A Century of Excellence - History of RCCD

1916 - 1929

  • ​Opening in September 1916, Riverside Community College District (RCCD) is the seventh oldest community college in California.
  • The first schedule of classes offered courses in science, surveying, mechanical drawing, agriculture, business, logic, history, political economy, foreign languages, English, and “shop work to be arranged.”
  • The initial enrollment in the college was 114. In 1924, the first two buildings of the Riverside campus quadrangle were constructed. One was for a library; the other mostly for sciences. These buildings are now historic landmarks and are the oldest buildings dedicated to community college instruction in California.

1930 - 1959

  • ​​In the 1930s, a full complement of extra- and co-curricular activities, the innovation of many community services, and the start of what today falls into the area of economic development or workforce preparation began.
  • The college also proved to be an important catalyst for the arts in Riverside. It offered support and/or sponsorship to the Riverside Opera Association, the Riverside Community Players, the Riverside Art Association, and a number of musical groups.
  • After World War II, veterans needed both review and remedial courses in what today are called basic skills and, for the first time, the college introduced courses below the transfer level.
  • The vocational program included a program in aeronautics and courses in electricity, welding, radio, and cosmetology. Night classes were growing.
  • The college expanded with construction of an Administration Building, the Cutter Park Pool, Landis Auditorium, a women’s gymnasium, and a facility for cosmetology courses

1960 - 1979

  • In 1964, voters approved the creation of the Riverside Community College District and the election of a five-member Board of Trustees.
  • The Board of Trustees took on an ambitious building and property acquisition program to provide adequate space for the growing student, faculty, and staff populations.
  • ​Four new facilities – a library, life science and physical science structures, and a student center were erected. New tennis courts were installed, and fine arts and ceramics buildings were built. Auto shop and business education buildings would also emerge, as would the Child Development Center.

1980 - 1989

  • Moreno Valley and Corona-Norco areas led the Board to seek major land acquisitions in both areas. A Moreno Valley developer donated acreage for that campus and the district purchased land Norco from the US government for $1.
  • ​A long period of planning and consultation started to create separate college on three campuses.​​​

1990 - 1999

  • The Norco and Moreno Valley campuses opened in March 1991.
  • Additional innovations and programs included: increased use of grant money; creation of a culinary institute; work on a school for the arts; a successful middle college high school at the Moreno Valley Campus; introduction of a weekend college at the Norco Campus; the first community college physician’s assistant program in California; a community interpreters (English/Spanish) program.
  • ​Some existing programs were relocated or renovated including: administration of justice and fire science programs; further development of early childhood studies; customized training programs; college without walls and other community service programs; new centers for manufacturing technology, applied competitive technologies, procurement assistance, and international trade development; and others.

2000 - 2009

  • In 2003, the Board of Trustees decided to begin the lengthy process leading to accreditation of the Moreno Valley and Norco campuses, under the management of a single district administration and single Board. Advantages included additional state funds and more efficient centralization of key internal services.
  • The Board determined that four elements would remain common: A common core curriculum; one student contract allowing students to take courses at all three colleges; one academic calendar, and one set of faculty and staff contracts.
  • The District also opened several education centers including: the March Dental Education Center; the March Education Center, the Rubidoux Annex, and the Stokoe Innovative Learning Center in La Sierra.
  • ​RCCD also has continued to operate the Culinary Academy in Riverside and to partner with local law enforcement, fire and other public safety agencies at the Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center.


2010 - Present

  • ​In March of 2010, the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges officially recognized Moreno Valley College and Norco College as the 111th and 112th community colleges in the state.
  • In 2010, the Brenda and William Davis Center for Student Success at Norco College opened featuring a state-of-the-art Faculty Innovation Center, conference facilities, and a formal digitally-equipped seminar room.
  • The RCC Aquatics Complex opened in 2011 featuring an Olympic-quality facility with a 65-meter pool, seven diving boards ranging from one meter to a 10-meter diving platform and grandstand seating for 800. The new RCC School of Nursing, Science and Math Complex has increased the college’s capacity to train and graduate nurses, and meet the needs  of science and math disciplines through the development of state of the art labs, classrooms and faculty offices.
  • Moreno Valley College opened their new Student Academic Services building in 2013. This facility provides innovative and comprehensive services to promote student success by consolidating multifunctional Student Services and Administration, along with classrooms, faculty offices, and student services into a single location. 
  • Construction began in 2014 for RCCD's Centennial Plaza which will open March 13, 2016. ​​​

RCC Faculty
RCC Faculty - 1921

Cosmetology Class - 1947

First Board of Trustees - 1965

NC Deed signing
Norco College Deed Signing - 1985

Moreno Valley College Grand Opening - 1991

Rubidoux annex
Rubidoux Annex Dedication - 2007

Center for Student Success
Brenda and William Davis 
Center for Student Success - 2010

RCC Aquatics
RCC Aquatics Complex - 2011

Moreno Valley College Student Academic Services Building - 2013