The California Community Colleges system is made up of 113 two-year public colleges that serve 2.1 million students every year. That makes it the largest system of higher education in the world, which is pretty impressive. At a California community college, you can take a single course or a series of courses in more than 175 different fields of study. These courses can lead you to an associate degree, transfer to a four-year college or university, or a Career Technical Education (CTE)/vocational certificate.


Due to the success of these programs, the California Community Colleges system has become the single largest provider of workforce training in the nation. California community colleges currently educate 70 percent of the state’s nurses and 80 percent of the state’s firefighters, law enforcement personnel and emergency medical technicians. CTE/vocational programs excel at getting you fast entry or advancement in these and other career fields, including:

  • Green technology
  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Biotechnology
  • Computer science
  • Electronics
  • Automotive
  • Engineering
  • Accounting
  • Health care
  • Broadcasting


Many California community colleges also offer English as a Second Language for non-native English speakers who want to learn the language or improve their English skills. Students should contact their community college's admission office or go to the college's website for a complete listing and description of available programs.

Are you interested in transferring from a California community college to a four-year college or university? 

Starting your higher education at a California community college is a great way to take your general education and major preparation courses at a lower cost, and then transfer to a four-year college or university to complete your bachelor’s degree.

Community college offers many ways to prepare you to transfer to a four-year college or university. One way is the new Associate Degree for Transfer program (AA-T/AS-T), which makes it easier for students to transfer between the California Community Colleges and California State University (CSU) systems. This program gives you the opportunity to complete both your associate and bachelor’s degrees in only 120 units. For more information on the Associate Degree for Transfer, visit ADegreeWithAGuarantee.com.

Additionally, thanks to an agreement signed in March 2015 between the California Community Colleges and nine historically black colleges and universities, California community college students who complete certain academic requirements are now guaranteed transfer to a participating historically black college and university campus. For more information, please visit the HBCU Transfer website.



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