Academic Catalog


Our History at Grossmont College

It began as a dream. It had no name, no firm location, and no construction funding. Yet from the moment the idea was born, Grossmont College promised to become one of the region’s leading higher education institutions. Today, Grossmont College is a leading provider of higher education and workforce training in San Diego’s East County and the No. 1 transfer school in the country to San Diego State University.

An Auspicious Start

Following several years of study involving both lay and educational groups, East County voters approved the formation of the Grossmont Junior College District in an election held Nov. 8, 1960. The first official organizational meeting of the Grossmont Junior College Governing Board occurred July 1, 1961. With an opening enrollment of 1,538, the first college classes convened Sept. 11, 1961, on the Monte Vista High School campus in Spring Valley.

In an election held Sept. 18, 1962, voters approved a $7.5 million facilities bond. The Governing Board moved to purchase a 135-acre site on a scenic mesa in Fletcher Hills adjacent to the cities of El Cajon and La Mesa. Ground was broken for the new campus in December 1963. Even before construction was completed, the administrative offices were moved to the new campus and classes opened Sept. 14, 1964. The Grossmont College campus was officially dedicated Dec. 12, 1964.

The first increment of the campus was planned to accommodate an enrollment of 2,500 daytime students, with the completed campus expected to serve 4,800 students. On Oct. 18, 1965, area voters approved a second bond measure, for $3.5 million, making it possible to complete a new master plan. New facilities were completed Sept. 25, 1967.

In 1970, state legislation changed the term “junior college” in California codes to “community college” and on Jan. 6, 1971, the San Diego County Board of Education approved a petition from the Grossmont Junior College District to change its designation to the Grossmont Community College District. On March 5, 1985, the Governing Board officially changed the name of the district to the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District (GCCCD) to reflect the establishment of Cuyamaca College.

Building A Modern Campus

In 2013, East County voters approved Prop. V, GCCCD’s $398 million bond measure. Prop. V projects are intended to prepare local students and veterans for college and career success by upgrading the District’s career training facilities for science, medical and public safety. The renovated Building 31, which is part of the Science, Math & Career Complex, opened in spring 2020. The newly constructed Performing and Visual Arts Center (PVAC), which, includes the Hyde Art Gallery, opened in 2021. In Spring 2024, the Math & Sciences Building opened and began offering classes. In addition to new math and science classrooms, the building is home to the new Student Veterans Center, the MESA Program, the Math & Science Center, and employee offices. 

Grossmont College Today

Grossmont College is transforming lives through education by offering more than 150 degree and certificate programs, including those focused on university transfer and workforce training. Grossmont College also offers a full range of student activities and clubs, as well as 17 intercollegiate athletic teams.

Enrollment has remained steady at a level of more than 16,000 students since the mid-1970s, rising to 17,484 students in 1991 and 18,241 students in 2002. In fall 2009, enrollment exceeded 20,000 students for the first time with 20,362 students, and increasing to the highest level ever in spring 2010 with 20,793 students.

During the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020-2021 academic year, Grossmont College continued to offer a robust schedule of classes, primarily online. At the conclusion of the 2020-2021 academic year, 1,554 students graduated, with a total of 3,687 degrees and certificates. Students returned to campus in the fall of 2021, and Grossmont College, for the first time since 2019, held an in-person graduation on June 9, 2022.  

In 2023, Grossmont College moved its commencement ceremony to San Diego State University to meet the capacity of its graduates and their guests. In 2024, Grossmont College awarded 4,260 degrees and certificates to more than 1,500 students. 

Educational Philosophy

The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Board believes that a community college should provide experiences that will greatly broaden students’ educational opportunities and strengthen society’s democratic institutions. Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges are committed to provide an education through which students may create rewarding lives, productive for themselves and for society, based on an understanding of the relationship between the past, and the challenges of the present and the future. 

The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Board accepts and is committed to the following premises:

  • The democratic way of life allows each individual the personal freedom and initiative consistent with his/her responsibilities to other persons.
  • Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges recognize the value of our diverse and individual needs, interests, and experiences, vary greatly.
  • The maximum development of the personal, social, and intellectual qualities of each individual must be encouraged.
  • The development and fulfillment of the individual and the development of the community are increasingly interdependent.

An educational environment dedicated to these philosophic premises will produce individuals prepared for life and citizenship in a complex, diverse society and global economy.   

Grossmont College Mission Statement


Empowered through a culture of inclusivity, Grossmont College strives to maintain our student-centered philosophy while working to support the ever-changing needs of our students. Along with ensuring student success, Grossmont College continues to advance our antiracism and equity work as we venture further into the 21st century.


