Land Acknowledgment and History

Citrus College Land Acknowledgment

Respectfully, Citrus College acknowledges the land on which it stands and recognizes our responsibility to the original and current caretakers of this land, water, and air: the Gabrielino -Tongva peoples and other local tribes, and all their ancestors and descendants-- past, present, and future.

Today, we are dispersed, and each of our homes is also home to many Indigenous peoples from all over the world. We are grateful to have the opportunity to live and work on these homelands. We recognize that a land acknowledgment is an opportunity to restate our investment to a larger landscape of individual, collective, and institutional commitments.

Here at Citrus College, we are called to do our work in a welcoming and inclusive way as an institution of higher education. We are grateful for each other: our students, our faculty, and our staff. We will continue our work to make a fairer, inclusive community that celebrates the diversity of the whole.

Citrus College History

Citrus College is located in Glendora, California, near the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, and approximately 25 miles northeast of metropolitan Los Angeles.

With a class of 27 students, Citrus College was founded in 1915 under the leadership of Dr. Floyd S. Hayden, who helped bring the community college movement to California. The college has the distinction of being the oldest community college in Los Angeles County and the fifth oldest in California. This public community college serves the residents and the students of the Azusa, Claremont, Duarte, Glendora and Monrovia school districts.

Citrus College’s first graduating class in 1917 boasted four graduates. While enrollment had nearly quadrupled to 100 students by 1925, only 11 students graduated from the college in its first decade.

From 1915 to 1961, Citrus College was operated by the Citrus Union High School District. Between 1946 and 1959, Citrus College purchased 88 acres of land to expand the campus from 16 acres to the 104 acres it occupies today. In July 1961, the Citrus Junior College District was created to include the Azusa and Glendora unified school districts. In 1967, the district expanded to include the Claremont, Duarte and Monrovia school districts. In 1970, the district was renamed the Citrus Community College District to better represent the college’s mission.

By 1975, enrollment had grown to more than 11,000, with nearly 700 degrees conferred that year. Citrus College also maintained its reputation as having one of the best transfer records in the state.  Ambitious building and expansion projects in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1990s led to new buildings and many renovations of the campus facilities. These projects enhanced the learning environment, increased access for the disabled, improved safety, and added technological capabilities to classrooms. The addition of the adapted physical education facility and the computer lab greatly improved Citrus College’s educational resources.

Since 2004, Citrus College has undergone a major facilities expansion project that is changing the look of the campus and providing facilities that will enhance learning.

The ethnic composition of the student body has gradually become more diverse over time, and today the student population is 63 percent Hispanic.  This demographic composition has earned Citrus College a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) designation, which is defined by the U.S. Department of Education as a college or university whose Hispanic students comprise 25 percent or more of the total student body.

The HSI designation has allowed Citrus College to receive several Department of Education grants to assist Hispanic and other students who can benefit from enhanced services and programs. 

Citrus College has received accolades and honors for the quality of its academic programs and the effectiveness of its student services. Over the years, Citrus College has garnered accolades at the national, state, and local levels. Out of more than 1,100 community colleges in the United States, Citrus College has been recognized as a national leader by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). Citrus College's sustained commitment to student achievement earned the AACC's 2019 Award of Excellence in the Student Success category. The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education has included Citrus College in its annual ranking of the top 50 community colleges in the nation for nearly a decade. In addition, Citrus College has been named a Military Friendly School® by G.I. Jobs magazine every year since 2011, and most recently, was named a 2022/2023 Top 10 school in the nation for student veterans. 

Today, Citrus College grants associate degrees in 69 fields of study, including 34 associate degrees for transfer, along with a total of 115 certificates of achievement, certificates of competency and skill awards in 55 academic and career/technical areas. Citrus College boasts an active student government, numerous social clubs and events, student organizations, and college-wide activities. Citrus College offers many free student-support services, including personal and academic counseling, transfer information and assistance, academic tutoring, veteran’s support, and career planning. Through its community and noncredit education division, Citrus College provides courses that encourage learning at every stage of life. 

Citrus College currently serves about 16,000 students.