With the approval of voters residing within Campbell Union and Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School districts and the Santa Clara Unified School District, West Valley Joint Community College District was established in January 1963. In early 1964, a 143-acre site in Saratoga was purchased for what would become the permanent campus for West Valley College and the District offices. The second campus in the College District, Mission College, began with the acquisition of twelve acres in Santa Clara and eventually grew to be a 164-acre site. Mission College was temporarily located at Jefferson Intermediate School from 1975 to 1979. With the completion of the first building phase in the fall of 1979, the new Mission College campus opened its doors to students.
In September 1985, the name of the District was changed from the West Valley Joint Community College District to West Valley-Mission Community College District (WVMCCD) to reflect the status of Mission College. Since their inception, the two colleges have become major providers of credit and non-credit education in the Santa Clara Valley. Though each college has developed its own character, style, programs and atmosphere, both are committed to academic excellence. The faculty and staff on each campus are dedicated to assisting students to meet their academic goals, vocational interests, and special needs. Every semester over 20,000 students enroll in courses at the colleges. Thousands of others take online, off-campus, or non-credit courses and seminars offered through a variety of programs. These programs are aimed at meeting the training and retraining needs of the people of Silicon Valley.
WVMCCD is part of California’s public community college system of 112 colleges in 72 districts across the state, which serves more than 2.5 million students and represents the largest system of higher education in the world. Community colleges are political subdivisions authorized by the Constitution of the State of California. A seven-member Board of Trustees governs the District. The voters of the communities served by the District elect Board members to office. The Board of Trustees is responsible for the overall direction and control of the District so that it best meets the needs of the community it serves.
The West Valley-Mission Community College District has a population of approximately 350,000 people residing within its boundaries. Specifically, the District serves the town of Los Gatos, the cities of Campbell, Monte Sereno, Santa Clara, and Saratoga, and a portion of the city of San Jose.* Information about each service area is presented below:
San Jose is the largest city in Santa Clara County, the third largest city in California and the 11th largest city in the U.S. San Jose is ranked consistently by Fortune Magazine as one of the 10 best U.S. cities for business, is the “epicenter of information technology with about 1,500 of the nation’s 2,500 largest electronics firms” (Fortune Magazine), and is the U.S.’s fastest growing major export area. San Jose also offers a wide variety of exciting cultural, recreational, educational, and entertainment opportunities.
is at the center of Silicon Valley and is in a strategic regional location convenient to freeways, airports, railroads, expressways, light rail, and other public transportation. Santa Clara is home to thousands of well-educated, highly skilled workers and has an employment base of 135,370. Santa Clara has a long tradition of quality public services and a well-maintained infrastructure. The City has owned and operated its own electric, water and sewer utilities for over a century. Low business taxes, moderate real estate prices, and low crime rates are key components to its economic prosperity.
Saratoga is situated at the entrance to an historic pass in the redwood-forested Santa Cruz Mountains. From the mid-1800’s until World War II, Saratoga’s main industries were lumber and agriculture. After World War II, the character of Saratoga changed forever from agricultural to suburban. As space technology and the defense and electronics industries were established in nearby communities, Saratoga’s open land soon became more valuable for homes than it was for fruit orchards. The City of Saratoga strives to maintain the elements of its natural beauty and colorful past through careful zoning policies and historic preservation.
Los Gatos flourishes in its blend of yesterday’s charm and today’s modern lifestyles. Quaint merchant buildings house lively restaurants, coffeehouses, galleries, and boutiques while resplendent Victorians surround the downtown’s historic center. Los Gatos strives to give local businesses excellent opportunities to grow and prosper while preserving its small town charm.
Campbell is located in the West Valley of Santa Clara County. Initially a small farming community with three major canneries, Campbell has grown into a community where tradition and progress combine in a successful blend. Today, major industries include retail and professional services.
Monte Sereno, the smallest city of the West Valley-Mission Community College District service area, is a community of approximately 1.56 square miles located in the southwestern portion of Santa Clara County at the base of the Santa Cruz mountains between City of Saratoga and the Town of Los Gatos. The all residential community of approximately incorporated as a city on May 14, 1957.
*The District also includes very small portions of Cupertino and Sunnyvale
Source: Census 2000, California Department of Finance
Association of Bay Area Governments