1915 to 1999
Rancho Santiago Community College District is one of the oldest community college districts in the state.
Santa Ana College
In 1915, Santa Ana Junior College opened its doors to 25 students as a department of Santa Ana High School. It was the second junior college founded in Orange County.
An earthquake in 1933 damaged the Santa Ana High School building, prompting the campus move to North Main Street where it remained until 1947. A bond issue passed in 1945, paving the way for development of a 48-acre campus at the corner of 17th and Bristol Streets.
A new multi-college district
In 1971, Santa Ana College officially separated from Santa Ana Unified School District to form the Rancho Santiago Community College District. In addition to Santa Ana, the district serves Anaheim Hills, Garden Grove, Orange and Villa Park. In 1997, the college district’s Board of Trustees voted to become a multi-college district.
The multi-college district includes Santa Ana College, Santiago Canyon College, Centennial and Orange Continuing Education Centers, the Digital Media Center, the Orange County Regional Fire Training Center, the Orange County Sheriff's Regional Training Academy and the district operations center.
Santiago Canyon College
In response to population growth in east Orange County, the district purchased 30 acres from the Irvine Company in 1978 where Santiago Canyon College now stands. The first permanent classroom building was opened in 1985, offering comprehensive programs as well as a full range of student services such as admissions and registration, financial aid, academic advising and job placement.