De Anza Community College is located in Cupertino, California. Founded in 1967, the college has expanded over the years and today is an expansive institution built on over 100 acres. The campus is home to over 116 classrooms and lecture halls and over 40 laboratories.
The college employs close to 1,000 part-time and full-time faculty and current student population is over 20,000. In its short history, it has joined the league of leading two-year colleges as its graduates have consistently transferred to leading four-year colleges and universities. The college has articulation agreements with leading universities making it easy for its graduates to transfer to those universities.
In the state of California, De Anza ranks amongst the top two-year colleges that transfer students to California State University and the University of California. Some of the institutions with which the college has articulation arrangements include Stanford, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and University of Columbia.
Academic tracks of study include certificates and associate degrees in very diverse fields. There are over 100 certificate programs and 60 associate degree programs. The college has over a dozen instruction divisions and departments covering areas such as Applied Technologies, Environmental Sciences, Language Arts, Intercultural/International Studies, Library Services and Counseling.
Students getting admission to the Applied Technologies Division get the opportunity to pursue a variety of certificate and associate degree programs in Automotive Technology. This department offers Certificates of proficiency in Automotive Machining and Engine Repair, Automotive Engine Performance and Certificates of Completion in Automotive Air Conditioning and Automotive Inspection and Maintenance. To obtain an Associate Degree in Automotive Technology, a student is required to complete 90 units.
Students pursuing certificate and degree courses in business and computer science are catered for by the college’s Business/Computer Systems Division. The Accounting Department under this division offers various Accounting Certificates (Accounting, Bookkeeping and Taxation) and Associate Degrees. The Computer Applications & Office Systems Department (CAOS) offers certificates and degrees covering areas such as Web Development, Computer Crime Investigation and Small Business Computer Security.
The Disability Support Programs & Services (DSP&S) Division develops programs specifically aimed at students with disabilities. Originally known as the Special Education Division, DSP&S has over endeavored to improve access to quality education and the college’s facilities to students with special needs. Through the division’s Adapted Physical Education (APE) program, special aquatic and physical exercises have been developed to cater for the physically challenged. The Disability Support Services Program provides assistance to students with sensory impairments and, in addition to assisting those with physical challenges also offers assistance to students with psychological problems.
Various programs aimed at the medical profession are available including Nursing, Medical Laboratory Technology and Medical Transcription. The list of programs is long making it possible for most students to find a suitable course.
Accreditation is granted by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The college requires that applicants be at least 18 years at the time of application. In addition, applicants should possess a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate.
Students who are at least 18 years old and have not completed high school but wish to join the college could do so by taking college courses. To apply for admission, such a student should obtain a statement from the head of the school last attended indicating the subjects the student needs to take to fulfill high school qualification requirements.
This alternative admission method is governed by the California State Department of Education which recommends that equivalent credits be granted on a ratio of 2:1 (i.e. 2 units completed at college are equivalent to 4 high school semester periods, etc). When a student completes the equivalent courses, transcripts are sent to the high school for approval.
Students attending high school have the chance to take college classes before they graduate. The college offers courses to students who are in 11th and 12th grades and successful applicants can take up to 11 units per year. The courses offered to such students are mainly vocational.
Applications for admission can be filled out online. The college recommends that applications be submitted three months before the beginning of the quarter in which the student wishes to commence studies.
International students seeking admission are required to fill an International Student Application Form which is available online and to prove proficiency in English by taking TOEFL, IELTS or Pearson Academic Tests.
Students who fail to obtain admission due to low language proficiency scores are encouraged to re-take the tests or to join some of the ESL language schools with which the college has guaranteed admission agreements. International students should also prove their ability to pay through college by providing recent original bank letters from their sponsors. Applicants pay a non-refundable application fee.
Financial aid is available for eligible students. To qualify for aid, the applicant must be a citizen of the U.S. or an eligible non-citizen. The applicant must also show financial need and be enrolled at the college. Financial aid is not available for applicants who have defaulted on other educational loans and those that owe refunds to any financial aid office.
To continue benefiting from financial aid, a student is required to make satisfactory progress. This is measured by the quality of the student’s grades and the student’s ability to complete undertaken courses.
Students applying for aid must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher. Applicants who fail to meet minimum standard requirements are put on financial aid probation and those who fail to meet set minimum standards at the end of the probationary period are disqualified from receiving aid.
Financial aid takes the form of scholarships, loans, grants, fee waivers and part-time employment. Some of the scholarships available include the Angel Sierra Memorial Scholarship, the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) Scholarship for students pursuing Biological and Health Sciences, the Doorway to Success Scholarship, the Judson Allen Memorial Photo Scholarship for Creative/Fine Art students and the Refurbished Computer for Students Scholarship.
The State of California has also sponsored various grant programs including the Cal Grants and the Bilingual Teacher Grants which are available to students who are resident in the state. Financially challenged residents of California could also apply for Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) which grants aid up to $600.
Federal grants available for students include the Pell Grant (over $5,000) and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG). The latter is awarded to students who meet the eligibility requirements of the Pell grant and whose financial needs are considered exceptional.
The State of California also funds the Board of Governors Fee Waiver which enables institutions to waive enrollment fees charged to qualifying applicants.
Student Financial Aid Details
The student population includes students from over 50 countries. To ensure that students from different cultural backgrounds live harmoniously, various events and activities are organized to bring the students together. Events that help expand multiculturalism are organized by the De Anza Associated Student Body (DASB) which also functions as the voice of the students.
This very influential student body has many committees and a remarkable one is the Student Rights and Services Committee which, as the name suggests, is mandated to ensure that students’ rights are respected and that they obtain the services due to them.
While the majority of students are young high school graduates, There are also a sizeable number of veterans who are represented by the De Anza Student Veterans Association. The veterans club assists its members by providing information on veteran benefits and also providing a forum for networking.
Students with special interests have a wide range of club activities to participate in. The college’s Inter Club Council (ICC) coordinates the activities of over 60 clubs and encourages students to create new clubs and organizations. Some clubs are sports-based while others are modeled on specific disciplines. Examples of clubs and organizations include the Badminton Club, the Anthropology Club, the Black Student Union, the Chinese Student Association, the Cheer and Dance Team and the Film Club.
Student Enrollment Demographics
The athletic department fields 19 sports programs for both male and female students and close to 500 athletes are actively involved in team activities. Some of the teams are soccer, basketball, baseball, softball, badminton, tennis, swimming and a variety of track and field teams.
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.