Our History

West Valley-Mission Community College District History

With the approval of voters residing within Campbell Union and Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School districts and the Santa Clara Unified School District, West Valley Joint Community College District was established in January 1963.  West Valley College 1964 Photo
In early 1964, a 143-acre site in Saratoga was purchased for what would become the permanent campus for West Valley College and the District offices.  The second campus in the College District, Mission College, began with the acquisition of twelve acres in Santa Clara and eventually grew to be a 164-acre site.  Mission College was temporarily located at Jefferson Intermediate School from 1975 to 1979. With the completion of the first building phase in the fall of 1979, the new Mission College campus opened its doors to students.

In September 1985, the name of the District was changed from the West Valley Joint Community College District to West Valley-Mission Community College District (WVMCCD) to reflect the status of Mission College. Since their inception, the two colleges have become major providers of credit and non-credit education in the Santa Clara Valley. Though each college has developed its own character, style, programs and atmosphere, both are committed to academic excellence. The faculty and staff on each campus are dedicated to assisting students to meet their academic goals, vocational interests, and special needs. Every semester over 20,000 students enroll in courses at the colleges. Thousands of others take online, off-campus, or non-credit courses and seminars offered through a variety of programs. These programs are aimed at meeting the training and retraining needs of the people of Silicon Valley.

Our district is part of California’s public community college system of 112 colleges in 72 districts across the state, which serves more than 2.5 million students and represents the largest system of higher education in the world. 

Foundation History

In the early 1970s, area prune growers established the West Valley-Mission Colleges Foundation. In the early 1990s, the West Valley-Mission Community College District established an Advancement Foundation to coordinate all fundraising activities for the district. In 2007, the two entities were merged to form the Foundation known today as the West Valley-Mission Community College District Foundation. 

The Foundation was formed to generate resources from the private sector, create visibility for the colleges, and strengthen ties within the community. As a result of deep community commitment, the Foundation has generated millions of dollars in cash and equipment donations for West Valley and Mission Colleges. In addition to raising money for scholarships and programs, many Foundation board members have served in a leadership capacity to help the district promote two successful bond campaigns. By hosting community events and working in partnership with district administrators, the Foundation helped the colleges spread awareness and gain support for these transformative ballot initiatives.
Today, the West Valley-Mission Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit tax-exempt charitable organization which serves as an auxiliary to the West Valley-Mission Community College District. The Foundation is governed by a board comprised of community members dedicated to the ongoing success of the West Valley-Mission Community College District.
With its strong leadership at the staff and board level, dedicated community members, and its student-centered vision, today's Foundation is well-positioned to maximize resources for West Valley and Mission Colleges and meet the ever-changing educational and economic development needs of Silicon Valley.