Cypress College

Public community college in Cypress, California, US
Sporting affiliations
Orange Empire Conference
California Community College Athletic AssociationMascotCharlie the Charger[5]WebsiteOfficial Website

Cypress College is a public community college in Cypress, California. It is part of the California Community Colleges System and belongs to the North Orange County Community College District. It offers a variety of general education (55 associate degrees), transfer courses (58 transfer majors), and 145 vocational programs leading to associate degrees and certificates.


The college opened on September 12, 1966, as Cypress Junior College.[6]


The campus, covering an area of 44 hectares (110 acres), was designed by architect Frank Lawyer of the Houston, Texas-based firm Caudill Rowlett Scott. It features several futuristic-looking buildings set around a central lake. The college is noteworthy in that it has never completely abandoned the style of buildings it was initially created with. The new library, which opened on January 30, 2006, still bears heavy resemblance to the school's original buildings, though the use of concrete is de-emphasized in favor of glass.

Cypress College is located in the shadow of major tourist attractions such as Disney's theme parks and Downtown Disney (about six miles), Knotts' Berry Farm (less than five miles), and The Outlets at Orange entertainment complex (about 10 miles). The campus is 12 miles from the beach and is close to Long Beach, California and Los Angeles. The campus is located at 9200 Valley View Street in the city of Cypress.

Organization and administration

Cypress College operates with a decentralized approach of separate academic "divisions," allowing the benefits of both a small and large college campus. Each of the campus' instructional buildings was designed with a commons area where students with similar majors could meet and study.

The college is a part of the North Orange County Community College District. The campus is also part of the California Community College System.

Campus presidents

  • Dan Walker, 1967-1970
  • Omar Scheidt, 1970–1977
  • Don Bedard, 1977–1978 ¹
  • Jack Scott, 1978–1987
  • Elma Clamp, 1987–1988 ¹
  • Kirk Avery, 1988–1992
  • Tom Harris, Jr., 1992–1994 ¹
  • Christine Johnson, 1995–1998
  • Don Bedard, 1998–1999 ¹
  • Margie Lewis, 1999–2007
  • Michael J. Kasler, 2007–2012
  • Bob Simpson, 2012–2017
  • JoAnna Schilling, 2017–present

¹ Served in an interim capacity.

College leadership

In addition to the college president, who serves as the campus CEO, Cypress College's presidential leadership team includes three Vice Presidents, an executive director, two directors, and an executive assistant.[7] The college has 10 instructional dean positions and one dean for student services.[8]

Academic athways

Cypress College organizes its academic programs into nine pathways following the California Guided Pathways model of meta majors.[9][10] These pathways also reflect the college's organizational structure of its academic divisions. The college's pathways are:

  • Business & Computer Information Systems
  • Career Technical Education
  • Health Science
  • Kinesiology
  • Language Arts
  • Science, Engineering & Math
  • Social Sciences
  • Visual and Performing Arts (name changed January 7, 2023, from Fine Arts)
  • Exploration/Undecided

Each of these pathways are highlighted during commencement and a Presidential Scholar of Distinction is selected each year to represent each pathway.[11]


Cypress College's student population reaches nearly 17,000 per semester, though that number has fluctuated (experiencing historically high levels in 2010 and going as low as 12,500) in recent years based on the level of state funding provided and other economic factors. Spring 2012 enrollment was approximately 15,000.[12]

The college features a strong mix of ethnic diversity in its student population: 33% are Caucasian, 27% are Latino, 19% are Asian/Pacific Islander, 8% are Filipino, 6% are African American, and 5% are from other ethnicities or their ethnicity is unidentified.

The college is a Training Center for the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium. Cypress College Registered Nursing program graduates scored a 97.26% pass-rate in the 2004/2005 test years, 95.38% pass-rate for 2005/2006 test years, and 98.91% pass rate in the 2006/2007 test years on the State of California Board of Registered Nursing NCLEX state licensure examination.[13] Approximately 24% of students fail the RN program.

Cypress College is home to the only mortuary science program in the greater Orange County and Greater Los Angeles areas, and is one of only two such public programs in the state of California.


The Cypress College Library has a collection of approximately 70,000 books, 5,000 periodicals (mainly online), a large collection of reference works, and a variety of DVDs. The library offers students free 24/7 access to electronic databases with full text magazine, newspaper, journal, and encyclopedia articles. The library's special collections/archives houses materials that hold value to the college. These collections are not open to the public.[14]

Student life


Cypress College has 13 intercollegiate teams, including men's and women's teams. The athletics teams are nicknamed the Chargers. For men the school offers baseball, basketball, golf, soccer, swim & dive, and tennis. Women are offered basketball, soccer, softball, swim & dive, tennis, volleyball, and water polo. These programs have attained 73 conference titles and 24 state championships.[15] The college's notable alumni list is heavily influenced by the 20 Major League Baseball players and 137 MLB draft picks.[16] These include Hall of Fame member Trevor Hoffman. The athletics alumni also include NBA All-Star selections Swen Nater and Mark Eaton,[17] who both played for Cypress' first basketball coach, Don Johnson.[18] In 2009, the school renamed its basketball court "Don Johnson Court" in his honor.[19][20]

