Since its establishment in 1918, the remarkable story about Santa Rosa Junior College is filled with unique developments that have made SRJC one of the finest two-year colleges in the nation. The at-a-glance highlights presented here reflect some of the cornerstone accomplishments that have enriched SRJC’s inclusive culture, where both tradition and visionary thinking are valued and create a vibrant learning community.
SRJC – The Region’s First Choice
Santa Rosa Junior College is located an hour north of the key Pacific Rim city of San Francisco and two hours from Silicon Valley in the “Valley of the Moon,” Sonoma County. Santa Rosa is the county’s largest city with a population of nearly a half million. With all the amenities of an urban center in a rural region, Sonoma County offers a perfect place to live year round with its remarkable weather, unmatchable beauty, and friendly, innovative citizens who take great pride in their communities. Millions of tourists visit the county annually for its dynamic recreational activities and its stunningly picturesque rivers, forests, vineyards, and seacoast. Sonoma County has been ranked the second county in the nation in agriculture production. The college’s service region - Sonoma County and small portions of Marin and Mendocino counties - is located in one of the world’s premiere agricultural centers with a special focus on viticulture.
SRJC’s service region encompasses over 1,600 square miles that includes 14 major high school districts. Serving a population of nearly half a million, SRJC is well-attended by citizens in the region because of its quality instruction, scope of outstanding services to students, excellent facilities on two campuses and dozens of other sites, and welcoming learning community. For the 2009-10 academic year, the total number of students enrolled at SRJC, including unduplicated credit and noncredit enrollment and Community Education, totaled 57,025. Each year, 16% of the total Sonoma County population enrolls in a class at SRJC.
The collective experience, talent, and knowledge of approximately 300 full-time faculty members and 1,400 adjunct instructors have shaped SRJC into one of the finest two-year colleges in California and the nation. The award-winning faculty members are dedicated teachers whose commitment to student success is critical to both the California Community Colleges system and to California’s future.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Educational Statistics, SRJC is ranked 89th among the “Top 100 Associate Degree” producers in the nation across all disciplines for 2011. On a state level, SRJC ranks 12th, and among California Community Colleges SRJC ranks 11th. Each year SRJC is typically ranked as one of the top 100 community colleges in the nation by the U.S. Department of Education for awarding the largest number of associate degrees and career skills certificates in various categories.
Exceptional Location and Facilities
SRJC’s Santa Rosa Campus is situated on 104 acres in the heart of the beautiful city of Santa Rosa, and includes more than 570,000 square feet of facilities. Campus facilities include a beautiful mix of heritage brick buildings that were built in the early 1900s, others constructed over the decades, and several striking new multilevel buildings that match the brick of the original facilities, but with significant modern features. Some of the facilities on the spectacular campus include: the 38,500 square foot William B. Race Health Sciences Building equipped with state-of-the-art dental, radiology, and nursing facilities; the new 145,000 square foot Doyle Library, a new 72,000 square foot Bertolini Center, and a 22,000 Culinary Arts Center currently under construction.
The beautiful 40-acre Petaluma Campus now serves 7,000 students and offers more than 82,000 square feet of office and instructional space. Seven new, modern buildings were built in the last couple of years, including a 5,100 square foot auditorium facility with lecture hall and cultural venue, and the 35,000 square foot Mahoney Library with 3,700 square foot Tutorial and College Skills Center and a Digital Media Lab. The build out of the Petaluma Campus was intended to accommodate 12,000 students.
The 365-acre Shone Farm located close to the Russian River offers students an exceptional outdoor instructional laboratory. SRJC has the largest community college Agriculture and Natural Resources program in California with 4,000 students enrolled annually. The Shone Farm includes the Dutton Pavilion with a wine education laboratory and a bonded winery, conference and learning center, and a showcase arena. The beautiful self-sustaining farm generates income from the sale of grapes from its vineyard operation, oat hay, oat silage, and sheep and swine operations. Shone’s grazing land, vineyards, forest, and acres of organic gardens allow students to learn all facets of environmentally conscious agriculture. The farm also houses commercial food processing and preparation laboratory, administrative offices, student dorm rooms, patio, and an outside livestock and equine facility that includes arena equine round pens, horse paddocks, and exercise pens. The college-owned winery utilizes state-of-the-art equipment and winemaking procedures to ensure the production of premium wines.
Windsor’s 20-acre Public Safety Training Center is the largest provider of in-service training for public safety professionals north of the Golden Gate Bridge, serving 6,000 students each year. The PSTC provides career skills training in law enforcement, corrections, fire technology and tower, and emergency medical care in modern facilities that offers a firing range, emergency medical care facilities, a state-of-the-art scenario training village, and a driving instruction area with skid pad. When an existing wetland area was threatened by site development, the college built a two-acre wetland pond environment at the Windsor Public Safety Training Center as a sustainable mitigating measure.
A 22,000 square foot B. Robert Burdo Culinary Arts Center is currently under construction on the east side of Mendocino Avenue across from the Santa Rosa Campus, and will contain classrooms, several teaching kitchens, a retail bakery and café, BBQ patio and wine library.
