Norco College is a two-year public institution of higher education, one of three colleges in the Riverside Community College District (RCCD). The Norco College campus is located approximately forty miles east of Los Angeles in the city of Norco, Riverside County, California. Established as a campus of the RCCD in 1991, Norco College was granted Initial Accreditation by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) in January of 2010 and is the 112th independent college of the California Community College system.
Norco College is governed by the RCCD Board of Trustees, a five member Board elected by district for four-year terms. Norco College offers over 80 majors including certificates, degrees, industry credentials, and free short-term certificates. Proudly serving the cities of Norco, Corona, Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Temescal Valley, and surrounding communities. Norco College serves over 16,000 students annually as they pursue their higher education goals and achieve career success. We are communities of people with experiences similar to your own. Norco College is helping to create the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs, and game-changers.
Mission & Core Commitments
Norco College inspires a diverse student body by an inclusive innovative approach to learning through its pathways to transfer, professional, career and technical education, certificates, and degrees. We are proud to be a pivotal hub for scholarship, arts and culture, dynamic technologies, and partnerships. Norco College encourages self-empowerment and is dedicated to transforming the lives of our students, employees, and community.
We will change the trajectory of our students’ lives. We will stimulate academic, economic, and social development in our service area. We will build a comprehensive institution with the capacity and programming to serve our entire area.
Norco College is dedicated to following a set of enduring Core Commitments that guide it through changing times and give rise to our Vision, Mission, and Strategic Goals.
- Access: Providing open admissions and comprehensive educational opportunities for all students.
- Equity: Engineering and sustaining an environment where student success is realized by all groups with proportionate outcomes.
- Student Success: Being an institution that places high value on the academic and personal success of students in and outside of the classroom and where meeting student needs drives all decisions regarding educational programs and services.
- Expertise: Committing to ongoing improvement of teaching, service and leadership as core institutional skills.
- Mutual Respect: Belief in the personal dignity and full potential of every individual and in fostering positive human values in the classroom and in all interactions.
- Collegiality: Being a supportive community that is distinctive in its civility, where the views of each individual are respected, humor and enjoyment of work are encouraged, and success is celebrated.
- Inclusiveness: Embracing diversity in all its forms — global as well as local — and creating a supportive climate that encourages a variety of perspectives and opinions.
- Integrity: Maintaining an open, honest, and ethical environment.
- Quality: Achieving excellence in the broad range of academic programs and services provided to students and to the community, fostering an environment of inquiry, learning and culture, and providing professional development opportunities for faculty and staff.
- Environmental Stewardship: Being mindful of the impact we have on the environment, as individuals and as a community, and fostering environmental responsibility among our students.
- Innovation: Valuing creative solutions and continuing to seek inventive ways to improve instruction and service to students and to the community.
- Civic Engagement: Being fully engaged with the local community by listening to needs; establishing programs and partnerships to meet regional needs; forming alliances with other educational institutions to create a continuum of educational opportunities; and communicating information about Norco College programs and services to the external community.
State of the College
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Norco College, part of the Riverside Community College District (RCCD), became the 112th and newest California community college on January 29, 2010, when it received initial accreditation. But its history is really much older than that. Under the auspices of RCCD, college classes were regularly taught at various locations in Norco-Corona as early as the 1970s. Riverside Community College leaders first began to dream about a branch campus in the area at about the same time. On June 4, 1985, that dream was realized when more than 141 acres of U.S. government-owned land—the site of what would become Norco College—were acquired by RCCD for one dollar to build a satellite campus. Formal opening of what was then referred to as the RCC-Norco Campus took place in fall 1991, coinciding with the 75th anniversary of RCC. Just over 3,000 students attended classes that first semester; by 2014, the college's enrollment had more than tripled. In that same period, the college's full-time faculty grew sevenfold. Some of the professors who greeted students in August 1991 still teach at the college—and some students from the 90s are now Norco College professors.
Norco College was initially envisioned as an institution that would emphasize programs in technology, a counterpart to its sister campus Moreno Valley's focus on the health care fields. Among its first structures were the Science and Technology Building, the Applied Technology Building, and the Center for Applied Competitive Technology; more recently, in 2009, the Industrial Technology Building was constructed. The college now offers over 40 career-technical education programs, including Logistic Management, Game Development, and Pre-Engineering, Engineering Technology, supported in part from a series of federal grants including an NSF (National Science Foundation) grant and STEM-related grants totaling nearly 15 million dollars. Nearly 200 students received CTE certificates in 2013-14, representing 25 different programs.
Now an Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), the college has also developed a strong reputation as a comprehensive community college offering numerous Associate Degree for transfer programs in fields ranging from Spanish and sociology to business administration and computer science. In 2014, 785 students received an A.A. or A.S. degree from Norco College. More than 800 students transferred from the college to a four-year university this past year.
In a recent Community College Survey of Student Engagement, Norco students rated the college more highly than did students at other peer institutions in many areas, like encouraging collaborative learning and promoting contact with students from different economic, social, and racial or ethnic backgrounds. In the same survey, more than 90% of Norco students said they would recommend the college to a friend or family member. Norco College has always been a special place to work, teach, or learn, a place that puts students—and student success—first. The college is large enough to permit almost anyone to find a course or program to fit their needs. But it remains in many ways the same intimate, collegial place it was in 1991, when its doors first opened.