 2017, ACCJC reaffirmed the college's accreditation for seven years.[15]

Organization and administration[edit]

CCSF is part of the San Francisco Community College District which is independent and co-extensive with the City and County of San Francisco and part of the California Community Colleges System. The district's Board of Trustees is elected by San Francisco residents. District funds are allocated from the state legislature, local property taxes, student tuition and fees, lottery funds, sales tax funds, and miscellaneous sources.

On July 3, 2013, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges voted to revoke CCSF's accreditation, effective July 31, 2014. ACCJC has made recommendations to the college several times about major problems. In July 2012, ACCJC gave the college eight months to prove it should remain accredited and ordered it to "make preparations for closure".[7] Once the accreditation expires, the college may close indefinitely, "unless an appeal is successful or if the college can make enough progress to win an extension".[16] It was announced on July 3, 2013, that "the college system's Board of Governors will appoint a special trustee 'with extraordinary powers' in [the second week of July 2013] to replace the trustees. That person will run the college with the aim of restoring it to full favor".[16]

City College of San Francisco is located in urban environment and has the associated crime rate.[17] All campuses are maintained by the San Francisco Community College District Police Department (SFCCDPD).[18] The SFCCDPD has twenty eight police officers and nine civilian employees.


City College of San Francisco, Mission Campus

CCSF opened in 1935, during the age of the Depression era with no central campus and only 1483 students enrolled. Today it not only has a main campus (called Ocean Campus) but it also has 10 other campuses located across San Francisco.[4]

  • Airport Campus, San Francisco International Airport, Bldg. 928
  • Chinatown/North Beach Campus, 808 Kearny Street
  • Civic Center, 1170 Market Street
  • Downtown Campus, 88 4th Street
  • Evans Campus, 1400 Evans Avenue
  • Fort Mason Center, Fort Mason Center, 1934-Bldg. B
  • Gough Street Site, 31–33 Gough Street
  • John Adams Campus, 1860 Hayes Street
  • Mission Campus, 1125 Valencia Street
  • Ocean Campus, 50 Phelan Avenue
  • Southeast Campus, 1800 Oakdale Avenue.[19]

Art on campus[edit]

Most of the early art on CCSF campus was due to the work of Timothy L. Pflueger, the architect who was in charge of designing CCSF in the 1930s.[4] Pflueger was on a committee of well-known Beaux-Arts architects organizing and designing the Golden Gate International Exposition (GGIE) and he put together a large exhibit of Art in Action in 1940, showcasing a number of artists (from various genres) on display, engaged in creating works.[4] Many of these artworks from GGIE now permanetely live at CCSF's Ocean Campus.

Diego Rivera[edit]

Diego Rivera's work Pan American Unity, originally created for the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1940, has been displayed at the theater at the Ocean Campus of San Francisco City College since 1961.[20] This large mural stands, 22' high and 74' long made up of 5 panels. The mural was entitled by Rivera, “Unión de la Expresión Artistica del Norte y Sur de este Continente” (The Marriage of the Artistic Expression of the North and of the South on this Continent) but now commonly called Pan American Unity. There are three self-portraits and a portrait on his wife, artist Frida Kahlo within this mural.[20] As of 2014, City College is in the process of supporting The Diego Rivera Mural Project, with goals return of the mural to the position of public importance, stabilize the environment for the mural and secure funding to make the project self supportive.[20]

Frederick E. Olmsted[edit]

"Theory and Science" mural located at San Francisco City College (CCSF) up close detail, two 12′ x 8′ tempera frescos painted by Frederick E. Olmsted Jr. in 1941 and restored in 2002, New Deal Agencies: Federal Art Project (FAP)

Frederick E. Olmsted's 1941 Theory and Science mural is located at CCSF's Ocean Campus in the Science Hall's west entrance.[21] This is two 12′ x 8′ tempera frescos murals and depicts a range of careers in the sciences, featuring men, women and people of color doing things such as viewing bacteria through a microscope, conducting field research, and excavating dinosaur remains.[21] Olmsted also created two large, limestone sculptures of Leonardo da Vinci and Thomas Edison heads that are on display in the Ocean Campus middle courtyard.[22] The giant Leonardo da Vinci and Thomas Edison heads were created in 1940 as part of the Golden Gate International Exposition's Art in Action exhibition and later given to CCSF for care and display.[22]

Beniamino Bufano[edit]

