What is Santa Ana College Known For? – A Century of Excellence and Innovation

Hello there! If you’re reading this, you’re probably curious about Santa Ana College (SAC), a vibrant educational institution nestled in the heart of Southern California. SAC, a community college with a rich history and a diverse student body, has been a cornerstone of higher education in the region for over a century.

This article aims to delve into the notable characteristics and achievements of SAC, providing you with a comprehensive overview of what makes this college stand out. Whether you’re a prospective student, a parent, or just someone interested in learning more about SAC, this exploration will offer valuable insights into the college’s unique identity.

Historical Background

Santa Ana College -


Let’s take a step back in time to the fall of 1915, when Santa Ana College (SAC) first opened its doors as Santa Ana Junior College. Located on the campus of Santa Ana High School, the college welcomed its first batch of twenty-four students and eleven teaching faculty during the presidency of Woodrow Wilson. It was the second junior college founded in Orange County and the fourth oldest in all of California.

Key Events


  • The college’s journey has been marked by significant milestones and challenges. The earthquake of 1933 forced the college to relocate to a site on North Main Street, serving 803 students with thirty-four teaching faculty.
  • In 1945, a bond measure was passed, allowing the development of 55 acres on its current site at 17th and Bristol. Despite initial concerns that the college would be located too far from the bustling downtown district, the move proved to be a success.
  • In 1971, Santa Ana College formally separated from the Santa Ana Unified School District to form the Rancho Santiago Community College District.
  • Today, Santa Ana College stands as a testament to over a century of educational excellence and innovation.

Awards and Recognitions

Santa Ana College -awards

One notable recognition is the 2022 Circle of Excellence Award won by the Santa Ana College Foundation. This award is a testament to the college’s efforts in supporting its students and enhancing the quality of education.

Additionally, the college’s student newspaper has earned over 50 national, state, and local awards, showcasing the talent and dedication of its student body.

Best Ranked Courses

Santa Ana College courses

Santa Ana College takes pride in offering a wide range of high-quality, affordable undergraduate programs. The college is committed to fostering an environment of academic excellence, innovation, and lifelong learning. This commitment is reflected in the diverse array of courses and programs that the college offers.

The college’s academic programs are designed to meet the diverse needs of its students and the community. These programs provide students with pathways to success, access to state-of-the-art emerging technologies, exposure to high-demand career technical education and workforce development preparation, and opportunities for research and cooperative work experience.

The top ranked courses are:

Course Ranking Category
Fire Protection 3rd Far Western US Region
Medical/Clinical Assistant 3rd Associate Degree Schools in California
Fire Prevention & Safety Technology/Technician 5th Overall
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 5th Associate Degree Schools in California
Pharmacy Technician/Assistant 10th Overall
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 11th Associate Degree Schools in the Far Western US Region
Fire Protection 14th Overall

Top Value Courses:

Course Ranking Category
Pharmacy Technician/Assistant 2nd Associate Degree Colleges in California
Medical/Clinical Assistant 4th Associate Degree Colleges in California
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 4th Bachelor’s Degree Colleges
Fire Protection 4th Far Western US Region
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 5th Associate Degree Colleges in California

Best Courses for veterans:

Course Ranking Category
Pharmacy Technician/Assistant 1st Colleges in California
Medical/Clinical Assistant 2nd Associate Degree Colleges in California
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 3rd Associate Degree Colleges in California

General Overview of Santa Ana College

Santa Ana College (SAC) is a community legacy that has been celebrating over a century of academic excellence and community partnerships. Located at 1530 W. 17th Street, Santa Ana, CA, the college is a beacon of learning in the region, offering a diverse range of courses and programs for university transfer preparation, career training, and personal development.

The campus is a vibrant hub of activity, with state-of-the-art facilities designed to support students’ academic and extracurricular pursuits. SAC’s mission is to foster a learning environment that inspires students, transforms lives, and empowers a diverse community of learners. The college is continually ranked as a state leader for the number of students who transfer each year to a university, and it is a top choice for career preparation in high-demand fields such as nursing and fire technology.

