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Campus History and Heritage

Columbia College and Modesto Junior College are the two community colleges located in the Yosemite Community College District. The former Modesto Junior College District was expanded into the larger Yosemite Community College District in 1964 by action of the district electorate. The district is geographically one of the largest in the State and transects more than 100 miles of the fertile San Joaquin Valley from the Coast Range on the west to the Sierra Nevada on the east. The boundaries includes nearly 4,000 square miles encompassing all of Tuolumne and Stanislaus Counties and parts of San Joaquin, Merced, Calaveras and Santa Clara Counties. Because of an increase in student enrollment, the need for greater educational opportunities in the mountain counties, and the great distance involved in travel for students to attend Modesto Junior College, the Yosemite. Community College District Board of Trustees authorized the formation of Columbia Junior College and scheduled its opening for September, 1968. The word 'Junior' was dropped from the College name in 1978. Starting on the quarter system, Columbia College changed to the semester system on July 1, 1984.