The multilevel Don Zumwalt Parking Pavilion contains 366,000 gross square feet and has a carillon clock tower on the Santa Rosa Campus. The new facility provides a well-lighted and landscaped campus entrance to the campus close to Bailey Field, Forsyth Hall, and Tauzer Gymnasium. The building can accommodate approximately 3,000 parking visits a day. American University and College Business Magazine and North Bay Business Journal named it as “one of the best design and construction projects of 2007.”
The Pepperwood Preserve offers students instruction on a 3,117-acre outdoor nature preserve between Santa Rosa and Calistoga and offers stunning landscapes with redwood canyons, oak woodlands, Douglas fir forests, grassland prairies, wetlands and ponds with endangered wildlife. A wide variety of courses, workshops, and field trips are scheduled at the preserve that range from natural history, botany and zoology to natural resource management, anthropology, and astronomy. The Pepperwood Foundation and SRJC manage educational and public access to the preserve cooperatively.
Quality Instructors & Instruction
According to SRJC’s Accreditation review (Accreditation Standard 1B Institutional Effectiveness) student learning and success are SRJC’s priorities: “The institution demonstrates a conscious effort to produce and support student learning, measures that assesses how well learning is occurring, and makes changes to improve student learning. The institution also organizes its key processes and allocates its resources to effectively support student learning. The institution demonstrates its effectiveness by providing 1) evidence of the achievement of student learning outcomes, and 2) evidence of institution and program performance. The institution uses ongoing and systematic evaluation and planning to refine its key processes and improve student learning.”
In response to a pressing community need, SRJC now offers a bachelor’s of science degree in health services in a partnership with the University of San Francisco, a collaboration that ensures that SRJC health sciences students are able to seek educational and professional advancement close to home. The 27-month, 43-unit program is presented at USF in downtown Santa Rosa, and is geared to working adults.
For 40 years, the college has hosted the internationally renowned Summer Repertory Theatre, which now boasts more than 6,000 alumni. This year five popular productions invite the community to enjoy five outstanding productions by performers and technicians from across the nation.
Recruitment in SRJC’s Puente Project is so successful that the project is rapidly expanded to the Petaluma Campus. Puente - Spanish for “bridge” - helps prepare students for success in university studies, particularly educationally underserved students who wish to transfer to four-year institutions to earn college degrees.
SRJC’s MESA Program - Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement - is ranked second in the state for transferring the highest number of students to four-year institutions. A very high percentage - 92% - of the SRJC MESA transfer students persisted with math, engineering, and science majors. MESA is a rigorous academic support program dedicated to increasing the number of educationally disadvantaged students who transfer to four-year institutions and earn a math, science, engineering, or computer science focused degree.
According to the online Web site, “Rate My Professors,” SRJC faculty members were ranked second among the “25 Highest Rated Colleges” in 2010-11. Student driven, the site is the “Internet's largest destination for professor ratings, and compiles a list of the top professors based on ratings and comments from students” each year.
Each year when the National Council Licensure Examinations (NCLEX) announces the pass rates of Associate Degree Nursing students, SRJC’s ADN students exam rates typically reach a nearly 100% pass rate. With the national mean for first-time NCLEX test takers at 84.1%, SRJC’s Nursing students consistently demonstrate a pass rate that exceeds the national rate year after year.
The Small Business Development Center hosted by SRJC is regarded as a highly valuable resource for hundreds of small business communities in Marin and Sonoma counties. One example of a successful enterprise supported by SBDC’s Sawyer Center: Since people over 40 require reading aids for their eyes, inventor Ron Lando approached SRJC’s Sawyer Center with a solution. SBDC helped Lando launch his new invention - the CliC Reader, which are glasses that automatically click together magnetically at the bridge of the nose and hang over the shoulders when not used. With annual sales now exceeding $6.5 million, the glasses are one of many success stories for SBDC and the Sawyer Center.
Among the major companies that locate global industries in the North Bay region (within one to two hours) are: Global beverage brands (Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates, Treasury Wine Estates of Foster’s Group Ltd., Korbel & Bros., E&J Gallo Wineries), biotech (MedTronic, Trivascular, Medlogics, Rheodyne (now IDEX)), communications (Calix, JDS Uniphase, Tellabs, Sonic.net), other technologies (Agilent, Enphase, OCLI), major animation and digital effects studios (Pixar, Lucasfilm, Industrial Light & Magic, Skywalker Sound), video game studios (Activision, Nintendo, Zynga, 2K Games), tech media (O’Reilly Media, Wired, Engadget, Ars Technica). SRJC’s Workforce Training Program provides a range of customized services and training to help employers meet their workforce and business performance goals.
SRJC’s award-winning, student-produced newspaper, The Oak Leaf, is frequently the recipient of annual journalism awards for the quality of its reporting both in print and online. It most recently received 14 awards at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC) Northern California convention, including two first place awards for General Excellence and numerous other awards for editorial cartoon; sports editing; column writing, photo illustration, page layout tabloid, front page layout tabloid, news story; feature photo, news photo, sports action photo, and photo illustration.
