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About Los Angeles Valley College

About LAVC

Founded in 1949, Los Angeles Valley College is a public two-year college that offers career and academic pathways that prepare students for admissions to a 4-year college or university, and in-demand occupation careers in 2 years or less.

The campus serves the eastern region of the San Fernando Valley, including the communities of Valley Glen, Van Nuys, North Hollywood, Panorama City, Pacoima, Sherman Oaks, Valley Village, Studio City, Encino, Tarzana, Burbank, and beyond.

Valley College is fully accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Associate of Schools and Colleges (WASC).


College History

Valley College is known for its high-quality educational programs and outstanding faculty, a welcoming campus environment with unique resources and robust student support, and its excellent partnerships in the community. It is Hispanic-serving institution, and one of largest of the campuses in the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD).

Nestled in the heart of the San Fernando Valley, LAVC is only minutes away from Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and downtown Los Angeles, the beaches of Santa Monica, and Malibu, and major motion picture and television studios. It's beautiful 105-acre park-like campus is the first California community college to be a Tree Campus USA.

Tree Student Girl at Graduation Smiling

The Beginning of Valley College

Faculty from the First Year of LAVC

Los Angeles Valley College was founded on September 12, 1949 to meet the tremendous growth of the San Fernando Valley during the 1940’s and early 1950’s. The college was officially chartered by the Los Angeles Board of Education in June 1949, and was located on the campus of Van Nuys High School.

On Opening Day, Valley College had 439 students, which comprised of 254 men and 185 women. The pioneer class was taught by 23 faculty members in five bungalows that served as the original campus. The college library possessed only 150 volumes. The first director of the Valley College was Vierling Kersey.

In 1950, the college opened its evening division offering only 12 classes.


A New Home in Valley Glen

As the San Fernando Valley grew, the college also grew. In 1950, the college opened its evening division offering only 12 classes. Valley College moved to its permanent 105-acre site on Fulton Avenue in Valley Glen in 1951.

The student body was housed in 33 temporary bungalow structures, which increased to 45 bungalows between 1951 and 1956.

By 1952, the fall enrollment exceeded 2,300 students. Within the next two years, it developed a fully functioning counseling and community service programs, as well as excellent transfer and vocational programs.

In 1954, members of the faculty founded the Athenaeum which began to offer community programs that brought the Los Angeles Philharmonic to the campus. The campus also had internationally known speakers including Eleanor Roosevelt, Clement Atlee, Margaret Mead, and Louis Leakey.

Female and male student in 1959 crossing out the word Junior in the Valley Junior College sign

Expanding to Serve Our Community

Group of Cheerleaders

The year 1959 marked the completion of Phase I of the Master Building Plan. In this phase, the following buildings were built Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, Foreign Language, Administration, and the Library.

In 1961, Phase II was completed, which included the Music, Theater Arts, Life Science, and Cafeteria buildings. Phase III was completed in 1963. This phase included the Business-Journalism, Math-Science, Art, and Planetarium buildings. Phase IV would not be completed until the 1970's and included the Gymnasiums, Behavioral Science, Humanities, and Campus Center buildings.

In 1969, the Los Angeles Community College District was formed and its nine colleges were separated from the Los Angeles Unified School District. The first independent Board of Trustees was also elected that same year.

On the 25th anniversary of the college in 1974, the Valley College Historical Museum was founded. The museum is the only museum totally dedicated to the history of the San Fernando Valley. LAVC celebrated its 50th birthday in 1999 with a variety of events for students, faculty, staff and alumni.

Opportunity. Guidance. Success.

Today, under the leadership of President Dr. Barry Gribbons, Valley College has over 20,000 students and is committed to guiding and supporting students so they achieve their academic goals.

The LA College Promise Program offers first-time college students with up to 2-years of free tuition, academic support, and much more.

The new Valley Fast Track program helps busy adults to complete general education transfer courses in about 2 years.

