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Our Story

Our Past

In 1915, on a cool, fall morning in Southern California, promise, possibility and community pride found a new home in what would become the educational heart of Santa Ana. With one building, 24 students and 11 professors, Santa Ana Junior College opened its doors on the grounds of Santa Ana High School. Set on a bright course to awaken academic dreams and bold hopes for the future, it was ready to make its mark. That was a century ago. 

Our Present

Today, Santa Ana College, known affectionately as SAC among alumni, students, staff, supporters and Southern Californians alike, has emerged as the region’s community college of choice, a reliable local partner and leader in four-year transfers, known for its excellence, student advancement and access to affordable academic opportunities.

Repeatedly recognized as one of the top associate degree producers in the nation by Community College Week, our 65-acre campus at 17th and Bristol and our three educational centers offer an affordable, diverse curriculum and nationally-recognized certificate and degree programs to nearly 30,000 students, from near and far. Thanks to our unique International Student Program, we provide a gateway for cultural engagement and educational access for our global community. 

SAC is an extraordinary place where ambitious students prepare to share their ideas and talents with the world. From medical doctors, doctoral candidates and decorated naval officers to leading educators, top lawyers and leaders of industries of all kinds, SAC has worked hard to earn its position as a premier educational stepping stone. Students with varied goals and professional pursuits pass through our doors, from high school graduates seeking their future to professionals looking to accelerate their careers through continuing education, and entry-level workers pursuing State-approved workforce training. 

The roots from which we have grown are strong; the founding visionaries of SAC knew we would need their trailblazing spirits to push boundaries and break new ground to develop programs that would fuel the workforce and the world for years to come. From our Orange County Regional Sheriff’s Training Program and Fire Academy—the first Accredited Regional Fire Academy in California—to our Digital Media Center, one of the largest in the community college system, and our sought-after Career Technical Education certificate program, which supplies the community with high-demand business and technical specialists including office, computer maintenance and repair professionals—SAC has always had its finger on the pulse of what employers and our community needs to compete and grow.  

Since our humble, but bold beginning as a Santa Ana Unified School District partner, to our current Rancho Santiago Community College District connection, our dedicated administrators and educators have remained steadfast in building a culture that rests firmly on a foundation of knowledge, curiosity and a thirst for more. More opportunity. More knowledge. More accomplishments.

Our Future

With the next 100 years in our sights, we are committed more than ever, to stay one step ahead of the future. We’re developing a STEM Center (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to meet the labor needs of tomorrow, raising funds for our Centennial Scholarship Campaign to make a college degree in every home within reach, and we’re expanding our campus to welcome a growing number of tomorrow’s leaders. 

We’ll achieve our goals the way we always have: by nurturing a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration, pursuing and pushing educational boundaries and developing forward-thinking opportunities that enrich and elevate our community, Southern California, and our world. 

As we celebrate the past and elevate the future, we know that our tomorrow is full of incredible promise, extraordinary possibilities and beaming pride, Don pride. Join us as we celebrate. 

Santa Ana College. Join the Future.