Grossmont College serves the diverse population of our surrounding community and beyond by creating clear and accessible pathways to degrees and jobs leading to social and economic mobility for our students. We work collaboratively to cultivate an equitable student-centered learning environment, and we hold ourselves accountable for improving student outcomes through ongoing assessment, evaluation, and data-informed decision making. Grossmont College offers associate degrees; transfer preparation, including Associate Degrees for Transfer; certificate programs; career education and workforce development.


  • Learning and Student Success – We dedicate our resources and ourselves in support of our students and their pursuits to achieve their academic, professional, and personal goals.
  • Creativity and Innovation – We value the capacity for ingenuity and originality on our campus and within our community.
  • Pursuit of Excellence and Continuous Improvement – We strive for excellence in our programs and services. We believe in the capacity for continuous quality improvement in the pursuit of excellence. We accept the challenges of being accountable for our efforts, and strictly adhere to the institution’s mission and vision.
  • Integrity – We commit to acting and speaking truthfully and responsibly and hold ourselves and others accountable to this standard.
  • Power of Diversity and Inclusion – We are committed to a climate for learning that considers diverse perspectives to be a powerful component in the education of every individual, valuing and accommodating both differences and commonalities.
  • Civility – We value fair, respectful, thoughtful interactions, based on a positive approach, that promote reflection, foster deeper understanding of phenomena, and permit achievement of common goals.
  • Balance – We value a nurturing and positive approach in all we do, embracing laughter and enthusiasm, as we nurture the development of the whole individual, including the intellectual, spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being of each individual.

Ethical Principles

Grossmont College is an academic institution dedicated to the pursuit of learning and the promotion of student success. In the quest for excellence, our entire college community shares the ethical values of integrity, honesty, transparency, civility, and respect. Students, faculty, staff, and administrators are guided by the ethical standards and principles established by the Grossmont College Student Code of Conduct and by comparable codes from professional associations and organizations. These values include personal and collective accountability and a high regard for others, the institution, and its mission.

Educational Objectives

It shall be the policy of the Governing Board of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District to implement the educational philosophy by providing a variety of programs. These shall be known as:

  1. An instructional program composed of:
    • Transfer courses equivalent to the lower division curriculum of universities and colleges for students who plan to continue their education at a baccalaureate institution.
    • Vocational and career education courses to provide technical skills and knowledge for beginning employment, retraining and advancement.
    • General education courses to broaden knowledge, skills, attitudes and values, to develop analytical ability and critical thinking, and to foster interest in life-long learning in the educational, scientific, and cultural fields essential for effective participation in a complex society.
    • Developmental courses to assist inadequately prepared students to succeed in college course work.
  2. A student services program composed of:
    • Academic and vocational support services and personal support services to provide students with sufficient opportunity to achieve educational success.
    • Co-curricular activities to provide opportunities for personal development and social responsibility.
  3. A learning resources program composed of:
    • Programs and services to support and to supplement the instructional, student services, and community education programs.
  4. A community education program composed of:
    • Continuing education non-credit courses which are eligible for state support and are designed to provide education and training in areas of local needs.
    • Community services courses, workshops, seminars, forums and institutes to provide for the special educational, cultural, avocational and recreational needs of the community.

Grossmont College Institutional Student Learning Outcomes

The five institutional student learning outcomes are the Grossmont College framework for essential learning. These outcomes outline the knowledge, abilities, and habits of mind that a student will have attained as a result of the college learning experience. The institutional student learning outcomes reflect the Grossmont College commitment to our students and the community we serve.

Critical & Creative Thinking

  • Students will explore issues, ideas, artifacts, and events and gather evidence from multiple perspectives before forming an opinion or conclusion.
  • Students will analyze, connect, and synthesize ideas in order to creatively solve problems.
  • Students will demonstrate competence in interpreting and working with quantitative and qualitative data to weigh evidence, support arguments, and solve problems in everyday situations.

Communication Skills

  • Students will communicate effectively through reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

Global & Local Perspectives

  • Students will prepare to become global citizens by acknowledging and articulating the interconnection of the physical, social, political, economic, and cultural environments in which they live.
  • Students will demonstrate sensitivity, respect, and integrity when interacting with individuals of diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and values.

Technology & Information Skills

  • Students will gain core information literacy skills by critically evaluating information, identifying the most reliable information from a variety of sources, and recognizing the importance of being well-informed and sharing information responsibly. 
  • Students will demonstrate skill in the use of technology and its ethical and responsible applications.

Life & Career Skills

  • Students will engage in self-reflection to cultivate their personal development and well-being.
  • Students will engage in and interpret various forms of creative expression.
  • Students will demonstrate and apply the attitudes, knowledge, ethics, and skills necessary to contribute to professional, civic, and academic communities.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Each program at Grossmont College has developed specific outcomes to convey the knowledge, skills, and abilities students will obtain upon completion of his or her major. The Program Outcomes are listed with the description of each major, refer to Associate Degree Programs and Certificates.

