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Saddleback College

Saddleback College
Motto Dynamic. Innovative. Student-Centered.
Established 1968
Type Public, Community College
President Tod A. Burnett, Ed.D.
Academic staff
910 (Full-Time and Associate)
Administrative staff
294 (Classified)
Students 26,305[1]
Location Mission Viejo, CA, USA
Campus Suburban, 200 acres
Colors Cardinal and Gold         
Mascot Gaucho
Affiliations South Orange County Community College District
California Community College

Saddleback College (commonly referred to as Saddleback) is a community college in Mission Viejo, California. As a part of the California Community College system, Saddleback awards over 300 associate's degrees, academic certificates, and occupational skills awards in 190 programs. The college was established in 1968 and is the oldest and southern-most institution governed by the South Orange County Community College District. Saddleback College got its name from the slump (or Saddleback) between the twin peaks of Santiago and Modjeska in the Cleveland National Forest. As a center for higher education, Saddleback College’s mission is to enrich its students and the south Orange County community by providing a comprehensive array of high-quality courses and programs that foster student learning and success in the attainment of academic degrees and career technical certificates, transfer to four-year institutions, improvement of basic skills, and lifelong learning.[2]


  • Academics 1
  • Accreditation 2
  • Campus and surroundings 3
  • Associated Student Government 4
  • Athletics 5
  • On-campus media outlets 6
  • Notable alumni 7
  • Notable faculty 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


Saddleback College is the largest member of the South Orange County Community College District, and offers educational opportunities and support services to a diverse and growing population in southern Orange County.

Saddleback College offers a wide range of programs that prepare students to evaluate and appreciate physical, cultural, and social environments. The college has a highly reputable science department including programs in Nursing, Physics, Environmental Studies, and Chemistry. Saddleback College awards associate degrees (A.A., A.S) and academic certificates (Occupational Skills Awards, Certificates of Achievement, and Certificates of Completion) in over 100 areas of study.

Not-for-credit Community Education classes are also available through Saddleback College.[3]

Saddleback College provides a Veterans Education Transition Services (VETS) Center. The program is devoted to helping veterans transition from combat to the classroom. Veterans are given professional guidance on how to enroll at the college and register for classes. VETS supports transitioning combat veterans through an extensive network of care givers in the civilian community, government, and non-profit organizations.[4]

Study abroad, cooperative work experience, and honors programs are also offered.


Saddleback College is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) under the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The associate degree nursing program is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, and the paramedic program is accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Emergency Medical Services Programs.[5]

Campus and surroundings

Saddleback College Campus

Saddleback College is located in Mission Viejo, Orange County, California. The campus is situated just east of Interstate 5 around the major roads of Avery Parkway, Marguerite Parkway, and Crown Valley Parkway. Located several miles from the coast, the campus enjoys a mild, Mediterranean climate.

A notable site on the campus is the Saddleback College Veterans Memorial, which was officially completed in 2010. A dedication ceremony was held on April 29, 2010, and was attended by representatives for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, lawmakers, active and former members of the armed services, college students and staff.[6] This memorial stands as a symbol of sacrifice, freedom and honor on the Saddleback Campus.

The campus is also located next to the Mission Viejo Mall, as well as the Kaleidescope shopping center.

An on-campus bus terminal/transfer point for the Orange County Transportation Authority routes 82,[7] 85,[8] 91,[9] and 191[10] is located on the north end of campus.

Associated Student Government

The campus is populated with many student clubs and organizations. The Associated Student Government (ASG) plans, organizes, promotes, sponsors and finances a comprehensive program of activities and services for all Saddleback College students.[11]

Within the Associated Student Government, the branch known as the Inter-Club Council manages various college clubs that have included the Model United Nations, the Chicano Latino Studies Student Association, College Democrats, College Republicans, Class Action, Students for a Free Tibet, Wilderness Adventure Club, and the Anime Club.[12]

ASG is made up of three branches which are Inter-Club Council, the Associated Student Senate, Events Cabinet.[13]


Saddleback College is home to 19 intercollegiate athletic teams that compete in some of the most competitive community college conferences in the nation.[14]

Involvement in these intercollegiate athletic teams is open to any Saddleback College student enrolled in 12 or more units (certain restrictions apply.)

The athletic programs are supported in part by the Associated Student Body at Saddleback College. Revenue generated from attendance at athletic events helps support the entire student activities program.

On-campus media outlets

  • The Lariat[15]
Since opening in 1968, Saddleback College has had a student-run newspaper, the Lariat. It is distributed most Wednesdays of the regular school year. It is printed at the Anaheim, California facility of The Orange County Register, where 5,000 copies are made. During the fall 2005 semester, the Lariat chose to change its masthead to include Saddleback's sister college in Irvine, Irvine Valley College, to appeal to a broader reader base and increase circulation. The change was met with opposition from members of Saddleback's administration as well as from the Associated Student Government, since Irvine Valley College did not contribute funds to the Lariat. Irvine Valley College now gives an allotted sum, and the masthead continues to include both colleges. The Lariat was a National Newspaper Pacemaker winner in 1994 under editor Robin Schnug and adviser J. Michael Reed, and a finalist in 1993, 1997 (editor Kevin Hessel, adviser Kathleen Dorantes), 2005 (editor Josh Krane, advisers Ted Martin and Kathleen Buckner) and 2006 (editor Alexandra Baird and advisers Martin and Buckner). The Lariat can be found online at
  • KSBR Saddleback Radio [16]
KSBR (88.5-FM) is a commercial-free music and community information station serving Orange County from Saddleback College. KSBR's primary format is contemporary jazz, but it also has weekend specialty shows featuring other musical styles like reggae, folk, ragtime, rock, Latin jazz, blues, and hip-hop music.[17]
In addition to training Saddleback College's Communication Arts students, KSBR is a community service station focusing its attention on Orange County news, traffic, weather, and entertainment. KSBR has received the Associated Press "Instant News" citation, AP's Certificate of Excellence for overall coverage, and is the only California station to be a four-time winner of the American Heart Association's C. Everett Koop, M.D. award.
  • Saddleback College Television
Cox Communications Cable Television - Saddleback College - Channel 39 - Mission Viejo
Saddleback College Cable Television serves cable subscribers with educational and school based programming from all of Saddleback's public and private educational institutions.[18]

Notable alumni

Notable faculty


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External links

  • Saddleback College
  • South Orange County Community College District
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