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Our History

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In 1916, Sacramento City College (SCC) was founded as a department of Sacramento High School. Rare for its time, SCC was founded by a woman (Belle Cooledge) and with an all-female class as its first graduates, the college began with the spirit of inclusion at its very heart. With more than a century of serving students under its belt, SCC is the seventh oldest community college in California and the oldest institution of higher learning in Sacramento.

“My wish for you all is that you may take the spirit of endeavor and desire to succeed which we have watched grow in you, to your future undertakings, and that happiness and success may be your reward.” –Belle Cooledge, Dean of Women, The Pioneer 1931 

First known as Sacramento Junior College, Cooledge founded the college to provide a safe, welcoming place for students to learn the basics for a college education, and to be a gathering spot for extra-curricular activities that would bring the community together. With this founding principle, Sacramento Junior College opened in 1916 on the top floor of Sacramento High School with 46 students and 16 part-time instructors.

The college eventually found its permanent home at the corner of Sutterville and Freeport where it opened its doors to students in 1926. 

Today, we continue our proud history as a pioneer in the region for diversity, quality education and community partnership.