The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC)

Ethics Statement

The ASCCC adopted the “American Association of University Professors (AAUP) Ethics Statement,” and expanded upon it in 1994 and in 2002. In addition to the Ethics Statement, the ASCCC’s 2002 paper, “Faculty as Professionals: Responsibilities, Standards and Ethics,” provides suggestions about interacting with all members of the college community with the values of “equity, inclusion, openness, diversity, accountability, integrity and honor.” Suggestions include: maintaining scholarly competence and honest academic conduct: insuring cultural and gender sensitivity – respecting students as individuals; encouraging the free pursuit of learning – securing student access and success; creating a learning environment of trust and sensitivity; establishing academic standards; and maintaining academic freedom.

Professors, guided by a deep conviction of the worth and dignity of the advancement of knowledge, recognize the special responsibilities placed upon them. Their primary responsibility to their subject is to seek and to state the truth as they see it. To this end professors devote their energies to developing and improving their scholarly competence. They accept the obligation to exercise critical self-discipline and judgment in using, extending, and transmitting knowledge. They practice intellectual honesty. Although professors may follow subsidiary interests, these interests must never seriously hamper or compromise their freedom in inquiry.

As teachers, professors encourage the free pursuit of learning in their students. They hold before them the best scholarly and ethical standards of their discipline. Professors demonstrate respect for students as individuals and adhere to their proper roles as intellectual guides and counselors. Professors make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct and to ensure that their evaluations of students reflect each student’s true merit. They respect the confidential nature of the relationship between professor and student. They avoid any exploitation, harassment, or discriminatory treatments of students. They acknowledge significant academic or scholarly assistance from them. They protect their academic freedom.

As colleagues, professors have obligations that derive from common membership in the community of scholars. Professors do not discriminate against or harass colleagues. They respect and defend the free inquiry of associates. In the exchange of criticism and ideas professors show due respect for the opinions of others. Professors acknowledge academic debt and strive to be objective in their professional judgment of colleagues. Professors accept their share of faculty responsibilities for the governance of their institution.

As members of an academic institution, professors seek above all to be effective teachers and scholars. Although professors observe the stated regulations of the institution, provided the regulations do not contravene academic freedom, they maintain their right to criticize and seek revision. Professors give due regard to their paramount responsibilities within their institutions in determining the amount and character of work done outside it. When considering the interruption or termination of their service, professors recognize the effect of their decision upon the program of the institution and give due notice of their intentions.

As members of their community, professors have the rights and obligations of other citizens. Professors measure the urgency of these obligations in the light of their responsibilities to their subject, to their students, to their professions, and to their institution. When they speak or act as private persons, they avoid creating the impression of speaking or acting for their college or university. As citizens engaged in a profession that depends upon freedom for its health and integrity, professors have a particular obligation to promote conditions of free inquiry and to further public understanding of academic freedom.

Academic Freedom

Board Policy 4030

The Grossmont-Cuyamaca College District Governing Board shall promote public understanding and support of academic freedom for the implementation of the educational philosophy of Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Academic freedom is fundamental for the protection of the rights of the instructor in teaching, and of the student to freedom in learning. It carries with it duties correlative with rights.

  1. Instructors are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, but they should be careful not to introduce into their teaching material that has no relation to their subject. The intent is not to discourage what is “controversial.” Controversy is at the heart of the free academic inquiry that this entire policy is designed to foster. Instructors should avoid persistently intruding material that has no relation to their subject.
  2. Instructors are citizens, members of a learned profession, and may be viewed by those outside of the District as representatives of the District. When they speak or write as citizens outside of their roles with the District, they should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but their special position in the community imposes special obligations. As scholars and instructors, they should remember that the public might judge their profession and Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District by their utterances. Hence they should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that they are not speaking for the District.
  3. As colleagues, faculty members have obligations that derive from the code of ethics (adopted by both the Grossmont College Academic Senate [11/16/92] and the Cuyamaca College Academic Senate [4/6/95]). Faculty members do not discriminate against or harass colleagues and students. They respect and defend the free inquiry of associates. In the exchange of criticism and ideas, faculty members show due respect for the opinions of others. Such exchanges shall focus upon the substance and content rather than personal characteristics of individuals. Uncivil, intemperate, or abusive language and behavior is contrary to a productive and safe working and educational environment. This does not contravene academic freedom and free exchange of ideas and opinions, but requires accuracy, appropriate restraint, and respect for the professional expression of others.
  4. Instructors are entitled to full freedom in academic research and publication, subject to the adequate performance of their other academic duties, but research and publication for pecuniary return should be based upon an understanding consistent with the collectively bargained agreement between the District and the exclusive bargaining representatives.