The History of Community Colleges, MCCCD & Phoenix College

By maraaum
  • Joliet Community College

    Joliet Community College
    Superintendent J. Stanley Brown and President of the University of Chicago, William Rainey Harper, founded Joliet Junior College in 1901. Brown was unhappy that financial constraints prevented many of his students from pursuing college. He enlisted the help of Harper and initially added fifth and sixth year courses to the High School curriculum. This eventually evolved into that would become the first community college in the United States: Joliet Junior College (JJC).
  • Building the Dream

    Building the Dream
    Like Brown at JJC, Phoenix Union Principle, Daniel Jantzen, was also concerned there were limited opportunities for educational advancement of his students. Employing the help of his popular chemistry teacher, Weston W. Carpenter, a plan to create a form of cheaper higher education emerges for Phoenix. They even went so far as to consult the University of Arizona, which resulted in the two-college program.
  • Phoenix College Opens

    Phoenix College Opens
    Phoenix College opened it doors on the Phoenix Union High School campus in 1920. Weston W. Carpenter was appointed the institution's first Dean.
  • Establishment of Student Government & Clubs

    Establishment of Student Government & Clubs
    In the fall of 1921, the burgeoning students body held a private meeting to establish a student government. This led to the formation of various clubs and student organizations that continue to flourish to this day.
  • Cottonwood Court

    Cottonwood Court
    The institution officially christens itself “Phoenix Junior College,” and moves out of Phoenix Union High School and onto Cottonwood Court campus. It was originally a private home converted to serve the burgeoning college’s needs.
  • Arizona State Legislature

    Arizona State Legislature
    The Arizona State Legislature passed a law authorizing the existence and maintenance of Junior Colleges.
  • Harry A. Cross

    Harry A. Cross
    H. A. Cross became the third dean of Phoenix College. He is most well known, and loved, for offering advice to students in a periodic newspaper column in the campus paper, the Bear Growls.
  • Accreditation

    Phoenix Junior College (PJC) received its formal accreditation from the North Central Association. Prior to this point, PJC had to make individual arrangements of accreditation with various colleges and universities to accept their transfer credits.
  • The Great Depression Begins

    The Great Depression Begins
    Because of the Great Depression during the 1930s, community colleges across the country try to combat the nationwide unemployments with job training programs. This would continue through the 1940s and 50s.
  • Opening of the New Campus

    Opening of the New Campus
    The new expanded campus for Phoenix Junior College opens at Thomas and 15th Ave. This campus is still open today, albeit expanded and updated as time goes on. Originally in a “rural” location, the Thomas and 15th Ave campus is now in the heart of Downtown Phoenix.
  • The Military Programs

    The Military Programs
    Within 2 months of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Phoenix Junior College was quickly chosen to offer courses for Military Programs restricted to enlisted cadets. Most of theses were Air Force due to the fact PJC already had an exemplary flying club prior to the war starting.
  • Phoenix College

    Phoenix College
    The college rechristened itself simply “Phoenix College.” Dr. Robert J. Hannelly becomes the 5th dean of the institution.
  • Night Classes Soar!

    Night Classes Soar!
    In 1947 the night classes only had 290 students. By the start of the academic year in 1950 there was an even split between night (1,016) students and day (1,015) students.
  • The End of Segregation

    The End of Segregation
    The Supreme Court rules in Brown v. Board of Education that segregation should be abolished. However, this did not affect Phoenix College as it was never segregated, one of the few institutions of higher learning at the time that wasn’t.
  • Phoenix College Fine Arts center opens

    Phoenix College Fine Arts center opens
    Phoenix College Fine Arts center opens to house the Fine Art, Photography, Music and Drama programs and events.
  • Dr. Mildred Bulpitt

    Dr. Mildred Bulpitt
    When Dr. Mildred Bulpitt becomes Dean of Continuing Education and Evening Devision, she becomes the first woman in history to hold a position of this kind.
  • Maricopa County Community College District

    Maricopa County Community College District
    By the approval of county voters, what would eventually be known at the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) was establish. Phoenix College was transferred over to the MCCCD Governing Board. In turn, the 5th Dean of PC, Dr. Robert J. Hannelly, was made president of MCCCD.
  • The Baby Boomer Generation

    The Baby Boomer Generation
    With the Baby Boomer generation reaching college age, many new Community Colleges were built to accommodate their vast numbers throughout the United States. More than 1 million students were enrolled by the mid 60s, that number more than doubling ten years later throughout the country.
  • Additional Buildings for Additional Students

    Additional Buildings for Additional Students
    Additional buildings were commissioned (Buildings C, F and M specifically) to accommodate the growing number of students during the 1970s. This was due again because of the continuing enrollment of Baby Boomers, many of whom where trying to attain draft deferments.
  • Computers

    Phoenix College was only one of two colleges selected by the National Sciences Foundation to host a pilot project for computer-aided instruction on personal computers. 100 computer were provided to teach English and Math to individually motivated students.
  • Community College Enrollment Slows

    Community College Enrollment Slows
    The meteoric rise in student enrollment slows between 1980 and 1999 all over the country. This is probably due to the Baby Boomers entering the work place and the leaving academic environment.
  • Alumni Association

    Alumni Association
    The Phoenix College Alumni Association (PCAA) is founded with a total of 7 chapter alumni members with the assistances of two college staff members.
  • Dr. Myrna Harrison

    Dr. Myrna Harrison
    Following in Dr. Mildred Bulpitt, Dr. Myrna Harrison becomes the first woman to be named President of Phoenix College.
  • New Buildings

    New Buildings
    Maricopa voters approved a $386 million bond to Maricopa Community Colleges, $36 million of which was slated for Phoenix College. These funds were to be used in the construction of new buildings and the updating of others.
  • Re-Accrediation

    Phoenix College is re-accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.
  • ACE Program

    ACE Program
    Achieving a College Education (ACE) is started in order to target at risks youth in high school by allowing them to take courses at Phoenix College and receiving mentoring. This programs instantly enrolls the students full-time into the Community College upon graduating in the hopes of eventually transferring to a 4-year institution.
  • launches. This allows students to enroll online, make payments and view online transcripts.
  • Fine Arts Fuilding

    Fine Arts Fuilding
    2009 National recognitions is given to Phoenix College’s new state of the art Fine Arts building after it’s selected by the Construction Managements Association of America’s 2009 Project Achievement Award. It also receives the Best of 2009 Arizona Award from Southwest Contractor Magazine.
  • Comics and Sequential Art Program

    Comics and Sequential Art Program
    In 2009, the Comics and Sequential Art Program starts at Phoenix College. It is the first of it's kind on the Valley. Started by Mara Aum Gil, the course teaches students Industry Standards for the comic book industry.
  • Website Relainch

    Website Relainch
    Phoenix College launches a completely redesigned, more interactive website with blogs, multimedia, college calendars and a photo gallery. All of which is compatible with mobile devices.
  • On Time Registration

    On Time Registration
    Dr. Terry O’Bannion implements “On Time Registration” across all MCCCD. This allows students to register early, which givens them the opportunity to get their books and be ready when classes begin.