LA Sparks

Pasadena City College

Pasadena City College (commonly known by the abbreviation PCC) is a community college located on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, California, USA. PCC is the third largest community college campus in the United States.

The school attracts students from throughout southern California, enrolling a large percentage of student from outside of the bounds of the Pasadena Area Community College District, established in 1966. The district includes the cities of Pasadena, South Pasadena, Altadena, San Marino, Temple City, Burbank, La Canada Flintridge, Arcadia, Sierra Madre, and portions of Rosemead and El Monte.

The sports teams are known as the Lancers, and the school colors are cardinal red and gold.

As of 2006, the college claims that over one million individuals have taken classes at PCC.


PCC was founded in 1924 as Pasadena Junior College. In 1954, Pasadena Junior College merged with another junior college, John Muir College, to become Pasadena City College. In 1966, voters approved the creation of the Pasadena Area Junior College District. The name was subsequently changed to the Pasadena Area Community College District.

PCC is widely regarded as one of the best community colleges in the state, ranking first in four out of six categories among comparable colleges in a 2007 statewide assessment. The rate of students who transfer to four-year universities is ranked second after Santa Monica College. The math department has won the AMATYC community college mathematics competition numerous times. (PCC is currently the defending champion.) The music department provides the honor band for the Rose Parade and is the host of the annual Band Fest. Until recently, its applied music staff included John Dearman of the L.A. Guitar Quartet. The Visual Arts Division has a celebrated annual artist-in-residence program, a sculpture garden, an active gallery program featuring professional artists, and a high transfer rate to specialized art and design schools, including the nearby Art Center College of Design. The campus has a number of exceptional physical facilities: PCC is one of the few community colleges with its own observatory.

Pasadena City College has a proud and long history of teaching ethnic studies at the community college level. These include courses in Asian American studies (His 41, Soc 41, Psych 41, English 52), Chicano studies, African American studies, and American Indian studies.

As of fall 2004 there are 24,932 credit students and 3,931 noncredit students. The demographics of the students are: 35.9% Hispanic, 32.9% Asian or Pacific Islander, 19.2% White, 6.5% Black, and 0.7% American Indian.

The Fall 2006 enrollment was expected to be approximately 29,000.

Radio station KPCC 89.3, a member station of National Public Radio, airs from PCC. KPCC's main output is talk radio. During the California budget crisis of 2003, PCC found itself in the enviable position of having a budget surplus and an A+ loan rating.

PCC hosts an monthly antique and specialty item flea market which occures on the first Sunday of every month on campus.

In 1972 and 1973, the women's badminton team won the AIAW national all-collegiate championships.

Campus safety

PCC employs more police cadets than any other police agency in the United States. Its campus police is made of six full-time officers, a detective, a lieutenant, the chief, five dispatchers, and 85 campus cadets, most of whom are PCC students. The college utilizes the Pasadena Police Department when PCCPD resources are not available. Parking technicians, transportation services, and HAZMAT are employed by the campus police.

Despite the PCC Campus Police being a POST certified agency, the Pasadena Area Community College District Board of Trustees does not allow campus police officers to carry firearms. The main reason for this policy is that the department has direct radio contact with the Pasadena Police Department. Student polls are mixed between supporting and opposing arming campus police. In February 2008, the PCC Associated Students responding to several incidents voted unanimously in support of and recommended to the Board of Trustees to allow Campus Police Officers who are POST Certified Peace Officers to carry handguns. The Associated Students noted several on campus incidents including the stabbing of a police dispatcher, the assault of a professor with a gun in a classroom and the armed robbery of a student in the parking structure with a gun as reasons for their resolution. Additionally recent campus shootings on colleges and universities across the nation were cited. Currently, PCC Campus police officers carry batons and pepper sprays.

Fire services for the campus are provided by the Pasadena Fire Department Station 34, located on 1360 E. Del Mar Blvd., which is 2-3 blocks west of the PCC campus.


According to the California Postsecondary Education Commission in 2003, 465 PCC students transferred to the University of California system and 1,160 PCC students transferred to the California State University system. PCC has the highest number of transfers to the California State University system.

According to the Public Policy Institute of California, PCC's transfer rate is still the second highest in California, with 1816 students transferred during the 2005-2006 academic year, behind Santa Monica College's 2234 students.

Administration/board of trustees

PCC is governed by a nine member board of trustees, made of the President, a student trustee, and seven members each representing an area of the Pasadena Area Community College District. Seven members are elected by the people of the seven trustee areas, and the student trustee is elected by the student body. The President serves as the secretary for the Board of Trustees and is the chief administrative officer of the district

The current president of PCC is Dr. Paulette J. Perfumo, who has held the position since August 2007.

State Senator Jack Scott (1987-1995) and Dr. James Kossler (1995-2007) are the only President Emeriti of the college.