Cypress College has won state championships in nine team sports and is also represented by individuals in additional sports such as golf, dive, and tennis.[21] The softball team has earned 10 California championships, followed by baseball with five. These two teams were coached by brothers Brad (softball) and Scott (baseball) Pickler, who combined won 27 Orange Empire Conference Championships and 13 California state championships.[22]


Cypress College hosts student performances, exhibitions and events throughout the year. Theater, dance and music studies culminate in student performances held in the Cypress College theaters and recital hall.[23] The Cypress College Art Gallery and the Edouard de Merlier Photography Gallery host annual student exhibitions at the end of every Spring semester, showcasing student work from the Art, Media Arts Design and Photography departments.[24][25] The college also holds its Annual Film Festival every Spring semester which premieres short films made by Media Arts Design students.[26]

Notable alumni


  1. ^ "Buen Cypress Theme Resonates at Spring 2019 Opening Day". Cypress College. February 4, 2019. Retrieved July 14, 2023.
  2. ^ a b c "Cypress College 2016-2017 Annual Report". Issuu. November 20, 2017. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Cypress College Fact Sheet". Cypress College. July 6, 2017. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  4. ^ "Identity Guide" (PDF). Cypress College News Center. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 24, 2018. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  5. ^ "Charlie The Charger". Cypress College Athletics. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  6. ^ "Cypress JC Registration Set Thursday". Anaheim Bulletin. September 6, 1966. p. A4. Retrieved May 1, 2024 – via
  7. ^ "College Leadership". Cypress College. Retrieved July 14, 2023.
  8. ^ "Management Organizational Chart". Cypress College. Retrieved July 14, 2023.
  9. ^ "Explore Our Programs". Cypress College. July 14, 2023. Retrieved July 14, 2023.
  10. ^ "Guided Pathways". Cypress College. July 14, 2023. Retrieved July 14, 2023.
  11. ^ "Presidential Scholars of Distinction". Cypress College. May 19, 2023. Retrieved July 14, 2023.
  12. ^ "Cypress College Students – Spring 2012" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 13, 2014. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  13. ^ "Board of Registered Nursing – NCLEX Pass Rates". Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  14. ^ "Cypress College Library". Archived from the original on October 1, 2017. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  15. ^ "Cypress College Athletics" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on January 22, 2015. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  16. ^ "Cypress Chargers A Tradition of Excellence On and Off the Field" (PDF). Cypress College. Retrieved July 14, 2023.
  17. ^ Posner, Marc (June 1, 2021). "Remembering Alumnus Mark Eaton". Cypress College. Retrieved July 14, 2023.
  18. ^ Kresal, Steve (February 9, 1994). "Cypress' Johnson Is Stepping Down". Los Angeles Times. p. C9. Retrieved April 23, 2024 – via
  19. ^ Crowe, Jerry (January 8, 2009). "Text messages from press row..." Los Angeles Tines. Retrieved April 30, 2024.
  20. ^ Posner, Marc S. "Don Johnson — Charter Faculty Member and State's All-Time Wins Leader — Passes at 88". Cypress College. Retrieved April 30, 2024.
  21. ^ "Championship History". Cypress College. Retrieved July 14, 2023.
  22. ^ "Scott and Brad Pickler Enter Savanna High School Hall of Fame". Cypress College. January 13, 2016. Retrieved July 14, 2023.
  23. ^ "Theater Arts". January 16, 2018.
  24. ^ "Calendar — Cypress College Art Department". Archived from the original on March 8, 2018. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  25. ^ "Facilities | Cypress College". Archived from the original on March 8, 2018. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  26. ^ "Film festival". Archived from the original on October 1, 2017. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  27. ^ "A Man Who's Happy to Be Fighting His Way to the Top". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 8, 2024.
  28. ^ Breslin, Susannah (October 18, 2012), "Hey, Death Revolutionary, How'd You Get That Job?", Forbes, retrieved September 18, 2014
  29. ^ Your Mortician; Caitlin Doughty is a Los Angeles-based mortician, death theorist, and the founder of The Order of the Good Death., The Order of the Good Death, archived from the original on September 21, 2014, retrieved September 18, 2014
  30. ^ Secorun Palet, Laura (September 13, 2014), A Cheerful Mortician Tackles The Lighter Side Of Death, NPR, retrieved September 18, 2014
  31. ^ "Brian Downing Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
  32. ^ "Charles Gipson Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
  33. ^ "George Zeber Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved December 21, 2012.

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