Beniamino Bufano was a California-based Italian American sculptor, best known for his large-scale monuments representing peace. Bufano's sculpture Saint Francis of the Guns of 1968 stands at San Francisco City College in front of the Science Building. It is a statue of Saint Francis of Assisi—San Francisco's namesake—made from melted-down guns mixed with bronze to prevent rust from the city's dampness; this work was inspired by that year's assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. The sculpture is of a 9-ft tall figure of a robed Catholic saint, his arms spread in peaceful greeting. On his robe, Bufano created a mosaic tile mural showing the glowing heads of four of America's assassinated leaders: Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Kennedy and John F. Kennedy.[23] This was one of Bufano's last works before he died.[23]

Dudley C. Carter[edit]

Dudley C. Carter has three works at the CCSF Ocean Campus, including The Ram sometimes called Mountain Ram, Goddess of the Forest, and The Beast sculptures. Dudley had donated The Ram because he knew it was the school mascot and it had been part of the Golden Gate International Exposition's Arts in Action exhibition.[24] The Ram sculpture stood outside on the campus periodically changing locations from time to time, students would coat it in paint with campus colors red and white. Sometimes rival schools would repaint The Ram in their own school colors. By 1980 The Ram had many layers of paint and damage and in Spring of 1983 it was restored by Carter with use of a pick axe and its original, natural redwood.[24] Currently located in the lobby of Conlan Hall, on the Ocean Campus.[24] The Goddess of the Forest is another redwood sculpture created during GGIE, it is very large standing at 26 feet tall and had a girth at the base of 21 feet. For years this piece was located at Golden Gate Park, until 1986 when it began to show distress and decay. It was then moved to CCSF to an indoor location awaiting restoration.[24]

Ignacio Perez Solano[edit]

In 2004, the then Governor of Veracruz, Mexico, Miguel Alemán Velazco presented CCSF with a reproduction of an Olmec colossal head in honor of the new Pan-American Center.[25] The gift, a 14-ton, 9-foot tall replica of “El Rey” (The King) San Lorenzo #1 created in volcanic tuff is now the centerpiece of the proposed Frida Kahlo Garden next to the Diego Rivera Theater at City College of San Francisco.[26] The artist that carved the replica was Ignacio Perez Solano, also known as “il Maestro.”[25] This is only one of five Olmec heads reproductions in the United States and is viewed by some as the "mother culture" of Mexico.[27]

Herman Volz[edit]

Two 50′ x 45′ low-relief polished marble mosaics by the Swiss-born artist Herman Volz are located in the south portico of San Francisco City College’s Science Hall, located on Ocean Campus.[28] The murals are named Organic and Inorganic Science. The imagery of the mosaics represent fields such as physics, chemistry, biology, and mathematics with text accompanying the mural that reads ‘Give me a base and I move the world.’ These murals were originally part of the Golden Gate International Exposition’s Art in Action show in 1940 on Treasure Island before they were moved to the college. The two mosaics took two years to install with a staff of eight workmen, Juan Breda served as assistant mosaicist for the project. The murals were restored in 2005.[28]


Science Building atop Cloud Hill as viewed from Ram Plaza (the Quad); a CCSF police car patrols along Cloud Circle.

City College of San Francisco has over 50 educational programs and more than 100 work training programs.[29] CCSF has a transfer rate to four-year institutions of 60%, with 45.8% of transfer students transferring with an associate degree.[30]


  • School of Behavioral & Social Sciences and Multicultural Studies (12 departments)
  • School of Business (5 departments)
  • School of English & Foreign Languages
  • School of Fine, Applied, and Communication Arts (10 departments)
  • School of Health, PE, & Social Services (11 departments)
  • School of ESL, International Education & Transitional Studies
  • School of Science & Mathematics (13 departments)
  • Library Information Technology

Hotel and restaurant management programs[edit]

Founded in 1936, the two-year hospitality program is the oldest of any kind on emphasizing culinary arts, with an annual average enrollment of 200 international students. This program offers culinary art, food service management, and hotel management.

