San Mateo County Community College District

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San Mateo County Community College District
Established1922 (1922)[1]
ChancellorMichael Claire (acting)
Location, ,
United States

37°31′52″N 122°20′16″W / 37.531243°N 122.337648°W / 37.531243; -122.337648 (District office)Coordinates: 37°31′52″N 122°20′16″W / 37.531243°N 122.337648°W / 37.531243; -122.337648 (District office)
AccreditationWestern Association of Schools and Colleges[1]
SMCCCD Horizontal White with background.svg

The San Mateo County Community College District is a community college system in California with three institutions: College of San Mateo in San Mateo, Cañada College in Redwood City, and Skyline College in San Bruno. The district serves more than 25,000 students each day with both day and evening classes.


San Mateo Junior College was founded in 1922, and the first classes started on August 22 in a building shared with San Mateo High School on Baldwin Avenue and San Mateo Drive (then called Griffith Avenue). The first student was Marjorie Brace, who could not attend Stanford because of the high cost of tuition.[3]:9–10 Julio Bortolazzo is credited with the expansion of what had become the College of San Mateo (CSM) into the three-college District. In 1956, he formed a 27-member Citizens Committee to study potential sites for a new campus for CSM, which by then occupied the training facility originally constructed for the United States Merchant Marine during World War II at Coyote Point. The final report filed by the Committee concluded that San Mateo County needed more than one community college.[3]:56–58;71

County voters overwhelmingly approved a $5.9 million bond issue in 1957 based on Committee recommendations, which provided funds to purchase the present-day College Heights campus for CSM as well as a 111-acre (45 ha) site near Skyline and Sharp Park in San Bruno, which would become Skyline College. In 1962, the 131-acre (53 ha) parcel for Cañada College on the border of Redwood City and Woodside was purchased. Voters approved another bond of $12.8 million in March 1964, which provided funds to construct Cañada College (opened 1968) and Skyline College (opened 1969).[4]

In 2019, Chancellor Ron Galatolo stepped down and became "Chancellor Emeritus." Shortly thereafter, the San Mateo County District Attorney executed search warrants for materials belonging to the district and Galatolo. These searches were related to "allegations of harassment and improper handling of construction contracts."[5]


The district serves San Mateo County, and is governed by a six-member Board of Trustees. Five voting trustees are elected by County residents to serve a four-year term,[6] and one nonvoting student trustee is elected by students for a one-year term.[7][2]

In November 2018, two Trustees were elected according to Area (geographical district) in Areas 2 and 4 instead of from the County at-large. The remaining three Trustee Area elections will be held in 2020.[8] The California Voting Rights Act of 2001 challenged the legality of at-large elections, leading to the adoption of Area-based elections. Various maps were drawn, and Scenario 4, the one selected, offered "areas ... substantially equal in population and ... cohesive, contiguous territory to the extent possible in compliance with legal requirements". The change to Area-based elections was approved by the Board on October 11, 2017 on a 3–2 vote, with Holober and Mandelkern opposed.[9]

Trustee Areas[9][10]
No. Cities and census-designated places served Population
Total Voting Age[a]
1 Atherton, El Granada, Half Moon Bay, La Honda, Ladera, Montara, Moss Beach, Pacifica, Portola Valley, San Carlos, West Menlo Park, Woodside 142,109 102,023
2 Brisbane, Broadmoor, Colma, Daly City, South San Francisco 140,776 92,124
3 Burlingame, Hillsborough, Millbrae, San Bruno[b] 149,206 104,771
4 Belmont, Highlands-Baywood Park, Foster City, San Mateo[c] 142,222 93,215
5 East Palo Alto, Emerald Lake Hills,[d] Menlo Park, North Fair Oaks, Redwood City 143,929 79,690
  1. ^ 2011-2015 estimate
  2. ^ Includes Skyline College
  3. ^ Includes College of San Mateo
  4. ^ Includes Cañada College

San Mateo County Community College District campuses
Skyline College
College of San Mateo
Cañada College

Skyline College[edit]

Skyline offers more than 80 Associate Degree and Certificate programs.[11]

College of San Mateo[edit]

  • College of San Mateo offers distance learning via their telecourses.[12] Telecourses are preproduced television courses broadcast on KCSM-TV and are available for at the media center and the library. Telecourses are available to all students within the San Mateo County Community College District.
  • KCSM-TV is a membership community supported station located on the CSM Campus. On July 31, 2018, ownership and operation for KCSM-TV was transferred from the District, and the station call sign became KPJK.[13]
  • KCSM FM is a community supported station.
  • KCSM Theatre features plays, musicians and supports the performing arts.[14]
  • Community Education offers a wide range of programs to meet community needs and interests.[15]

Cañada College[edit]

University Center[edit]

The University Center at Cañada College was established in 2001 as a new model to provide four-year college degree programs.

Cañada College is the only community college in the state of California with a University Center which came into being through special state legislation sponsored by Assemblymember Lou Papan and with the support of the San Mateo County Community College District. This was a way to extend higher learning to peninsula residents that could not travel to the participating universities.

San Francisco State University
  • Nursing - Bachelor of Science
Notre Dame de Namur University
  • Business Administration - Bachelor of Science
  • Human Services - Bachelor of Science
  • Psychology - Bachelor of Arts
Arizona State University
  • Family and Human Development - Bachelor of Science
  • Educational Studies - Bachelor of Arts

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Factbook: District Overview". San Mateo County Community College District. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  2. ^ a b "About Us: History". San Mateo County Community College District. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  3. ^ a b Svanevik, Michael; Burgett, Shirley (1996). Class Act — College of San Mateo: A History. San Francisco: Custom & Limited Editions. ISBN 1-881529-18-5. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  4. ^ "About Cañada: History". Cañada College. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  5. ^ Mibach, Emily (August 28, 2019). "DA executes search warrants in case involving former college chancellor". The Daily Post. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
  6. ^ "Board Policy 1.02: Organization of the Board" (PDF). San Mateo County Community College District. January 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Board Policy 1.05: Student Trustee" (PDF). San Mateo County Community College District. May 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  8. ^ "2018 Trustee Election". San Mateo County Community College District. 2018. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  9. ^ a b Bailey, Mitchell (15 November 2017). "Request to Change Election System" (PDF). California Community Colleges, Chancellor's Office. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Board of Trustee Areas" (PDF). San Mateo Community College District. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Skyline College". Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  12. ^ "Fall 2006 General Information". College of San Mateo. Archived from the original on 26 January 2007. Retrieved 15 August 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  13. ^ "KCSM Jazz 91". Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  14. ^ "College of San Mateo Theatre: Features". College of San Mateo. Archived from the original on 17 February 2007. Retrieved 15 August 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  15. ^ "Welcome to Community, Continuing & Corporate Education (CCCE)! Education". San Mateo County Community College District. Archived from the original on 3 February 2004. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)

External links[edit]