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Fullerton College
Fc seal.png
321 East Chapman Avenue
Fullerton, California 92832

United States
Type Community College
Established 1913
School district North Orange County Community College District
President Sam Schauerman [1]
Number of students 22,014 [1]
Campus 83 acres (33.6 ha)
Mascot Hornet

Fullerton College is the oldest community college in continuous operation in California, having been established in 1913, when the City of Fullerton was primarily an agricultural community, which specialized in the production of citrus produce. Originally enrolling 26 students in its first year, the current enrollment is over 20,000.[2]


History 1913 to 1972

Front of the Fullerton Junior College campus, April, 1963
Interior view of Fullerton JC campus, April, 1963
Additional view of Fullerton JC campus, April, 1963
Fullerton JC Campus, modern art sculpture of the Hornet logo, April, 1963

In April, 1913, the governing board of Fullerton High School approved a motion to establish a two-year postgraduate course of study, at the high school. That enabled Delbert Brunton, who was the Fullerton High principal, to begin the new Fullerton Junior College, as the means of providing that postgraduate study. Twenty-six freshman students enrolled in that first year, with a curriculum of 10 courses. "In 1922 the college was reorganized as an independent junior college district. After holding classes on the Fullerton High School campus for its first 23 years, the college began moving to its own fourteen acre campus next door in 1936.[2]

The college's first newspaper, The Weekly Torch, was introduced in 1923, in addition to its annual Torch Magazine. The Torch newspaper was later renamed The Weekly Hornet, and has been in continuous publication since then. The first club at Fullerton Junior College, the Literary Club, was formed in its second year, followed by the Collegians and the College Woman’s Club the following year.[1]

In 1934, Superintendent of Fullerton Union High School and Fullerton Junior College Louis Plummer compiled an outline for Fullerton Junior College that would soon lead to the development of the campus as it is known today. Plummer outlined a need for 36 classrooms to accommodate an anticipated enrollment figure of more than 1,600 students by the year 1950. At the time, Fullerton Junior College was utilizing about 60% of the high school’s resources, which by 1950, would need to be dedicated solely to the high school. Later that year, the school's board of directors purchased a 14-acre (57,000 m2) parcel of land located adjacent to the high school.[2]

The first building to be completed on campus was the commerce building, now known as the Business and Computer Information Building in 1936. All plans included in the original 1935 master plan were finally realized in 1956 with the completion of the William T. Boyce Library. Additional land was later purchased incrementally until Fullerton Junior College reached its present size of 83 acres (340,000 m2)[1].

In 1965, the North Orange County Community College District (NOCCCD) was formed to oversee both Fullerton Junior College and Cypress College. Up until this point, Fullerton Junior College was still owned by Fullerton Union High School, and there was a large support for Fullerton Junior College to break away from the high school and adopt its own ownership. Later that same year, the college began acquiring the land that it occupied by buying it back from the high school. By 1972, Fullerton Junior College simply became known as Fullerton College.[1].

History 1972 to Present

Following the reorganization and ownership changes, it was decided that Fullerton Junior College should be renamed to reflect its new found independence from the high school. In 1972 the name of "Fullerton Junior College" was changed to " Fullerton College."[1]

No major construction took place on campus during the 1970s. However, in 1977 Fullerton College was designated an Orange County Historical Site. During the early 1980s, construction projects resumed. In 1982, a major signage project took place which identified major classrooms and buildings for student reference. The 2000 Building, located across Chapman Avenue, was completed the same year and currently houses a variety of programs including Counseling, Admissions & Records, the Bookstore, Academic Support Center, and Distance Education.[1]

In 1984, the California legislature passed AB 1XX which established a mandatory enrollment fee of $50 per semester. Students taking less than 6 units only paid $5 a unit, and those taking non-credit courses were exempt from fees. Until that point, students had not paid an enrollment fee and were only responsible for the cost of textbooks and any laboratory fees required for specific classes. As a result of the increase, student enrollment dropped 2,300 to 16,652.[1]

