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History of MSJC

The first 50 years of Mt. San Jacinto College

The Mt. San Jacinto Community College District was formed in 1960 by a vote of the citizens in Banning, Beaumont, Hemet and San Jacinto. The first Board of Trustees met in 1962.

The college enrolled its first students in the fall of 1963, holding classes in rented facilities. The San Jacinto Campus was opened in 1965 with two buildings and has grown into a comprehensive college campus serving the needs of students and the community.

In 1975, the residents of Temecula, Lake Elsinore, Perris and adjacent areas voted to join the Mt. San Jacinto Community College District, increasing the college’s area to the present 1,700 square miles. Although the boundaries have remained stable since 1975, the District has changed dramatically, especially since the 1980s. In recent years, unprecedented population growth has fostered the highest rate of enrollment increase of all 115 community colleges.

In response to this intense growth, Mt. San Jacinto College opened its Menifee Valley Campus in October 1990. By the end of its first year, there were 2,100 students attending classes at the Menifee Valley Campus. Today the campus serves nearly 11,000 students each semester.

With the rapid growth in enrollments being experienced at both campuses, the District has engaged in extensive planning and development to ensure state-of-the-art learning environments for Mt. San Jacinto College students.

In the fall of 1993, the Alice P. Cutting Business & Technology Center on the San Jacinto Campus opened to students with new laboratories for Business, Computer Information Systems, Engineering Technologies, Electronics and Photography.

In the fall of 1995, a state-of-the-art music building opened on the San Jacinto Campus. The 1995-96 year saw a vast increase in classroom space on the Menifee Valley Campus with the opening of the Allied Health and Fine Arts buildings.

The construction of two new childcare centers in 2002 paved the way for a major expansion of the Child Development and Education Centers at MSJC. A new learning resource center on this campus opened during the Spring of 2006.

Mt. San Jacinto College experienced rapid expansion in 2008. The Business & Technology Center opened on the Menifee Valley Campus, providing state-of-the-art instruction in Geographic Information Systems, Multimedia, Photography and more.

The college also opened the Temecula Education Complex, giving residents of the Temecula and Murrieta areas one location to register, receive counseling and placement testing and also take classes.

And that same year, the college opened its San Gorgonio Pass Service Center to provide counseling, registration and other services to residents of the Banning and Beaumont areas. The college also expanded its course offerings in the San Gorgonio Pass.

By November of 2010, counseling and enrollment services offered at the former San Gorgonio Pass Service Center were moved to the new San Gorgonio Pass Campus located south of Interstate 10. In January 2011, students began attending classes at the new site. The campus is built on two of 50 acres the college owns.

The college opened the new Humanities & Social Sciences building on the Menifee Valley Campus in 2012. The two-story building provides state-of-the-art equipment for student learning.

In 2014, the college opened its second site in Temecula: the Temecula Higher Education Center. Also in November 2014, voters of the District approved Measure AA, a $295 million facilities bond. It is the second bond in the District’s history. In 1978, when the District only operated its first campus in San Jacinto, voters passed a $3 million facilities bond. The college again became the fastest growing of California’s 113-college system when enrollment grew by 11 percent in 2015-16.

The college’s master plan calls for ultimately providing for between 15,000 and 20,000 students on the Menifee Valley Campus and up to 15,000 on the San Jacinto Campus. Classrooms are being added or renovated on both campuses to meet the educational demands of the area. The master plan also includes serving about 3,600 students in the Pass area and nearly 4,000 students in the I-15 corridor over the next several years.