Financial aid attracts a record number of students, as does the large number of community and business scholarships available at SRJC. The college joined with the SRJC Foundation to develop the “Bridging the Doyle” scholarship program, and within months the community responded by donating to students nearly a quarter million dollars, which was awarded to 2009 high school graduates; an additional $200,000 was raised and awarded to 2010 graduates.
SRJC’s renowned athletic tradition includes 20 varsity intercollegiate athletic teams today, many that have had championship seasons. SRJC has always drawn top student athletes to its ranks. While the Bear Cubs are some of the most winning championship teams in state, SRJC’s players are not only talented on the field, but most highly successful in the classroom - many of our student athletes receive scholarships for academic excellence and maintain high grade point averages. The Bear Cubs instructors and coaches are frequently identified as “Coach of the Year” at regional and state competitions for their skilled, dedicated leadership of SRJC teams.
The college community regards the Lawrence Bertolini Student Center as the success center for students, since multiple programs are housed at the center that directly support students as they pursue their studies. The first floor includes a student commons-cafeteria where students and staff gather in a central community space, as well as Student Affairs programs like student clubs and the Associated Students. Student Ambassadors recruit and retain students and staff the Welcome Center. Bertolini’s second and third floors have programs that students frequently contact while enrolled at SRJC: Counseling, Adult Re-entry, EOPS, MESA, the Transfer Center, CALworks, Work Experience, Vocational Projects and Services, Articulation, and School Relations.
The SRJC Foundation is one of the top ten foundations in the California Community Colleges system with the largest scholarship endowment and second largest endowed assets. The SRJC Foundation’s assets exceed $31 million. Each year, SRJC provides over $700,000 in scholarships annually to students (separate from the Doyle Scholarship). In addition, the SRJC Foundation was ranked 23rd in that nation for community college fundraising in 2009-10.
Student Services utilizes a large number of specialized software packages to facilitate many functions like assessment, counseling, admissions and records, financial aid, and career services. In addition, most registration and admissions and records functions are processed online. As the office responsible for the imaging of all student records for accessibility, Admissions, Records and Enrollment Development (ARED) has systems in place that provide access to electronic documents, transcripts, catalog descriptions, mainframe information, imaging, and student information.
Leader in Sustainability – Cutting-edge Technology
At the beginning of the millennial decade, Yahoo! Internet Life Magazine ranked SRJC as one of the "most wired" two-year colleges in the nation, with a ranking of 14th out of 1,132 institutions. Today, the college has developed an even more impressive technology infrastructure with advanced technology permeating every operation at SRJC. SRJC is regarded as one of the most technologically sophisticated community colleges in the country with technology embedded in every operation of the institution, including allows students to receive a degree online in eight different fields, or earn one of 25 online certificates.
The three-story, 72,000 square foot Lawrence A. Bertolini Student Center incorporates extensive green features, such as geothermal and enthalpy heat/cool system, which reduces energy consumption by 40-60% over traditional HVAC systems, plus recycled materials were used throughout the facility. Bertolini Hall has become a true center of student life. Students return to the center in droves to take advantage of its public spaces; use of the commons by students, faculty, and staff is at an all-time high. At the dedication ceremony in April 2010, a student was overheard saying; “…the college must really like us to build such a facility for its students.” Later that year the North Bay Business Journal selected Bertolini Student Center as its “Educational Facility of the Year.”
SRJC was one of the first colleges in California to institute a broad conservation program, and continues to serve as a model energy saving institution to many community colleges. SRJC’s history of sustainability over four decades has resulted in successfully identifying and implementing energy efficient and energy conservation methods, as well as an emerging green curriculum.
SRJC is a founding member of School Project for Utility Rate Reduction (SPURR), a consortium of community colleges and K-12 districts that spearheaded utility deregulation in California. SRJC is among the first community colleges to purchase natural gas on the open market, saving the college substantial funds. The formation of SPURR encouraged PG&E to lower gas rates in response to SPURR’s competitive buying program. Currently, SRJC uses PG&E for pipeline transmission, but buys the actual gas commodity through SPURR to save three to five percent annually, compared to PG&E costs.
The two-story, 35,000 square foot Herold Mahoney Library on the Petaluma Campus incorporates sustainable features in media viewing stations, group study areas, teaching lab, full Media Services, video conferencing, and a digital copy/print center; design incorporates wind factor adjustments, heat mitigation materials, bio swales to reduce or eliminate storm water runoff, an emphasis on natural lighting, and energy efficient evaporative cooling systems.
The four-story, 145,000 square foot Frank P. Doyle Library on the Santa Rosa Campus incorporates green features, such as: media viewing center, digital color television studio, tutorial center, Art Gallery, hundreds of computer stations, study rooms; white noise generator blocks ambient sound to maintain quiet zones for study; recycled, nontoxic and sustainable building materials used wherever possible, PVC- and VOC-free; energy efficiency achieved through 77 kW photovoltaic array on the roof, low power fixtures, maximization of natural light, and high efficiency evaporative chillers.
To explore more SRJC Highlights, see the More Winning Highlights page.