Allan Hancock College is a public community college in California with a main campus in Santa Maria and three additional locations. It is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program ranked AHC as one of the top five community colleges in California and one of the top 120 community colleges in the country. The school offers more than one hundred different associate’s degree and certificate programs in over 60 different areas of study. Programs also include diverse vocational degrees and certificates in fields such as law enforcement, firefighting, nursing, culinary arts, and welding. Class sizes at this college are small, with most classes having fewer than 35 students. Distance learning options such as online classes are also available. There are also many resources for international students and students with disabilities.
The Honors Program gives exceptional students the opportunity to maximize their potential through benefits such as mentoring by professors, smaller class sizes, and special transfer benefits. Students can enter the program as incoming freshmen, or after successfully completing one semester at the college.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Students are guaranteed highest priority for transfer admissions to UC and CSU schools, with guaranteed admission agreements with four-year institutions including UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, UC Riverside, UC Santa Cruz, CSU Monterey Bay, CSU Fullerton, and San Jose State University. Students who complete the Honors Program are eligible for priority or guaranteed admission to UC Irvine and San Diego State University. Nearly 80% of students who applied to Cal Poly were accepted. Students can visit the University Transfer Center for information and assistance with academic planning. Advisers will help students plan transfer strategies and complete applications. The college also offers free field trips to visit other schools.
The Bridges Program is a new academic support and guidance program offered in conjunction with California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly) for underrepresented minority students who want to transfer to a four-year university and eventually pursue careers in the biomedical or behavioral sciences.
The Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Program provides diverse support services and activities that have been designed to promote student achievement and help participants successfully pursue a degree in mathematics, engineering, kinesiology, biology, computer science, architecture, agriculture, nursing or other programs that are based in math or science. The program helps students develop academic and leadership skills, increase academic performance, and gain confidence.
There is no fee to apply and applications for admission are accepted all year round.Students who wish to apply must complete the application form, which is available online at the college’s website. Interested applicants should also meet with a counselor, submit official academic transcripts, take the START assessment test, attend a New Student Orientation, and register for classes. The college will admit anyone who is at least 18 years old and has graduated from high school or completed an equivalent program such as a GED program. Applicants who do not meet these two requirements may be admitted to the college under its College Now! program, which is available for concurrently enrolled high school students with specific admissions requirements. Applicants who have been home schooled must submit the College Now! form and a copy of their private school affidavit of home schooling. Individuals seeking admission to certain specialized programs such as Nursing or the Firefighter Academy have additional admission requirements. Applicants should check the college’s website or contact the department of the program that they are applying to for specific requirements.
One out of two students who applies for financial aid receives some form of assistance. Financial assistance comes in the form of grants, loans, and scholarship. Millions of dollars in financial aid awards are granted to the college’s students each year. Students who wish to pay the in-state tuition rate must meet the college’s residence requirements. All students who wish to be considered for financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Office of Financial Aid recommends that students complete the FAFSA application by March 2 for maximum financial aid consideration. Students should also consult with the financial aid office to determine their Board of Governor’s (BOG) fee waiver eligibility and to learn about scholarships that are available directly from the school. The college awards more than $300,000 in scholarships each year, through their own private foundation.
Student Financial Aid Details
Unlike many community colleges, Allan Hancock has its own student government and many diverse clubs. Several annual special events are held on campus. The Bulldog Bow-WOW! Event occurs at the start of the spring and fall semesters. This event helps students learn about student services, academic programs, and clubs. Students get to meet with faculty and staff, sign up for priority registration for future semesters, and even get free haircuts. Student art exhibitions are held every month in the Ann Foxworthy Gallery, and there’s always a story or theme behind every art show. There are also many dances, including the Dimensions in Dance, held every fall in the Marian Theatre.
Student Enrollment Demographics
The 14 intercollegiate athletic teams are known as the Bulldogs. Athletic teams include basketball, baseball, cross country, football, soccer, golf, tennis, softball, track and field, and women’s volleyball. Sports facilities on campus include a physical fitness center, a soccer field, a swimming pool, a baseball field, a track, tennis courts, and a softball field. The school is a member of the Community College League of California’s Commission on Athletics (COA) and an affiliated member of the Western State Conference. The football team is a member of the Southern California Football Association northern division.
Well-known alumni include:
- Robin Williams, actor and comedian
- Kelly McGillis, actress (best known for her role in Top Gun)
- Kathy Bates, Academy Award-winning actress
- Ronal Omberg, nuclear engineer
- Owen W. Siler, former Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under three presidents
- Chuck Negron, rock star
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.