Orange Coast College


Orange Coast College, located in Costa Mesa, CA, was founded in 1948 with an initial enrollment of 500 students. Today, Orange Coast is one of the nation’s largest community colleges, with more than 25,000 students enrolled each semester. OCC offers more than 130 academic programs. About half of OCC’s students are enrolled in one of its career and technical programs.

Orange Coast College also is proud of the fact that it ranks first among Orange County’s nine community colleges in sending its students on to the University of California and California State University systems. In the past 10 years, 16,000 OCC students have transferred to those campuses. A number of Orange Coast students also transfer to private colleges and universities in California and around the country.


Information Summary

Ranks 163rd in California and 2088th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 62.2
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $3,103
Admission Success rate N/A
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 29 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 76% / 51%
Enrollment Total (all students) 21,122


Students who attend Orange Coast College can obtain associate’s degrees and certificates of achievement. OCC offers a regular school year program, with fall and spring semesters, and an extensive summer session that begins each June with six-week and eight-week classes. The college offers 50 different programs of study and is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. OCC also offers online classes and honors classes.

Its nine academic divisions are: Business and Computing, Consumer and Health Sciences, Counseling Services, Literature and Languages, Mathematics and Sciences, Physical Education and Athletics, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Technology, and Visual and Performing Arts.

Majors include agriculture; architecture and related services; business, management, marketing; advertising; journalism; mass communication/media studies; engineering; English language and literature; apparel and textile marketing management; history; liberal arts and sciences; biological and physical sciences; chemistry; psychology; mathematics; economics; sociology; commercial and advertising art; fashion/apparel design; and film/cinema studies.

The Orange Coast College Honors Program for qualifying students prepares students for transferring to four-year colleges and focuses on a collaborative model of learning between students and instructors and concern for current social issues. Honors courses, which are more challenging, are offered in 16 disciplines: anthropology, art, astronomy, biology, business, English, geography, geology, history, humanities, mathematics, marine science, political science, psychology, sociology and Spanish.

Classes in the honors program are designed to foster discussion, mastery of content, analysis, and critical thinking skills. The program often invites guest speakers, and students take field trips and conduct comprehensive research.

OCC also participates in PUENTE, a statewide program operating in 39 California community colleges to assist Latino and Mexican American students acquire the skills they need to pursue goals and attain a bachelor’s degree. PUENTE employs three program components – writing, counseling and mentoring – to help students develop strengths. Many former PUENTE students returned as mentors for new PUENTE students.

Orange Coast partners with two other California community colleges to offer a study abroad program. Through the Coast Community College District, students at OCC can earn college credit in the study abroad program, which takes place over the summer. Summer study abroad programs are fairly limited to language programs, and classes are taught by on-site instructors. Students have traveled to Paris; London; Florence, Italy; Kyoto, Japan; Dublin, Ireland; Cambridge, England; and Barcelon, Madrid and Neria, Spain.

OCC also operates the Orange Coast College School of Sailing and Seamanship, one of the country’s largest public boating education programs, which enrolls 5,000 students each year in classes, seminars, and voyages. Courses are offered in sailing, powerboating, seamanship, and navigation. Three dozen boats are operated by the School, including dinghies, keelboats, cruising boats, offshore racers and powerboats.

The OCC College Central office provides students with a free online job and internship board, where new employment opportunities are posted on a daily basis. The college also hosts a large job fair for students each spring, which routinely features booths of more than 50 potential employers.

The OCC Library holds more than 100,000 books, periodicals, videos, and audiocassettes, and provides students with remote access to its online catalog and databases. The library also features a media/computer lab department that contains instructional videos and DVDs, audiocassettes, telecourses, and language tapes, along with a computer lab with Internet access and software for word processing, graphics, and other programs.

Most Popular Fields of Study


Arts Building :: Orange Coast College Social Science Forum Building :: Orange Coast College Technology Center :: Orange Coast College
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Admission requirements for prospective students include a high school diploma or a GED from the state of California. High school juniors and seniors who would like to apply for the OCC Early Start program must obtain a recommendation for advanced study.

