About the College
Allan Hancock College, founded in 1920 as Santa Maria Junior College, is one of the
112 California public community colleges. As the only college in the Allan Hancock
Joint Community College District, it serves all of northern Santa Barbara County,
a portion of eastern San Luis Obispo County, and part of Ventura County, spanning
an area of more than 3,000 square miles. The district's service area has approximately
300,000 residents who enjoy California living at its best. The area has a mild climate,
with temperatures ranging from 55 to 85 degrees year-round, and boasts nearby sunny
beaches, mountains, forests, farmlands and crisp, clean air. A wide variety of cultural
and recreational activities are available, and there are also many award-winning wineries
in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. The area's economy is based on retail,
agriculture and light manufacturing. The college district includes Santa Maria, Orcutt,
Lompoc, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Guadalupe, New Cuyama, Cuyama, Solvang, Santa Ynez,
Buellton, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Casmalia and parts of San Luis Obispo and Ventura
The college's main campus is located on the California Central Coast in Santa Maria,
halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Santa Maria is adjacent to the coastal
cities of Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach. Satellite centers include
the Lompoc Valley Center, opened in 1999; the Solvang Center, opened in 2000 to better
serve the residents of the Santa Ynez Valley; and the Vandenberg Air Force Base Center,
which serves active duty military personnel stationed at the base, in addition to
other residents of the Lompoc Valley. The college also provides classes at other locations
in the region.
In every sense, Allan Hancock College is a college for the community. More than 98
percent of its students come from the local area. It offers opportunities for those
who want to complete the first two years of a bachelor's degree, earn an associate
degree, prepare for a career, upgrade their skills, or simply learn for the love of
it. Because it offers so much to so many, its course offerings are wide and varied.
Enrollment in the college's credit curriculum is approximately 11,500 students per
semester, while Community Education serves more than 5,500 students each semester.
Credit students enroll in more than 1,300 courses offered in nearly 150 fields of
study via 12 academic departments.
Approximately 1,300 faculty, staff, and students are employed by the district, making
the college one of the 12 largest employers in Santa Barbara County, and the fifth
largest in northern Santa Barbara County. Its economic impact on the community is
more than $200 million annually.
The California Community College system serves more than 2.9 million students and
represents the largest system of higher education in the world. Visit their website for more information.
Outstanding Educational Opportunities
Allan Hancock College offers a wealth of science, math, engineering, architecture,
English, computer science, art, music and dance programs. Additional programs include:
Viticulture/Enology --- one of only three community college-based wine grape growing and winemaking programs
in California with an on-campus vineyard
Distance Learning --- the fastest growing group of classes at the college, currently offering nearly
300 courses that can be taken online
Basic Law Enforcement Academy --- inaugurated in 1968 and drawing recruits statewide
Firefighter Academy --- trains individuals for city, county, state, national and volunteer fire suppression
Emergency Medical Services Academy --- the first, and one of only two, community-college based academies of its type
Nursing programs --- in a ladder approach, students can become certified nursing assistants, then
licensed vocational nurses, and then registered nurses
Computer and traditional animation program --- second to none on the Central Coast, the program uses state of the art facilities
to provide students with training in cutting-edge industry techniques
Film and video production program --- highly respected, the program continues a three-decades-long tradition of teaching
the latest film-making techniques
Welding, blacksmithing and ornamental iron programs --- the college has the only accredited ornamental iron program in the country
Bachelor Degree Opportunities
The purpose of Allan Hancock College's University Programs is to promote bachelor's
degrees that residents can access locally. Working closely with the four-year universities,
Allan Hancock College provides all the required lower-division courses. Bachelor degree
programs are available at the college's Santa Maria campus and at other university
satellite locations in Santa Maria. Available bachelor degree options include:
University of La Verne --- offers bachelor's degrees in psychology; business administration; public administration;
child development; health administration; organizational management; and liberal studies
Antioch University --- offers liberal studies degrees in applied psychology; entrepreneurship and multimedia
communications; and child, family and society
Park University --- offers degrees in criminal justice administration; management/computer information
systems; and management/human resources
Brandman University/Chapman University System --- offers degrees in applied studies; criminal justice; early childhood development;
legal studies; liberal studies (multiple subject teaching emphasis); organizational
leadership; psychology; behavioral science; and sociology
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University --- offers degrees in professional aeronautics; and technical management
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo --- also offers a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies in conjunction with
Allan Hancock College
As part of the college's 75th anniversary in 1995, the college selected, from among
thousands of past students, 75 they considered distinguished alumni. In 2000, the
college selected 80 more such alumni as part of its 80th anniversary. The list of
distinguished alumni includes actors, athletes, coaches, artists, scientists and more.
View more info here.
The result of the college's emphasis on students is evident in their satisfaction
with Allan Hancock College. When asked, 90 percent of students surveyed in 2008 said
were pleased with their overall experience at Allan Hancock College. More than 87
percent of those surveyed rated the quality of instruction at the college as excellent
or good, and 83 percent said they felt safe on campus.
The college challenges its students to excel in every way. In return, Hancock students
consistently enjoy one of the best, if not the best, acceptance rate to University
of California and California State University campuses, including Cal Poly-San Luis
Obispo and UCSB.
