The beginning of any semester can bring headaches in the form of admissions, financial aid and general confusion. Easy as it is to complain, sometimes students may forget that LBCC provides myriad advantages, and there have been many transformations along the way.
Established in 1927 as Long Beach Junior College, the school initially welcomed 503 students at the campus at Woodrow Wilson High School. Following an earthquake in 1933 and a temporary relocation to Recreation Park the college came to what is now the LAC in 1935. The need for a second campus resulted from increased applications following World War II, leading to creation of the PCC in 1949, originally known as the Business and Technology Division Campus.
Obviously much has changed since LBCC’s arguably humble origins. The college acquired Veterans Memorial Stadium from the city of Long Beach in 1987. It has since been upgraded and added amenities like Wi-Fi and email services. The stadium area provides hundreds of parking spots and is the scene for school athletic events such as Homecoming.
Speaking of athletics, many may not be aware that “the college holds more national and state titles and bowl appearances than any other California Community College and has twice been selected by Cal-Hi Sports as the best Community College athletics program in the nation,” according to the school’s website. Our women’s basketball team is looking to clinch the first state title in the program’s history. The men’s water polo team clinched their ninth state championship during the Fall 2013 semester.
An event that falls somewhere between athletics and a festival is the Mini Grand Prix, held each Spring semester before the Grand Prix racing events in Downtown Long Beach. The Mini Grand Prix is student-run and includes a chili cook-off contest preceding race day, when students from various clubs compete on their pushcarts on a day filled with music and free slushies. This year the event will be held at the PCC.
The PCC is a testimonial to change all in itself. The campus once was solely dedicated to vocational training, but has recently added liberal arts courses, while maintaining one of the largest vocational training programs in the state as Board President Jeff Kellogg said during the State of the College Address. There is a garden where students can study and enjoy the changing landscape throughout the seasons and semesters. A new field for athletics is under construction. The newly-built Student Center recently added video games as a way for students to bond, socialize and unwind during the school day.
Students who need or want to take courses at both campuses have access to a shuttle, free to ride with a current student I.D. City buses run frequently at both campuses to take students home, to work, to downtown, and a discounted bus pass is available, again with a current student I.D.
The libraries at both campuses recently integrated the WorldCat system, a global catalog. According to its website, “WorldCat represents a ‘collective collection’ of the world’s libraries, built through the contributions of librarians, expanded and enhanced through individual, regional and national programs. WorldCat represents the electronic and digital materials most in demand by information seekers, as well as the important, unique items found only in local libraries.” Students are now literally have information from all around the world available at their fingertips.
Daft Punk’s hit “Get Lucky” celebrates dancing all night and club life, but some of the lyrics apply to LBCC’s current state of progress: “We’ve come too far, to give up who we are. So let’s raise the bar, and look up to the stars.”