Academic Excellence

Santa Ana College is renowned for its commitment to high-quality, affordable, lower-division undergraduate education across a wide range of subjects. The college prides itself on:

  • Selecting the most qualified faculty experts and support staff
  • Ensuring that students engage in and embrace opportunities such as pathways to success
  • Pedagogical innovation
  • Quality online instruction
  • Access to state-of-the-art emerging technologies
  • Exposure to high-demand career technical education
  • Workforce development preparation, research, and cooperative work experience

The college’s academic excellence is reflected in its diverse range of academic programs and degrees. These programs are designed to prepare students for transfer to a four-year college or university, entry into a technical or occupational program, and pursuit of a certificate program or Associates degree.

Famous Former Graduates

Kris Medlen

Santa Ana College has been the academic home to many individuals who have gone on to make significant contributions in various fields. These notable alumni have left their mark on the world, showcasing the transformative power of education at Santa Ana College.

Some of the notable alumn include:

  • Duane Allen, a former NFL player.
  • Heath Bell, a retired MLB All-Star Pitcher.
  • Diane Keaton, an Academy Award-winning actress.
  • Steve Martin, an Emmy and Grammy-winning actor.
  • Kris Medlen, a former MLB pitcher for the Kansas City Royals, Atlanta Braves, and Arizona Diamondbacks.
  • Bill Thomas, a Member of the United States House of Representatives.
  • Gaddi Vasquez, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture and Director of the Peace Corps.

Sports and Athletics

Santa Ana College sport

The college’s sports teams, known as the Dons, compete in a variety of sports, including baseball, basketball, soccer, and track & field, among others. The college’s athletic programs are dedicated to promoting the physical, mental, and social development of student-athletes, fostering a sense of camaraderie and team spirit.

One of the college’s most notable achievements in recent years is the success of its baseball team. In 2023, the team went undefeated at the State Championships, capturing the fourth state title in the program’s history.

Innovation and Technology

Santa Ana College is at the forefront of integrating technology and innovation in education. The college recognizes the importance of these elements in today’s fast-paced, digital world and strives to provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the 21st century.

One of the college’s standout programs in this regard is the Entrepreneurship and Innovation program.The program

  • designed to attract students from across the campus, turning their skills into successful business ventures.
  • emphasizes practical, real-world experience over textbook theory, with students creating a portfolio of projects that they build on throughout the program.
  • places a strong emphasis on using and working with the latest in technology, recognizing its crucial role in today’s business world.

Arts and Culture

Santa Ana College arts

Santa Ana College is a hub of vibrant arts and cultural activities. The college’s Fine and Performing Arts Division offers a wide range of programs, including Art, Dance, Music, and Theatre Arts. These programs provide students with opportunities to explore their creativity, develop their talents, and gain valuable experience in the arts.

One of the college’s significant contributions to the local arts community is its support for the Boca de Oro Festival of Literary Arts & Culture.

This festival brings together authors, poets, and artists for a day of literary readings, workshops, panel discussions, and performances. The college participates in this festival with big band performances, children’s theater, poetry readings, and theater and media arts presentations.


When can I begin to apply to the college?

Applications for the coming year open on September 1. Online applications can be submitted for one of two application periods: Intersession & Spring Term or Summer & Fall Term.

How do I get an application for an international student (F-1)?

Application forms for international students are available at the International Student Center on the Santa Ana College campus. Applications can also be downloaded from the International Student Program Web site.

How can I request a transcript?

There are 3 ways to request an official transcript: in person, by mail, or via the Santa Ana College website.

What is the fee charged for a transcript?

An express request can be mailed within one business day, the cost is $8 per copy, sent via U.S. Mail. A non-express request can be mailed within 7-10 business days, the cost is $3 per copy, sent via U.S. Mail.


Santa Ana College is a beacon of academic excellence, known for its diverse range of programs, highly regarded faculty, and commitment to innovation and sustainability.

Its reputation for quality education, coupled with a vibrant campus life and strong community engagement, makes it a top choice for students and faculty alike. As we’ve explored, the college’s impact extends far beyond its campus, shaping the lives of its students, alumni, and the broader community.

Whether you’re a prospective student, an educator, or simply someone interested in the transformative power of education, Santa Ana College stands as a shining example of what a community college can achieve