In 2000, a campus dispute centered on Irv Rubin of the Jewish Defense League, who came to speak on campus. While most students supported his right to free speech, many faculty felt he should not have come.

On March 20, 2003, on the day the United States launched Operation Iraqi Freedom, many PCC students led by the Students for Social Justice, protested on campus against the war. Protesters went through the administration building requesting students to join their cause. Three students were arrested by campus police.

In October 30 2006, PCC hosted an event in which Massachusetts Senator and U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry made controversial remarks.

On March 7 2007, demonstrators from Philadelphia-based Repent America demonstrated on campus, leading to tensions between demonstrators and some students. They were offended by a sign that said "Thousands of ex-homosexuals have experienced the life-changing love of Jesus Christ" and by voiced statements by the Repent America participants that Gays and Lesbians as well as Jews, Muslims, Buddhist, Catholics as well as single mothers were going to burn in hell.

Some PCC students, who were journalism students and were staff members of the campus newspaper, PCC Courier, were involved in the May Day melee at MacArthur Park.

On June 10, 2007, a non-student stabbed a campus dispatcher at the campus police station in the evening hours. This led to campus police officers pleading for firearms. The dispatcher returned to work a month later.

Students and Faculty held a rally in support of the Jena Six on September 20, 2007.

In October 2007, PCC faculty voted to break their longstanding ties with the California Teachers Association. The faculty is now represented by the Pasadena City College Faculty Association.

Lonnie Teper's anual NPC Junior California Bodybuilding and Figure Championship is held in Sexton Auditorium.


Many facilities on campus have undergone major renovations, mostly replacing parking lots. The Alumni Commons, the Aquatic Center, the Boone Sculpture Garden, and the Galloway Plaza have all replaced what was once parking lots on campus. These were completed in 1999.

The current stadium, Robinson Stadium, is named for Jackie and Mack Robinson, both of whom were PCC alumni. The stadium was completed in 1999 after a renovation to move the stadium from a vertical position to a horizontal position. Recently, Robinson Stadium's surface has changed to SprinTurf and the track was converted to all-weather track. Besides PCC athletics, Marshall Fundamental Secondary School, Pasadena High School, and Blair International Baccalaureate School uses Robinson Stadium for some high school home football games due to lack of resources on the respective campus fields.

In 2003, voters approved a bond measure that will improve the facilities for about $150 million by 2010. A significant portion of these funds are earmarked for the construction of a new building to house the college's art and music departments.

A new 4 1/2 floor parking structure (Lot 5) and a new bus parking area was completed in 2005. During construction, PCC had a temporary parking lot (Lot K), located at Colorado Blvd. and Kinneloa Ave.

In 2007, many services at PCC have relocated pending demolition of their previous facilities. These include the college bookstore, Student Affairs, Associated Students, the student business services, the campus police and the offices of the school newspaper, The Courier. By July 2007, most services have relocated to temporary campus locations pending demolition of the former bookstore and renovation of the campus center.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the start of the construction of the new Industrial and Technology building, the new Campus Center, and Bookstore took place on October 17, 2007. Completion is set for early 2009.

PCC has two offsite facilities, the Child Development Center and the Community Education Center. The Child Development Center, located one block west of the PCC campus, is a childcare center for children of PCC students.

The Community Education Center, located two miles east of the main PCC campus, is an offsite facility where vocational training, some ESL courses, American Citizenship (known as "Americanization") courses, and PCC's high school diploma program take place. A shuttle service from the main campus is available to the Community Education Center.

PCC offers courses that can be taken at nearby high schools:

Courses are also offered at the Armory Center for the Arts in downtown Pasadena.

PCC's baseball team uses Jackie Robinson Field, a baseball field near the Rose Bowl, for practices and home games.

Notable departments

The Product Design Department at Pasadena City College is a premier community college program and is one of only two product design programs in the California Community College System. The curriculum prepares students with a portfolio to enter the industrial design profession as an entry level designer. The courses develop a broad range of required skills including an understanding of the creative process with emphasis on function, environmental and social concerns, and the art form. Students enroll from around the world to prepare portfolios, many for application for four year colleges. The program is the #1 transfer program to Art Center College of Design and many other prestigious industrial design programs nationwide.

The Emergency Medical Technician Program is one of the top ranked in California and includes the Expanded Scope training. Students who complete the program are eligible to take the National Registry Exam

International students

International students are required to show proof of English ability before being accepted into the school. Students can demonstrate their English ability either by taking the TOEFL test, or by completing a top level ESL program at an ESL school in the USA.


PCC offers many options of transportation. Students can park at PCC lots for $2 per day or $64 per semester.

PCC is accessible by bus, including five Metro Local lines, Metro Rapid, Foothill Transit, and some Pasadena ARTS buses. PCC provides a shuttle to and from the Allen Metro Gold Line station.

Notable alumni


External links

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