Nestled in the hills above Whittier, the District was created in 1960. The College officially opened its doors for instruction in 1963 and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012-2013. As a comprehensive community college, Rio Hondo College offers many strong career-technical programs, such as nursing, fire and police academies, automotive and alternative fuels, a full transfer curriculum, and basic skills courses and services. The College also offers a rich complement of community service programs on campus and at satellite locations.
Rio Hondo College has developed an impressive educational complex that enrolls approximately 18,000 students per semester. The student body reflects the diversity of the surrounding communities and is approximately Hispanic 67.2%, White Non-Hispanic 10.2%, Unknown 9.7%, Asian 8.1%, African-American 2.2%, Filipino 1.4%, Multi-Ethnic 0.8%, American Indian/Alaskan Native 0.2%, and Pacific Islander 0.1%.
The current District general fund budget is approximately $116 million. Included in that amount are several state and federal grants that fund a variety of innovative college projects. Plans are underway for a second bond passage in coming years. The District currently employs nearly 1,500 including part-time faculty and classified staff.
Mission, Vision and Values
Rio Hondo College strives to be an exemplary California community college, meeting the learning needs of its changing and growing population and developing a state of the art campus to serve future generations.
Rio Hondo College is committed to the success of its diverse students and communities by providing dynamic educational opportunities and resources that lead to degrees, certificates, transfer, career and technical pathways, basic skills proficiency, and lifelong learning.
As a teaching/learning community, we come together and strive to meet the needs, aspirations, and goals of our changing student population and communities. Since what we value forms the core of who and what we are, the college community–trustees, faculty and staff–recognizes the importance of openly and candidly expressing the College’s values. Rio Hondo College values the following:
- Quality Teaching and Learning
The College is dedicated to excellence in instruction and student services to develop the intellectual and personal competence of each student. Rio Hondo College is committed to preparing students to adapt to the demands of a multicultural society.
- Student Access and Success
Rio Hondo College recognizes the individual worth and potential of every human being. Accordingly, the College offers an open access, comprehensive educational program to its students including basic skills, vocational education certificates and degrees, general education and transfer courses, and, for its community, economic development opportunities. At Rio Hondo College, students will have an opportunity to develop ethical values, learn the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, develop career skills, and understand the scientific, artistic and social achievements of various cultures including their own.
- Diversity and Equity
Rio Hondo College remains committed to the diversity of students, faculty, staff, and management. Diversity can be defined in many ways including ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, learning styles, political beliefs, or other ideologies. Appreciation of diversity means the following:
- Recognizing that each individual is unique and understanding individual differences.
- Recognizing the things that people have in common despite being members of diverse groups.
- Creating a safe, positive, and nurturing environment that cultivates respect for what these differences are.
- Moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity as a way of coming together as a community with a common purpose. The concepts of educational equity and student learning outcomes are central to the values of the College. Access to education and the opportunity for educational success for all students shall be provided, with particular efforts in regard to those who have been historically and currently underrepresented. Education should prepare students to adapt to the demands of a multicultural society.
- Fiscal Responsibility– Rio Hondo College recognizes the importance of maintaining a fiscally sound, efficient, and effective college operation. It uses its resources—human, facilities, and financial—to the optimum benefit of its students, community, and staff.
- Integrity and Civility– We value integrity, honesty and respect in our actions and words.
Opportunities and Challenges
The District/College faces a number of opportunities and challenges that will be the focus of the Superintendent/President, including the following:
- Lead the College through a continual and ongoing process of improvement in meeting the goals and being prepared for the Accreditation process.
- Promote and facilitate collegiality, civility and respect among all College constituencies by uplifting the campus climate with an emphasis on a shared purpose and participation in shared governance.
- Bring programs and activities together to address equity and sustainability in all facets of the College’s and District’s operations.
- Support the Rio Hondo Foundation and enhance the resources available to the College.
- Create new and stronger collaborative relationships between the College and community organizations, businesses, cultural institutions, and educational institutions.
- Foster relationships with baccalaureate-granting institutions to improve transfer opportunities for Rio Hondo students.
- Lead the College in implementing student success initiatives emerging from the California Community Colleges system’s Vision for the Success. In light of the new funding formula for California Community Colleges, act effectively and creatively with the fiscal constraints and budget uncertainties associated with its implementation.
- Regularly update the Strategic Master Plan to stimulate timely institutional educational master planning, academic planning, facilities planning, technology planning, human resources planning, and financial planning.
- Work effectively with employee bargaining groups to successfully negotiate.