College History

For more than 90 years, Long Beach City College (LBCC) has prepared students for success in their future studies and careers. LBCC has grown from a single building into two dynamic campuses on more than 140 acres, with 25,000 students and 1,400 full- and part-time faculty and staff. The College offers state-of-the-art, technology-rich learning environments, a broad range of academic and career technical instructional programs, and economic and workforce development programs. Students can enroll in a diverse array of associate degree and certificate programs for transfer studies, career and technical education, and personal enrichment.

As one of the largest of the 115 community colleges in California, LBCC is governed by the five locally elected members of the Long Beach Community College District Board of Trustees. The district serves the cities of Long Beach, Signal Hill, Lakewood, and Avalon. LBCC was established in 1927 as Long Beach Junior College and founded at the current site of Woodrow Wilson High School. The original LBCC building was destroyed by the 1933 Long Beach earthquake. Classes were held outside and in tents at neighboring Recreation Park until 1935, when the college moved to the site of its present-day Liberal Arts Campus, at Carson Street and Clark Avenue.

From its earliest days, the College has established traditions that are alive today, such as the mascot, Ole, and team name, Vikings. Early athletic honors included championships in wrestling, baseball, men’s and women’s swimming, and men’s basketball. The tradition of athletic excellence continues today: LBCC has earned 93 state championships, making the College one of the top California community colleges in athletics.

LBCC grew rapidly after World War II, adding the Pacific Coast Campus in 1949, which formerly housed Hamilton Junior High. In the 1970s, as a result of a new state law, the College separated from the Long Beach Unified School District and became the independent Long Beach Community College District with its own locally elected Board of Trustees.

In 1987, LBCC acquired Veterans Memorial Stadium from the City of Long Beach. Today the stadium hosts LBCC and local high school football games as well as track meets, graduation ceremonies, concerts, commercial shoots, and the Long Beach Antique Market.

As computing technology grew in the 1980s, LBCC kept pace by acquiring new equipment for nearly every instructional program and revising its programs accordingly. Today, computer labs, multimedia “smart” classrooms, and a host of 21st century educational technology training programs allow for faculty to connect with students through course Learning Management System, social media, and online learning programs. In addition, LBCC supports faculty to embrace innovative teaching strategies to enhance student engagement and learning (e.g., blended teaching methods, flipped classrooms, self-paced and adaptive learning software, transformative pedagogy, hybrid and fully online courses, etc.).

Long Beach, Lakewood, Signal Hill, and Avalon voters approved the Measure E Bond in 2002 and its extension in 2008. Because of this overwhelming support, LBCC has been engaged in a 15-year, $616-million modernization program to upgrade the Liberal Arts and Pacific Coast campuses. The College has celebrated the completion of dozens of new construction projects and building modernizations. The building program is providing new facilities to support new programs, allowing LBCC to prepare its students to meet the changing demands of today’s workplace both globally and locally.

More recently, voters approved Measure LB in 2016, providing an additional $850 million to complete the multi-campus Facilities Master Plan. Aiming for completion in 2041, the comprehensive facilities upgrades will provide a contemporary, state-of-the-art learning environment for the region served by LBCC. Meanwhile, the LBCC Foundation continues to provide strong and ongoing support to the college through scholarships and grants, recognizing and celebrating alumni accomplishments through the Alumni Hall of Fame, reunions, anniversary celebrations, and more.

LBCC’s nationally recognized economic and workforce development programs help support the local economy through the creation and retention of regional jobs. Economic development initiatives like the regional Small Business Development Center Network and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program are helping small businesses and our local economy thrive.

In addition, innovative programs like the Long Beach College Promise – a unique partnership with the Long Beach Unified School District, California State University, Long Beach, the City of Long Beach, and the Port of Long Beach – are helping more students succeed in college. The program has become a national model for communities looking to increase student success. LBCC has had many accomplishments to celebrate in its first nine decades and is well positioned to build on this tradition of success in serving its community for generations to come.