The current facilities in Statler Wing are now home to a café (currently named Radius 99), cafeteria, and fine dining restaurant (Pierre Coste Room); four kitchens, a bake shop, three lecture rooms, a lecture/demonstration auditorium, the Alice Statler Library and Gifford Resource Center. The department has an ongoing enrollment of over 250 students from around the world.[31]

Student life[edit]

The Student Activities Office provides resources, support and leadership training for eight Associated Students Councils and more than 80 clubs and student organizations. It sponsors a wide variety of concerts and lectures throughout the year. It funds the Book Loan Program, Dr. Betty Shabazz Family Resource Center, Multi-Cultural Resource Center, Queer Resource Center, Student Health, Students Supporting Students mentoring program, and Women’s Resource Center.

Students can also avail themselves of the Fitness Center, enjoy nationally ranked intercollegiate sports, and participate in the College’s award-winning intercollegiate Speech and Debate Program. The College also features a student-run newspaper, The Guardsman, an award-winning magazine, ETC as well as television and radio stations. Performances given by students in music, dance, and theatre Arts further enhance campus life.

LGBT community[edit]

Currently, there is a Queer Alliance student group and a Queer Resource Center on campus. The Queer Resource Center is an academic and informational resource center for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender queer, intersex, questioning, and straight allies.[32] The Queer Resource Center aims to empower and celebrate its demographic as well as its community.[33] The center has participated in anti-violence, anti-homophobia, and anti-transphobia rallies and workshops.[34] The center has struggled with funding although this has caught the attention of politicians, notably the Green Party, whose candidate for board of trustees John Rizzo has promised funds for more LGBT studies and the Queer Resource Center.[35]


On campus, there are numerous student activity groups, gender-specific courses, and health services. For example, the Women's Resource Center and Library (Smith Hall, 103–104) offers women on campus an opportunity to network with academic support services and resources, and Project Survive is a campus peer education group working to promote healthy relationships and end abuse and sexual violence.[36]



Intercollegiate athletics are offered for men and women. College teams belong in the CCCAA Coast Conference North Section and competes with teams from other colleges. Intercollegiate sports include baseball, basketball, cross-country, football, soccer, softball, tennis, track, badminton, volleyball, and judo. These teams are all nicknamed the Rams. City College of San Francisco Football Teams have won ten national championships. The annual rivalry football game is played against the College of San Mateo Football team.[37]

Sports facilities[edit]

All of the CCSF Rams teams are based on the Ocean Campus. Field sports, as well as track and field competitions, uses Rams Stadium. A new Soccer Practice Field has been built north of the stadium. The Wellness Center, south of Rams Stadium, houses staff offices, weight rooms, a swimming pool, lockrooms, classrooms, and an indoor gym. East of Rams Stadium used to be the former site of the North Gym and the South Gym, which used to contain the lockrooms, weight rooms, and staff offices. The Tennis Courts are across an access road from the former gyms.

Notable people[edit]


This is a list of notable alumni from City College of San Francisco, listed in alphabetical order by last name.

