Los Angeles Pierce College, commonly known as Pierce College, has grown from agricultural roots to become a large community college of more than 23,000 students offering academic and career programs in a variety of subject areas. For students in the L.A. area looking to get their feet wet before making the jump to a four-year institution, Pierce College can provide a sound academic footing that will allow students to build upon their education when they transfer.
Pierce College of academic success is evident in the number of its students who transfer to University of California or California State University System schools. A recent UCLA study shows that Pierce College transfer students graduate from UCLA with a higher GPA than transfer students from any other community college.
Degrees and Certificate Programs Offered
The college offers 44 associates degrees and 78 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 Pierce College include a variety of veterinary programs, computer and office skills and industrial programs such as automotive repair.
The academic programs offered by Pierce College cover a variety of disciplines, including agriculture, business, arts, engineering, and more. The most popular majors at Pierce College include liberal arts and sciences, human development, child development and mechanics and repair.
Although the college has steadily included more academic, arts and technological studies in its course offerings, it still has very deep agricultural roots. The campus has a working farm and a variety of other natural learning facilities and amenities, such as a braille nature trail, a weather station, a botanical garden, a nature center and a life science museum. It’s veterinary programs are very well-regarded and are a major provider of veterinary professionals.
The college has recently undergone a flurry of new construction. Included among the academic-related building projects are a $46 million science center, a two-story, 100,000 square foot facility housing the colleges various science departments and a veterinary tech program. The new building was built to strict environmental standards and has the LEED silver certification.
The Pierce College Library has more than 100,000 books, subscribes to 150 periodicals and has a large number of computers and electronic equipment for student inquiry and research purposes.
Like many community colleges, Pierce College offers a variety of courses through teleconferencing and online videos. This makes taking courses and completing work easier for the many non-traditional students who have work and family obligations that preclude a regular college schedule.
Pierce College is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, which accredits schools in California and Hawaii, and the U.S. territories of Guam, American Samoa and Northern Marianas Islands. American schools in other parts of the Pacific Rim may also be accredited by the association.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Pierce 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 June 15 application deadline for new students wishing to start classes in the fall. The college encourages earlier applications, however, particularly for students seeking scholarships.
Some programs in the college do have a selective admissions process that takes into account things such as college GPA, prerequisite courses, etc. Students taking courses with a specific major in mind should check with the program adviser to see if any prerequisites are required.
As of May 2011, the university does not charge an application fee.
Students applying to Pierce College are eligible for federal grants and student loans. There are also a number of grants and scholarships offered by the state of Ohio, the college and other organizations that students may be eligible for. The Pierce College Foundation alone raises more than $100,000 each year in scholarship funding to be distributed to students.
Here’s a few examples of scholarships available at Pierce College.
The Pratt and Whitney Scholarship awards $200 to 10 students to be used toward books and fees. The Crane Aerospace Scholarship is awarded to students who are widows and children without male parental support. The Donate-A-Credit scholarship is for currently enrolled Pierce students and is need based.
These are just a few of the scholarship opportunities available to Pierce College students.
Students are urged to apply for scholarship aid early, as many scholarships are first come, first served. 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
True to its roots, the college maintains a working farm with small cattle herds, sheep, poultry and other farm animals students can watch or learn from in their veterinary or agricultural studies. The campus is extremely well-manicured and has more than 2,200 trees and a botanical garden. The botanical garden is of particular interest because of its large collection of drought resistant plants. The natural beauty of the Pierce campus, which is larger than many four-year university campuses, is a major selling point for many students.
For students seeking to get involved in student life, Pierce College offers about 50 student organizations and clubs, including professional and academic associations and special interest groups like a boots and saddle club, a DJ club, etc. The campus also has a student run 24-hour radio station. The radio station provides news, music and commentary. It was started in 2010 with the help of a $100,000 grant.
The college recently started work on a new $18 million student services center. The center is a 49,775 sq. ft. facility that houses a number of student services, including the financial aid and health services departments.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Los Angeles Pierce College offers a variety of athletic programs to students. The school is a member of the NJCCA and participates in the Western State Conference.
Los Angeles Pierce College fields several athletic teams, offering men’s football, baseball, basketball, volleyball, women’s basketball, soccer and volleyball; and swimming and tennis.
The college has enjoyed considerable success in a number of athletic endeavors. The women’s soccer team were 2010 Western State Conference champs, the women’s volleyball team were also 2010 conference champions.
The football team last won the Western State Conference Championship in 2009.
Pierce College teams are known as the Brahmas. School colors are crimson and white.
Pierce College’s agricultural roots are evidenced by the college’s continuing commitment to animal welfare.
Each April, the Foundation for Pierce College produces its Farmwalk festival, an outdoor event that has animal displays, educational activities and music. Proceeds from the event benefit the continuing activities of Pierce College’s farm. The event allows many urban youth who have little experience with farms and farming to see how agricultural work is performed and to experience animals.
The college hosts a Harvest Festival in the fall that includes harvest related activities including a corn maze and games for kids. Halloween related events are also held.
When disaster strikes, Pierce College serves as an animal evacuation center, taking in large animals thanks to the campus’ farm facilities. During a recent wildfire outbreak a few years ago, the college housed 150 displaced horses.
Additional School Information
Los Angeles Pierce College was founded in the mid 40s with just 70 students at its inception. Since then the college has grown to more than 23,000 students. The college is named for Clarence W. Pierce, who founded the college to pursue agricultural and farm studies.
Pierce College places a big emphasis on environmentalism. The campus has a large solar panel field that produces millions of kilowatt hours of electricity each year. The college also has a water reclamation pool under its soccer field. In addition to the aforementioned construction, many other renovations have been ongoing on campus over the past few years. Pierce has affirmed its commitment to environmentalism by requiring the new facilities to be environmentally friendly.
- The College Board College Handbook, 2010 . 47th ed. New York: College Board, 2009. Print.
- Gonsher, Debra A., and Joshua Halberstam. The community college guide: the essential reference from application to graduation. Dallas, Tex.: BenBella Books, 2009. Print.
- Pierce College. <http://www.piercecollege.edu/>