Athletic Success --- Go Bulldogs!
Each semester, Allan Hancock College scholar-athletes are named to the Western State
Conference all academic team for maintaining top grades while competing on intercollegiate
athletic teams. The college has a strong tradition of winning football and baseball
teams, and also fields teams in men's and women's basketball, men's and women's track
and field, men's and women's soccer, men's golf, women's cross-country, women's softbal,
women's swimming, and women's volleyball.
Allan Hancock College is the home of the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts, a unique institution which provides professional theatre year-round in three theater
venues while training acting and technical artisans for careers in the theatre. The
two-year program is the only one of its kind in the nation offered by a community
college. PCPA fully integrates its resident artists into the studios, shops and classrooms,
providing each student with direct mentorship experiences in their areas of specialization. Students
learn from and, most importantly, learn with working professionals. PCPA also maintains
a vigorous education and outreach program, bringing performances to more than 30,000
K-12 students from Ventura to Paso Robles each year. The outreach program has been
honored by the California State Senate and State Assembly for its many years of dedication
to bringing the arts to students in the schools.
Facilities AND TECHNOLOGY Enhancement
In June 2006, the residents of the Allan Hancock Joint Community College District
voted to pass Measure I, a $180 million bond measure to fund facility and technology
improvements at Allan Hancock College. Bond funds helped complete the new Community
Education and Science buildings in 2007. Ground was broken in May 2010 for the new
Student Services Center, which will provide "one-stop" shopping for students accessing
admissions, counseling, assessment, transfer services, learning assistance and more. Other
upcoming projects to be funded from Measure I monies include construction of a new public
safety training complex, children's center addition, fine arts building, and upgrades
to physical education and industrial technology facilities. Technology projects such
as replacement of the college’s antiquated mainframe system and infrastructure and
instructional equipment upgrades are also being funded by Measure I.
The passage of Bond Measure I, along with two statewide propositions in 2002 and 2004,
allowed the college to embark on the largest campus building campaign since the 1960s.
With funds from the 2004 passage of Proposition 55, Allan Hancock College constructed
the new Science building. The 44,302 square-foot, $15.7 million complex replaced inadequate,
40-year-old labs and classrooms with modern and expanded learning spaces. Modernization
of two other buildings within the science complex was also achieved. The facility
also includes high-tech spaces for the health sciences program, including nursing
education, that were located in various off-campus buildings and leased space.
Proposition 47, approved in November 2002, provided funding for a new Community Education
building, an 18,482 square-foot facility that replaced two condemned structures. The
$5.75 million project began in November 2005 with completion in summer 2007. This
project consolidated into one building all of the administrative and instructional
space for community education programs such as Adult Basic Education (ABE), short-term
vocational, senior classes and ESL.
Funding for a $9.1 million modernization and expansion of the Santa Maria campus Learning
Resources Center was also provided through Proposition 47. In January 2005, the project
began with renovation of part of the existing space and construction of a new, two-story
addition. The original structure was built in 1966, and expanded in 1976 to 23,611
square feet. The new, 20,546 square foot, addition contains the tutorial center, writing
center, open computer labs, faculty and staff offices, art gallery, teacher learning
center, multimedia services center, meeting rooms and distance learning classrooms.
The renovated library space reopened in March 2006; the addition was completed in
fall 2006. Measure I funding was also part of this project.
In 2002, the college launched a $4 million capital campaign to enhance facilities
on the Santa Maria campus. Part of that campaign included the remodel and expansion
of the Student Center.
In 2000, the college opened its new Solvang Center, a move that offers greater access
to its district members from the Santa Ynez Valley.
To better serve students in the Lompoc Valley, in 1999 the college opened its $22
million Lompoc Valley Center on 156 prime acres overlooking the valley. This modern
facility features state of the art technology to enhance classroom instruction and
Additional facilities built and/or improved using Measure I funds include the expanded
Early Childhood Studies building on the Santa Maria campus. Opened to students in
January 2013, the facility combines both children's centers into one location, and
provides modern teaching and learning spaces for childrens and students enrolled in
the ECS program.
The new Student Services and Administration buildings will be completed in October
2013, with move-in of the various constituencies occurring October-December 2013.
The new building A wil consolidate all student services, currently scattered around
campus in various buildings, into one location.
Also under construction is the state-of-the-art Public Safety Training Complex at
the AHC Lompoc Valley Center. Completion is expeced in late fall 2013, with spring
2014 classes being offered in the new facility in January. The complex includes an
administration/classroom building, six-story fire training tower, city grids, scenario
village, shooting range, high-speed EVOC, confined space/trench rescue facility, running
track and gym, and other accompanying outbuildings and equipment.
Finally, a new Industrial Technology building in under construction on the Santa Maria
campus. Its construction displaced the existing running track and football practice
field. In a domino effect, a new baseball field was constructed across College Drive
adjacent to the softball field so that a new track and football practice field could
be built on the existing baseball field location. Also being installed are new soccer
fields. The new baseball field opened in January 2013. The remaining athletic fields
are scheduled for completion in October 2013. Completion of the new Industrial Technology
building is expected in late 2013 with the goal of holding spring 2014 classes in
the new facility.
Top of Page