Counselor providing academic counseling to a student

LAVC is a student-focused campus community. It also offers student support programs to help Black, LGBTQIA, Latinx, veterans undocumented, students parents, and/or other historically disadvantaged groups be successful in college.  

Pathways to Success

Three Students Girl at Graduation Jumping

LAVC offers career and academic pathways with courses offers in-person, online and web-enhanced formats.

In-demand vocational programs include Business Administration, Child Development, Computer Science, Media Arts, Nursing, and Respiratory Therapy. In addition, LAVC is the only community college in the San Fernando Valley that offers college credit for work or internship experience.

Our students have successfully transferred to UCLA, USC, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara, Cal State Los Angeles, CSU Northridge, and private and public universities.

Most notably, students in LAVC's TAP/Honors program have a better academic performance at UCLA than non-TAP transfers and native UCLA students.

The "Heart" of the San Fernando Valley

Valley College serves as a hub for cultural, community and athletic events. It is home to the Valley Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Valley College Historical Museum, the LAVC Art Gallery. It also regularly hosts a variety of concerts and plays, and community activities.

The LAVC Athletic teams hold many state and regional titles. They are part of the Western State Conference, California Community College Athletic Association, the Southern California Football Association, and the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association.

Pianist playing on stage

The campus has outstanding recreational facilities include two gymnasiums, tennis courts, a swimming pool area, gymnastics center, rock wall, and fitness center. Valley College is also home to the Monarch Stadium, which has the only 10-lane Mondo Track in California.

The campus pool and stadium track are accessible to the public during scheduled times through our Community Services program.

A New and Improved Valley College

Student Union building on a sunny day

The campus is currently undergoing a $704 million expansion and renovation project funded by bonds supported by the voters of Los Angeles. With Proposition A in 2001, Proposition AA in 2003, Measure J in 2008, and Measure LA in 2022, Valley College has transformed the campus to meet the needs of today's students.

The improvements to existing buildings and the construction of new buildings will serve LAVC students for years to come. All new campus structures are being built as LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) buildings.

In 2006, the campus opened its first new building in over 30 years with its LEED-certified Maintenance and Operations/Sheriff’s Station. It also opened the award-winning Allied Health and Sciences Center, which was the first bond-constructed classroom lab building in the District.

Other newly opened buildings include a Student Services Complex, Child Development and Family Complex, the Belle and Harry Krupnick Media Arts Center, Library and Academic Resource Center, Community Services Center, Athletic Training Facility, Administration & Career Advancement (community workforce development building), Student Union, and a parking structure.

Building for the Future

The college is continuing to grow in the coming years with the addition of the Valley Academic & Cultural Center (performing/media arts), Academic Complex 1 and Academic Building 2. The building and renovation projects will keep Valley College in the forefront of the San Fernando Valley community colleges. For more information, visit ReVitalizing Valley College.

LAVC Land Acknowledgement Statement

Taráhat Ahiiv 
"Acknowledge the First People” 

Long before Spanish, Mexican, Anglo-American settlers, and the street names of Mulholland, Sepulveda, and Van Nuys, the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, the Indigenous Americans of the San Fernando Valley, hunted, farmed, gathered, and prospered alongside the banks of the orit, the river that runs along present-day Los Angeles Valley College.

By recognizing and honoring the land on which our campus is situated, nestled between the villages of Siutcanga (Encino) and Tujunga (Tujunga), we acknowledge those who came before us, the Fernandeño Tataviam, who thrived for thousands of years before the coming of settlers and are still here today.

We acknowledge the Fernandeño Tataviam, their Gabrielino-Tongva neighbors to the East, and their Ventureño-Chumash neighbors to the West.

This Land Acknowledgement represents the effort of our campus to build community and future collaborations with our local Indigenous population as guests on their land. In adopting this acknowledgment, we commit to its use in formal events to help educate students and the greater community about the history of the land and region.

Approved May 8, 2023