History of Ventura College

History of Ventura College

The first college in Ventura County was established in 1925 when a junior college department was added at Ventura Union High School.

In 1952, Ventura Junior College was renamed Ventura College, and in response to a study regarding local educational needs, identified as a separate two-year institution for the freshman and sophomore years of college.

General photo of VC Administration Building

In 1955, the College moved to its present 112 acre hillside campus at 4667 Telegraph Road in the eastern part of Ventura. It is so close to the ocean that there is a clear view of the Channel Islands from several spots on campus. The current student enrollment of the College for day and evening classes, including all campus sites and distance learning students, is just over 13,000. Ventura College provides classes for the Santa Clara River Valley residents at our East Campus in Santa Paula located at 957 Faulkner Road.

In 1962, the voters of Ventura County authorized the formation of a community college district separate from any other public school entity. Ventura College is now a comprehensive community college serving a diverse population of college-age and adult students who pursue a wide variety of transfer, vocational, and other educational goals. The Ventura County Community College District (VCCCD) now includes two additional colleges, Moorpark College and Oxnard College, and serves more than 36,000 students, 96.5% of whom are California residents. The District Administrative Center offices are located 761 E. Daily Drive in Camarillo.

Ventura County voters went to the polls in March 2002 and overwhelmingly supported the Colleges, authorizing a $356 million general obligation bond to renovate and expand all three campuses, as well as training facilities for the Fire Academy and the Sheriff Academy. $125 million was allocated to Ventura College capital improvements which included:

  • The Library and Learning Resources Center (January 2005)
  • The Student Services Center (April 2008)
  • The VC Sportsplex (August 2008)
  • The Health Sciences Center, Multidisciplinary Center East (MCE), and Multidisciplinary Center West (MCW) building (Spring 2011)
  • The Performing Arts Complex (August 2012)
  • Phase One of Maintenance and Operations facilities renovation (March 2015)
  • The Applied Science Center (September 2015).

Final construction projects included the Studio Arts Building and Phase Two of the Maintenance and Operations facilities renovation.

In 2020, Ventura College celebrated its 95th Anniversary in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. Instruction and student services were moved completely online over a two-week period in March 2020 and continue to primarily be delivered in this modality. Employees of Ventura College quickly adjusted to this new way of offering education while maintaining high-quality instruction and services.

Two years following the pandemic, instruction and services have returned in person, but are greatly enhanced using online modalities. The pandemic has transitioned to an endemic condition, which means it continues to be present, with new cases stabilizing, and effective prevention and treatments available.  

In Spring 2022, the college was awarded $63 million to support affordable student housing on campus. 

Ventura College hired a project and construction management team to assist with the development of the student housing project.