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MiraCosta Celebrates

75 Years

MiraCosta College has a lot to celebrate! Over the past 75 years, MiraCosta has served hundreds of thousands of students and has expanded its course offerings from 16 in 1934 to more than 500 today.

MiraCosta College History 1930s — the beginning

In 1932, when a furnished house in Oceanside rented for around $13 a month and hamburger sold for 10 cents a pound, talk of establishing a community college in North County started. Though the idea was initially rejected, it soon became clear that an economically-shaken Oceanside needed a way to provide local students with a college education without having to leave home. In 1934, the Oceanside-Carlsbad Union High School District board voted to establish a community college, to be located in one wing of Oceanside High School. Known then as the Oceanside-Carlsbad Junior College Department of the Oceanside High School District, the school opened on September 3, 1934, with 20 faculty members who taught 122 students.

1940s — the war years

In response to World War II, OceansideCarlsbad Junior College (OCJC) added a summer session and expanded its night school offerings so that students could finish their studies in a shorter period of time.The college also allowed for specially-combined classes of high school and college students. Women began taking courses that were previously unavailable to them, such as welding classes.

1950s — the fun times

Football was huge during this time, and school spirit soared. Students took part in numerous campus activities and enrollment continued to climb. In 1956, the college was officially accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. By 1959, it could accommodate 500 full-time students in classrooms adjacent to Oceanside High School. Although this was a welcome expansion, the increased enrollment put a squeeze on the high school and in 1960 administrators began looking for a new permanent home for the college.

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MiraCosta College

From the President

Continued from page 1 1960s — the rebirth

MiraCosta College has a 75-year tradition of serving the north San Diego county region and transforming lives through education. Over the years hundreds of thousands of students have passed through one of MiraCosta’s campuses and have participated in our tradition of strengthening the intellectual, economic, social and cultural life of the community. The college has come a long way since its first class of 122 students enrolled at Oceanside High School in 1934.Today, we have three campuses that serve over 14,000 credit students each semester and another 8,000 in our noncredit and community Superintendent/President Francisco Rodriguez services programs. As MiraCosta grows, we stands under the Blayney Tower, a MiraCosta continue to meet the needs of our students landmark. by constructing new facilities and offering educational programs that correspond to the workforce needs of the region. Our two-year colleges, the country’s largest provider of workforce training, provide a wonderful return on investment and are recognized as an integral component of our economic recovery and vitality. As our local community college, MiraCosta’s history is part of our community’s history! We invite you to help us celebrate 75 years by visiting Watch the digital stories of alumni who graduated as far back as the 1940s, marvel at old photographs, post a message about your college experiences, or learn about our upcoming events. Better yet, sign up for a class and experience our first-rate faculty and our beautiful campuses. I am sure that you will find something invigorating, challenging and rewarding. See for yourself how MiraCosta College is reinvesting your local tax dollars into educating and serving our region. The best chapters of our college lie ahead, and I invite you to be a contributing co-author. I hope to see you on one of our campuses soon. Sincerely,

Oceanside High School in 1938. The college began in a wing of the high school, later becoming Oceanside-Carlsbad Junior College (OCJC).

The 1960s was a decade of big changes for the college, which permanently separated itself from the high school and moved to the Oceanside location where it is today. After an extensive search for the perfect property, the college moved to its present 121-acre hilltop location in 1964.The property, purchased for $575,000, was owned by renowned ice skater Sonja Henie.That same year, John MacDonald, a 1941 OCJC graduate, was named superintendent/president of the college, a position he would hold until his retirement in 1982. After the college completed its first semester, a committee was formed to find a new name for the college. Gloria Carranza, then student body president and now a MiraCosta Board of Trustees member, suggested “MiraCosta,” Spanish for “behold the coast.” The name refers to the panoramic ocean and coastal mountain views from the campus.