Politics and civil service


This is a list of notable faculty from City College of San Francisco, listed in alphabetical order by last name.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office - Data Mart". Retrieved 2017-05-24. 
  3. ^ a b c White, Austin (2005). "Short History of City College of San Francisco" (PDF). City College of San Francisco. p. 11. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Bergman, Julia; White, Austin; Sherer Mathes, Valerie (2010). City College of San Francisco. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0738581348. 
  5. ^ Bergman, Julia; Sherer Mathes, Valerie; White, Austin (September 13, 2010). City College of San Francisco. Campus History. California: Arcadia Publishing. p. 7. ISBN 9780738581347. 
  6. ^ White, Austin (2005), From Dream to Reality, City College of San Francisco: A Short History (PDF), retrieved September 9, 2012 
  7. ^ a b Andrea Koskey (July 3, 2013). "City College of San Francisco Accreditation Terminated". The San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  8. ^ Barbara A. Beno, Ph.D. (July 2, 2012). "Letter to Dr. Pamila Fisher, Interim Chancellor, City College of San Francisco" (PDF). Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Retrieved 2013-12-03. 
  9. ^ Paul Fain (July 3, 2013). "Mammoth 2-Year College to Lose Accreditation". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved July 4, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c Asimov, Nanette (January 14, 2015). "CCSF wins reprieve: Shutdown averted with 2-year extension". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  11. ^ Nanette Asimov (September 11, 2012). "CCSF risks bankruptcy, chancellor warns". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved September 20, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Deadline looms for City College". San Francisco Chronicle. September 19, 2012. Retrieved September 20, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team". FCMAT. Retrieved 2013-12-03. 
  14. ^ "San Francisco Sues To Block City College Accreditation Sanctions « CBS San Francisco". 2013-08-22. Retrieved 2013-12-03. 
  15. ^ "CCSF keeps accreditation, ending years of uncertainty - by m_barba - The San Francisco Examiner". Retrieved 2017-01-29. 
  16. ^ a b Nanette Asimov (July 4, 2013). "City College of SF to lose accreditation in 2014". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  17. ^ "District Total Crime Statistics". Retrieved May 13, 2008. 
  18. ^ "SFCCD Police Department". Retrieved May 13, 2008. 
  19. ^ "CCSF Campus". Retrieved 2013-12-03. 
  20. ^ a b c "Mural Project". San Francisco City College (CCSF). San Francisco City College (CCSF). Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  21. ^ a b "Public Art on Campus, Murals". City College of San Francisco (CCSF). Retrieved September 25, 2014. 
  22. ^ a b "Edison and DaVinci by Olmsted". Retrieved September 25, 2014. 
  23. ^ a b "St. Francis Made of Melted Guns". Roadside America. Retrieved September 26, 2014. 
  24. ^ a b c d Schniewind, Arno P.; Baird, Roger; Kronkright, Dale P. (1996). "Rescuing Dudley Carter's Goddess of the Forest" (PDF). WAG Postprints. Wooden Artifacts Group (WAG) of American Institute for Conservation. Retrieved September 26, 2014. 
  25. ^ a b "Olmec Heads in San Francisco". Accessible Art and Arch. in the San Francisco Area. June 12, 2011. Retrieved September 30, 2014. 
  26. ^ Davis, Dick (October 2004). "He Left His Head In San Francisco: Olmec presence in the USA". HispanicVista. Retrieved September 30, 2014. 
  27. ^ White, Austin; Sherer Mathe, Valerie; Bergman, Julia (2010). City College of San Francisco. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. p. 48. ISBN 0738581348. 
  28. ^ a b Brechin, Gray. "City College of San Francisco "Organic and Inorganic Science" Mosaic – San Francisco CA". New Deal Art Registry. Retrieved November 7, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Educational Programs". Retrieved September 2, 2012. 
  30. ^ "Graduation + Transfer Rate Analysis -". Retrieved 2016-05-03. 
  31. ^ "Culinary Arts & Hospitality Studies". Retrieved May 13, 2008. 
  32. ^ "Programs and Services". City College of San Francisco – Phelan Campus. Retrieved May 4, 2008. 
  33. ^ "Queer Resource Center – Mission Statement". Retrieved May 4, 2008. 
  34. ^ "Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Advisory Committee Minutes of the November 15, 2005 Meeting". San Francisco Human Rights Commission. Retrieved May 4, 2008. 
  35. ^ "John Rizzo's questionnaire". San Francisco Green Party. Retrieved May 4, 2008. 
  36. ^ "Project Survive – History and Philosophy". Retrieved May 4, 2008. 
  37. ^ "Athletics". Retrieved September 2, 2012. 
  38. ^ "Bill Bixby, TV Actor, Dies at 59; Starred in 3 Long-Running Series". The New York Times. 1993-11-23. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-04-19. 
  39. ^ Hjortsberg, William (2013). Jubilee Hitchhiker: The Life and Times of Richard Brautigan. Counterpoint. 
  40. ^ "Manuel Neri". Artists Forum. Retrieved 2016-04-19. 
  41. ^ "Win Ng". Rehistoricizing The Time Around Abstract Expressionism. Retrieved 2016-12-28. 
  42. ^ a b c "Angel, O. J.'s prep QB, finds end run 'unbelievable'". Baltimore Sun News. Retrieved 2016-04-19. 
  43. ^ "Neumann: Former Cal QB sets paper airplane record". ESPN. Retrieved 2016-04-19. 
  44. ^ "MSNBC's Richard Lui shares his educational story". MSNBC. Retrieved 2016-04-19. 
  45. ^ "Commission Confirms Judge Martin Jenkins as Court of Appeal Justice". Metropolitan News-Enterprise. 2008-04-07. Retrieved 2016-04-19. 
  46. ^ "Fred Lau overcame height restrictions to fulfill dream of joining force". SFGate. 1996. Retrieved 2016-04-19. 
  47. ^ Garber, Steve (2004). "Dr. Maxime A. Faget". NASA History. Retrieved 2016-04-19. 

External links[edit]