International students can also apply to OCC, and those applications typically must be submitted two months before the semester begins.

Financial Aid

About 32 percent of OCC students receive some kind of financial aid, with most receiving federal grants and a small percentage receiving student loans. Federal financial aid sources include the Pell Grant, the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, the TEACH Grant, the Perkins Loan, the Direct Loan Program, and federal Work Study. State of California programs include the Cal Grant and the Board of Governors fee waiver.

Orange Coast College offers its own scholarships, including the ASOCC Future Leaders Scholarship for high school students with a 2.5 grade point average and the Shirley Brook Scholarship for Orange County high school students with a 2.5 grade point average. Other scholarships are available to students who graduate from specific California high schools.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 6103rd for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in California.


Typical of most community colleges, Orange Coast College does not have on-campus housing and most students drive onto campus from nearby communities in Orange County. But OCC provides students with current apartment listings for the surrounding area and a housing bulletin board that includes rental listings for students seeking roommates or shared apartments. International students can choose to participate in a home stay program, in which they live with a local host family. Agencies affiliated with OCC make those arrangements.

OCC Food Services provides students with four places to eat on campus, along with a hot dog cart, two coffee carts and lots of snack and beverage vending machines. The main cafeteria is located in the OCC Student Center, and features sit-down meals and the Quick Corner, which sells deli sandwiches, snacks, hot dogs, beverages and other convenience items. The Coast Snack Shack, located on the campus quad, serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. The BBQ @ Grove, under a large covered patio, provides deli sandwiches, snacks, hot dogs, and beverages. OCC also has an on-campus Starbucks, located in the Arts Pavilion parking lot.

Facilities on the OCC campus include the Student Center, which provides a student lounge, the College Life Office, and Student Government. The Robert B. Moore Theatre, OCC’s 900-seat performing arts facility, hosts student events and performances by the student chorale, symphony orchestra, wind ensemble, jazz ensemble and theater and dance groups.

More than 60 student clubs and organizations are active on the OCC campus, including academic clubs, special interest clubs, culture-specific clubs, and political clubs. OCC has its own student newspaper, The Coast Report, and a literary magazine, Orange Coast Review.

Orange Coast College has wireless connectivity on campus. The network covers non-instructional areas where students gather, and outdoor instructional areas.

Other student services provide by OCC include study skills workshops, walk-in academic counseling, a student health center, and the Harry & Grace Steele Children’s Center, a child care center that has been serving OCC student-parents with for 40 years.

Student Enrollment Demographics


Men’s sports teams at OCC are baseball, basketball, crew, cross country, football, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and water polo. Women’s sports are basketball, crew, cross country, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and water polo.

Many of OCC’s teams have won state championship titles, including the women’s cross country team, with 14 titles, and the women’s swim team, also with 14 titles.

The Pirates have won the Orange Empire Conference Supremacy award for 23 of the past 25 seasons and the state supremacy award three times.

The campus is proud of its athletics facilities, many of which are new or recently completed. In addition to a new state-of-the-art 49,000-square-foot Fitness Complex, football, baseball and soccer fields have undergone facelifts and synthetic turf has been installed. The OCC gymnasium hosts men’s and women’s volleyball and basketball games, and Lebard Stadium is used for soccer and football. OCC also has a swimming pool facility that host she men’s and women’s water polo teams and the men’s and women’s swim and diving teams.


  • “College Central Network Services.” College Central – Job Search Resources and Employer Services. Orange Coast College. Web. 19 May 2011.
  • Coast Report Online : Serving Orange Coast College since 1948. Orange Coast College. Web. 19 May 2011.
  • “College Central Network Services.” College Central – Job Search Resources and Employer Services. Orange Coast College. Web. 19 May 2011.
  • Orange Coast College. Orange Coast College. Web. 19 May 2011.

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