1970s — the growth years

MiraCosta flourished in the 1970s, and the college experienced more growth than in the four previous decades combined. Not only did the student population increase from 2,000 students in the early ‘70s to nearly 9,000 a decade later, but the number of buildings and course offerings at MiraCosta grew as well. In 1972, the college built the music and art buildings and several other minor buildings. Also in 1972, at the request of the Oceanside and Carlsbad Unified School District boards, MiraCosta agreed to take over their adult education programs, including adult high school education, English as a second language, citizenship and a variety of enrichment courses. Later in the decade, MiraCosta added an auto body repair shop, a children’s center and tennis courts. MiraCosta’s district expanded in 1976 with the addition of the areas served by San Dieguito Union High School District. Within a few months, MiraCosta began offering classes in a Solana Beach office building. It wasn’t long before the college needed larger facilities, so it leased a vacant elementary school from the Del Mar School District to use as a southern center. It was dubbed the Del Mar Shores Center.

1980s — a time of transition

Francisco C. Rodriguez, Ph.D. Superintendent/President MiraCosta Community College District



In 1980, MiraCosta purchased a 47-acre site near the San Elijo Lagoon, on Manchester Avenue in Cardiff, which would one day serve the southern portion of the district. In 1988,

1941 OCJC welding student Eleanor Hagen appears on the cover of Newsweek as women train for jobs during the war years.

1955 1959 OCJC receives its first accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

National attention and a visit from Life magazine comes as 72-year-old sophomore Irene Horvath is elected Homecoming Queen.

1960-61 Voters approve a separate junior college district and a bond to finance the construction of a new campus.

after much negotiation with the Coastal Commission, the San Elijo Campus opened its doors; the first semester, nearly 2,500 credit students enjoyed classes at the beautiful campus—1,000 more than were expected. On the Oceanside Campus, a new state-of-theart theatre opened its doors in May of 1981, and the construction didn’t stop there. A spacious 25,000-square-foot student center, complete with a magnificent ocean view, opened in time for the start of fall classes in 1990. The decade also saw a change in leadership at MiraCosta College. After nearly 20 years of serving as MiraCosta’s superintendent/president, John MacDonald retired in 1982 and H. Deon Holt became the college’s new leader. By the end of the decade, MiraCosta had nearly 11,000 credit and noncredit students taking classes.

1990s — technology takes over

In the early 1990s, construction began on a 33,600 square-foot, $8 million building on the Oceanside Campus that would house a science complex; computer labs for math, English and foreign languages; engineering technology and open student use; as well as a high-tech teaching/learning center. During this time the district began to build the fiber-based network that would create the infrastructure to connect MiraCosta to the Internet. In 1997, for the first time, students were also able to take classes online. MiraCosta's Adult Learning Center opened in 1992 at a remodeled site on Horne Street in downtown Oceanside. This center housed MiraCosta’s noncredit programs. MiraCosta also welcomed a new superintendent/president; in 1994, Deon Holt retired and Tim Dong took leadership of the college, a position he would hold until 2004.

to its current location on Mission Avenue in Oceanside and was renamed the Community Learning Center. In 2002, a new Child Development Center opened on the Oceanside Campus, which provides both academic instruction to students and child care services to student, staff and community families. The $13 million, 48,000-square-foot Library and Information Hub opened on the Oceanside Campus in 2003. In November 2005, MiraCosta, in partnership with Genentech and other local biotech firms, opened the biotech facility, an impressive 3,500-square-foot, stateof-the-art building designated as a Center of Excellence in bioprocessing by the U.S. Department of Labor. Across the street from the biotechnology facility, a new Horticulture Complex was dedicated in August, 2007. In the past nine years, MiraCosta has also invested in the arts, and now boasts a beautifully remodeled theatre.The latest addition to the Oceanside Campus is the expansion to the Creative Arts Complex, which includes five separate buildings and houses the campuses art and music programs. Within this complex is the Creative Arts Building, measuring 21,600-squarefeet and rehearsal spaces, state-

of -the -art recording studios, a 150-seat performance hall, art studios and a rooftop open-air studio with sail-like canopy. Located next door is the Concert Hall, which features seating for 400 and provides additional performance space for the school’s music department. On the San Elijo Campus, students are enjoying the new Student Center, which opened in 2008. MiraCosta also saw many changes in leadership during this current decade. In 2004,Tim Dong retired and Victoria Muñoz Richart took over as superintendent/president. In March, 2009, MiraCosta welcomed new Superintendent/President Francisco Rodriguez . MiraCosta continues to make history as the campus grows in both size and enrollment. Help us continue to celebrate 75 years of transforming lives through education—visit to read alumni stories, share your own story and to learn more about upcoming events.

