For California residents seeking a community college with a strong academic program that can prepare them to transfer to a four-year college, Glendale Community College (GCC) in the Los Angeles area is an excellent fit.
GCC provides educational services for more than 15,000 students, making it larger than many four-year colleges and universities in terms of student enrollment. The big campus provides students with a big university atmosphere, with the benefits of a community college, i.e. lower tuition costs.
The college offers more than 150 degree and career certificate programs. Career certification programs provide students with a quick credential they can use to polish up their resumes to make them more employable. These programs are particularly sought after by recently displaced workers, who quickly want to learn a more marketable skill. Some career certificate programs offered at GCC include fire academy, web development, real estate, and more.
Many programs are aimed at improving the English skills of Hispanic students who may need extra help in achieving their educational aspirations. The most popular majors include liberal arts, allied health and business and marketing majors.
However, a major source of pride at GCC are its science programs. The school has extensive science learning facilities intended to help students in their pursuit of further education. The college transfers more biology majors to UCLA than any other community college in the metro Los Angeles area.
All biology majors who finish their core courses at GCC and have a GPA of 3.2 or better have successfully gotten into UCLA, a leading biology program.
The college also offers a variety of other science programs, such as a field station in Baja California for marine science study. Students in the program can study the biologically diverse wildlife of the Sea of Cortez. The school also has a strong record of participation with NASA, having led all other community colleges in placements in the well-regarded NASA/JPL SIRI program.
Like many community colleges, this school has embraced the abilities of the Interent to make completing classwork more convenient for its non-traditional students, many of whom have career and family obligations that preclude a regular class schedule. GCC offers purely online classes, web-based classes and hybrid classes in a variety of subject areas. The convenience of these courses makes college accessible for many who otherwise would be unable or hard-pressed to achieve higher education.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Glendale has embraced environmentalism and has made efforts at sustainable buildings and practices. Solar cells located on top of the college’s parking building provide about 10 percent of the college’s power, lowering its utility bill, as well as its use of power derived from carbon-based resources.
Glendale Community College has a fairly liberal admissions policy and is open to just about anyone with a high school diploma or GED. Students without these certificates may be admitted on a case by case basis. Students applying to the college should submit high school transcripts and standardized test scores. All new students will take a placement test to determine whether they will need to take remedial courses.
The college has a rolling admissions process, but students wishing to apply for fall admission should have their information submitted by April for financial aid purposes.
Some programs in the college do have a selective admissions process that takes into account things such as college GPA, prerequisite courses, etc. The college’s nursing program has a variety of prerequisites students must complete before being accepted. Students should consult with their adviser or the coordinator of the program concerning prerequisites.
This college does not charge an application fee.
Students applying to GCC are eligible for federal grants and student loans. There are also a number of grants and scholarships offered by the state of California, the college and other organizations that students may be eligible for. More than 500 types of scholarships are offered by the college, but signing up early for scholarship opportunities is key to obtaining one as many are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
Here’s a few examples of scholarships available:
The GCC Classified Scholarship is awarded to students with demonstrable financial need. The GCC Guild Award is given to students who have participated in community service projects. The William Striker Memorial scholarship is awarded to outstanding second-year botany students.
These are just a few of the scholarship opportunities available. Many of the programs here are science-based, as is appropriate considering the school’s emphasis on science.
The college’s office of financial aid also stands ready to help students find other grants and scholarships they may be eligible for. The school’s website, has a helpful list of scholarships that students can use to see which awards they may be eligible for.
Student Financial Aid Details
Like most community colleges, GCC does not offer campus housing. It does, however, offer a lifestyle fitness center, allowing students access to exercise and workout equipment and fitness classes. Part-time students taking career certificate courses make up the majority of the students, and a variety of clubs and student organizations are present on campus.
Clubs include professional and academic organizations, as well as special interest clubs such as the Snow Sports Club. In total, there are 50 student clubs and organizations on campus.
The college publishes a student newspaper, the El Vaquero. The college is also host to many interesting lectures and other events such as recent lectures on the Titanic and the science involved in chocolate-making.
Student Enrollment Demographics
The school is a member of the NJCCA and participates in the California Community College Athletic Association and Western State Conference. Teams include men’s baseball, basketball, cross country, football, soccer, tennis and track and field; and women’s basketball, cross country, tennis, track and field and volleyball.
The men’s football team has enjoyed some success in recent years, winning the U.S. Bank Beach Bowl in 2001, the Western State Bowl in 2006 and the Western State Conference Southern Division Championship in 2005.
The men’s baseball team won Western State Conference championships in 1980, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2011.
The women’s cross country team won the California Community College Cross Country Championship in 2009.
The teams are nicknamed the Vaqueros and the school colors are crimson and gold.
GCC has strong ties to its local community and works to serve their needs. The college has an extensive outreach program with local K-12 schools, offering many educational opportunities.
There is a long list of notable alumni, including actress Eva Mendes, NFL coach Andy Reid, actress Angie Dickinson, TV host Ryan Seacrest and television producer Dan Harmon, creator of the community college-based television show Community. Harmon has stated that community is partially based on his experiences in community college and represents, to some degree, the positive influence these institutions can have.
Sid Kolpas is a nationally renowned faculty member whose expertise is in mathematics. Kolpas has won a National Science Foundation grant for his work with a student-led instruction program and has many published scholarly articles on mathematics.
GCC is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, which accredits schools in California and Hawaii, as well as the U.S. territories of Guam, American Samoa, and Northern Marianas Islands.
Carrie Petersen earned her Bachelors of Science in Education and a Masters of School leadership at Northern Illinois University. Carrie likes to travel with her husband and two sons.