The Rise of the California Junior College Movement

Daniel Basurto : History, Public Policy Minor

Mentor: John Douglass, Center for Higher Education Studies and Public Policy

Today, California educates 2.1 million students enrolled at 115 community colleges–making the California community college system the most extensive system of higher education in the United States. For Daniel Joseph Basurto’s history honors thesis, he will fill in the gaps of history that led to the first two junior colleges and ultimately sparked the California junior college movement. His research will focus on the educational, political, and financial influences that led to creating Fresno City College and Santa Barbara City College. He will analyze primary sources at different archives throughout the state of California. Understanding the struggles and successes of the first two junior colleges will shed light on how sixteen junior colleges were created in California by 1917, and eventually 115, today.