In spite of that dip in enrollment, the college continued to expand throughout the 1980s. In 1980, classes, mainly self-paced and general business, were first held in the former Wilshire Junior High School, which closed the year before. Ten years later, in 1990, the college celebrated the opening of the Plummer Parking Structure on the corner of Lemon Street and Chapman Avenue. The project was funded by the North Orange County Community College District in conjunction with the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency.[1]

During the spring of 2002, North Orange County voters passed a $239 million facilities bond measure, benefiting the North Orange County Community College District. Nearly $135 million of that bond measure was allotted to Fullerton College, and was used for renovation of current campus facilities and also to construct new facilities. On June 13, 2005, the new library inside of the LLRC was opened, and a formal dedication occurred on October 28, 2005.[1]

As the cultural make-up of Orange County continued to change, greater emphasis was placed on both issues of diversity and cultural understanding. In an effort to promote diversity, the Cadena/Transfer Center was also established in 1996. A dual-purpose center, it offers both transfer assistance and cultural resources to students, faculty, and staff.[1]

Fullerton was awarded its first Title III Hispanic Serving Institutions Grant in 1996, in the amount of $350,000. Funded by the US Department of Education, the grant was designed to enhance academic programs and student services for under-represented students. In 2002, the college received a Title V Hispanic Serving Institutions Grant, and in 2003, partnered with Santa Ana College and California State University, Fullerton for a Title V Collaborative Grant.[1]

The Office of Equity & Diversity, which was originally established in 2000, also sponsors a number of cultural events, including visits to the Museum of Tolerance, panel discussions featuring members of Gay and Lesbians Initiating Dialogue for Equality, and a presentation by Little Rock Nine member Terrence Roberts.[1]


The library first opened in 1913, in a small section of the Fullerton High School Library. The building was designed to look like a famous library in Salamanca, Spain complete with pillars, arches and wrought iron chandeliers which had been forged in the high school metal shop.

In 1929, the growth finally forced the library to move to a barn-like room which had previously functioned as the high schools girls’ gymnasium. One of the librarians of that year described how she frequently found “bats hanging from the ceiling,” in the morning. The custodian then had to catch the bats in a net and remove them, before school could start.

In 1938 Fullerton College was helped by the Works Progress Administration, to build three college buildings on the new college campus. The library then moved for the second time, when it was given space on the second floor of the new “Science Building.” That worked during World War II, when it was a virtual "small college for women." But, once the war ended, there was a population explosion in Orange County and the student body. The library became very cramped and librarians were forced to stack books and magazines on tables and chairs.

A new long-range construction project was devised to meet the needs of the ever growing student enrollment. "This time the plans included a building which would house the library on the first floor, while rooms for social science and English classes would take up the second floor." The library moved for the third time in 1957, into quarters which had been designed as much as possible “like college reading rooms at UCLA or USC.”

The library had no official name, until 1962, when it was declared to be the “William T. Boyce Library,” in honor of the man who was the dean and president from 1918, until his retirement in 1951. During the 1950s and 1960s the campus “Dress Code,” was enforced. Females were not permitted to wear slacks or shorts. Males were not permitted to wear shorts or cut-offs, and none were allowed to go barefoot on campus.[3]


Fullerton College has a faculty "tenure system which is geared toward rewarding and keeping the most valuable professors." Accordingly, the school tends to pay higher salaries than many other comparable colleges. There are 130 males and 129 females with full tenure. Not yet tenured, but on the track, are 22 males, and 19 females. Six males and eight females are not tenured or seeking tenure. Salaries for tenured faculty range from $82,929 to $105,547 (figures are for the 2007 academic year).[4][5]

Notable alumni

Notable Fullerton College alumni include:

Transfer rates

Fullerton College is one of the state's highest ranked transfer institutions in terms of total numbers of students who transfer to Universities of California (UCs) and California State Universities (CSUs) combined. Of the 109 California Community Colleges, it currently ranks:

  • 7th in terms of total numbers of students who transferred to either a UC or CSU.
  • 1st in the state in terms of numbers of students who transfer to the CSU system.
  • 25th in the state in terms of numbers of students who transfer to the UC system.
  • Fullerton College is in the top ten California community colleges in terms of overall transfers to the University of Southern California (USC).

See also


External links



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