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Allan Hancock College is a public community college in Santa Maria, California. It’s been called one of the top 120 community colleges in the country, and top 5 in California. The Aspen Institute awarded Allan Hancock this honor based on, “…three key metrics: student outcomes; changes over time; and equity in student achievement.” It’s committed to creating a culture that expresses values including diversity, academic freedom, shared governance, mutual respect, innovation, in order to advance student achievement.
The History of Allan Hancock College
The school was founded in 1920, by the Santa Maria High School District, to encourage high school students to continue their education locally. Classes were held in high school rooms until 1937, when . The school was originally called Santa Maria Junior College, and quickly grew both in enrollment and bonds to fund its expanding curriculum.
One of its main early functions was as the Santa Maria’s Hancock College of Aeronautics, which served as the primary training center for World War II fighter pilots.
In 1954, Allan Hancock moved to the former site of Allan Hancock Field. It, and the school were named after George Allan Hancock, owner of the Rancho La Brea Oil Company. In 1958, Hancock received another bond, using it to buy their new site and expand their programming further.
The 60’s saw the additions of a business education building (1964), a new fine arts building (1965), industrial technology building, gymnasium, administration and student services (1967), and a performing arts center (1968).
In 2006, Hancock received a $180 million bond to complete new facilities over the next decade. Hancock remodeled its Learning Resource Center, an original campus building (2007), and opened a community education building that same year. This building modernized the school’s science, computer and office space.
In addition to Santa Maria, Allan Hancock has campuses in Lompoc, Solvang, and the Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Its notable alumni include actor Zac Efron, comedian Robin Williams, comedian and podcaster Scott Aukerman, Academy Award Winner Kathy Bates, rock star Chuck Negron and many others.
Santa Maria has also long been a major filming location. Two Pirates of the Caribbean films have been shot there (At World’s End and Dead Man’s Chest), as well as Barton Fink, The Rocketeer, The Spirit of St. Louis, Sideways, The Ten Commandments and many others.
Academic Offerings and Class Search
Allan Hancock offers a massive course catalog, with over 100 areas of study, and more than 1,000 courses leading to associates degrees and certificates. Areas of study include Accounting, Justice Administration, Agribusiness, Film & Video Production, Kinesiology, Music, Nursing, Sound Technology, Political Science, Chemistry, Computer Business Information Systems, Global Studies, Human Services, and much, much more.
It’s known for its English as a second language program, professional theater program, applied design/media programs, wildland firefighting degrees, wine marketing and sales, and its incredible support services for students, which include counseling, tutoring and much more.
Allan Hancock has demonstrated its ability to evolve, from its focus on airplane mechanics and radio code in the 1930s and 1940s to pertinent fields like mechatronics and viticulture today. It’s home to the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts, one of California’s most respected and competitive theater programs.
Allan Hancock Athletics
Allan Hancock offers an immense, diverse athletics program. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, football, golf, soccer and track & field. Women’s sports offered are basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, swimming, track & field, volleyball and water polo.
Former head coaches include football legends like John Madden, Ernie Zampese, as well as Gunther Cunningham.
What Makes Allan Hancock Unique: Faculty Authors
Allan Hancock boasts a wealth of published faculty, writing books on topics including fiction, psychology, engineering, history, business, and communication. In the past twelve years alone, six books have been published by Allan Hancock’s faculty. Notable recent examples include:
- Michael Guista’s “Brain Work,” a collection of short stories strung together by the connections and dilemmas that stem from the relationship between the mind, body and soul.
- Marc García-Martínez’s “The Flesh-and-Blood Aesthetics of Alejandro Morales: Disease, Sex, and Figuration,” which studies the works of professor/novelist Alejandro Morales to understand the ways Morales verbalizes physical, bodily experience aesthetically and thematically.
- Dominic Dal Bello’s (with Frederick A. Leckie) “Strength and Stiffness of Engineering Systems,” which covers engineering solutions for stiffness and strength of physical systems, and subjects like plasticity, fracture, composite materials, energy approaches, and mechanics of microdevices (MEMs).
Explore Santa Maria, California
Allan Hancock is in the small city of Santa Maria, in Santa Barbara, California. Santa Maria has around 100,000 people, and is on the southwest coast of California, 160 miles northwest of Los Angeles. You won’t have to travel to LA, because Santa Maria is a hotbed of activity. Standouts include:
- Taking in a play or performance at at the Pacific Conservatory Theatre, ranked as the #1 thing to do in Santa Maria on TripAdvisor. You won’t have to travel far to enjoy that!
- Santa Maria barbecue: for BBQ lovers, enjoy what Sunset magazine called “The West’s Best BBQ Town,” a barbecuing style that extends back into the 19th century. The style centers around diligently seasoned beef tri-tip grilled over native coast live oak, served with pinquito beans, fresh salsa, grilled French bread dipped in sweet melted butter, sometimes accompanied by sausage or venison and fresh strawberries.
- Enjoy the natural beauty of Santa Maria on a hike in Los Flores Ranch Park or Foxen Canyon Wine Trail
- Wine lovers have a plethora of options including touring, picnicking and/or tasting at the
Presqu’ile Winery, Rancho Sisquoc Winery, Riverbench Vineyard and Winery, Cambria Winery & Vineyards, Kenneth Volk Vineyards, among others
- Explore the Santa Maria Museum of Flight on an old campus site of Allan Hancock College. The museum showcases aerospace artifacts, and documents the history of Santa Maria’s contributions to America’s aeronautical history
Allan Hancock Website
Allan Hancock Accreditation:
Allan Hancock College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Allan Hancock Mission Statement:
Allan Hancock College provides quality educational opportunities that enhance student learning and the creative, intellectual, cultural, and economic vitality of our diverse community.
Allan Hancock Mascot:
Spike the Dog
Blue and Gold