2000s — marked by change

In the 2000s, MiraCosta's three campuses continue to change and grow. The college has completed several large construction projects that put it on the map for its technological and arts offerings and enrollment has reached a new high. In 2000, the Adult Learning Center relocated

1962 The 121-acre site of the current Oceanside Campus is purchased from renowned figure skater Sonja Henie for $575,000.

1964 John MacDonald is appointed the first superintendent/ president of the college district and the new campus opens to more than 600 students – a 25% increase over the previous semester. Above: OCJC’s paper announces the opening of the new Oceanside Campus.

1965 The college gets a new name – MiraCosta College

1966 The MiraCosta College Foundation, under the leadership of prominent Oceanside businessman Elmer Glaser, was established to raise funds for the college.

Students Helping Students Student government associations are known for leaving gifts to the colleges they serve. Clock towers, murals and gardens are commonplace on campuses across America. The Associated Student Government (ASG) at MiraCosta, however, recently gave a unique gift to the college—a gift that will help students achieve their educational goals. While the enrollment fee at MiraCosta College is just $26 per unit, the high cost of textbooks is often an unexpected expenditure and potential obstacle for students—a cost that greatly exceeds both tuition and fees combined. To address this ongoing need, the ASG has issued a community challenge: raise $250,000 to create an endowment fund for MiraCosta’s Textbook

Assistance Program, which provides textbook vouchers for students.The endowment will be a lasting legacy at the college—one of students helping students. “Time and again we see that even modest scholarships encourage and strengthen a student’s determination to succeed,” says Linda Fogerson, executive director of the MiraCosta College Foundation. “The fact that our own student government initiated this challenge shows true vision and leadership.” The ASG began the challenge by donating $25,000 on behalf of the student body, and MiraCosta Associated Student Government leaders stand with Superintendent/ President Dr. Francisco Rodriguez and MiraCosta vice presidents Jim Austin, are now challenging Dick Robertson and Pam Deegan. MiraCosta faculty and staff to match it. The the Associated Student Government, the MiraCosta MiraCosta Foundation followed College Foundation, college faculty and staff, and the suit by contributing $100,000 community exemplifies the college’s recognition of toward the student-led effort the need for textbook affordability. It also highlights and is challenging local the collaboration and dedication the college, residents, community leaders community and students have to student success,” says and businesses to contribute ASG President Aaron Hoffer. as well. Businesses such as For more information or to make a contribution to Douglas E. Barnhart, Genentech the Textbook Challenge, visit and Life Technologies have or call the foundation office at (760) 795-6777. already stepped up with sizable donations. “The partnership between

Who are these lovely ladies?

If you know one of these women featured in MiraCosta’s 1946 annual, send us an e-mail at, and win a MiraCosta 75th anniversary t-shirt!

1975 The areas served by the San Dieguito Union High School District are annexed to MiraCosta’s district. A temporary center is established in Solana Beach.

Celebrate 75 years of transforming lives through education—visit to read alumni stories, share your own story, and to learn more about upcoming events.

1980 1988 A 47-acre site in Cardiff across from the San Elijo Lagoon is purchased to construct a campus to serve students in the San Dieguito area.

The San Elijo Campus opens to 2,500 students – nearly 1,000 more than were expected to enroll.

1988-2008 2009 This is a period of expansion for the college – several new buildings are constructed on the Oceanside Campus including the Student Center in 1990 and the new library in 2003, and the Community Learning Center opened on Mission Avenue in Oceanside in 2000.

The college celebrates it’s 75th anniversary and has it’s highest enrollment to date.

75th Anniversary Insert  

A newspaper insert focusing on MiraCosta College's 75th anniversary.

75th Anniversary Insert  

A newspaper insert focusing on MiraCosta College's 75th anniversary.