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Home 2000 Demographics

Descriptive Background and Demographics

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Imperial Valley College is an integral part of the public school system of California and functions as a public community college for lower-division college work. It had its beginning on May 9, 1922, when the Board of Trustees of the Central Union High School District of El Centro passed a resolution establishing the Central Junior College.

This institution formally opened for instruction in September 1922. Two years later, in the fall of 1924, the Brawley Union High School District opened classes at the Brawley Junior College.

Enrollment increased in both schools until the onset of World War II when attendance dropped sharply. Brawley Junior College was forced, by lack of attendance, to discontinue classes at the close of the 1947 school year.

Central Junior College first conferred the Associate in Arts degree in 1934. In the fall of 1951, students, in cooperation with the administration and faculty, petitioned the Board of Trustees for a more representative name for the college because it was now serving students from all of the Imperial Valley.

By action of the Board, the name was officially changed to Imperial Valley College.

The school, under the administration of the Central Union High School District, gained recognition as an accredited institution of higher education. As the institution grew with the community, this growth was reflected in the steady rise in enrollment and in the diversity of courses and curricula that was offered. The extended-day program, which offered regular college classes at night, was initiated on a limited basis in 1952. Its rapid growth served to enlarge the service of the college to the community.

A recommendation that a countywide community college district be established in Imperial County was submitted to the State Department of Education and was approved on July 10, 1959.

The County Superintendent of Schools then set a date for an election at which all qualified voters residing within the boundaries of the seven high school and unified school districts were eligible to vote. The election was held on October 6, 1959. By an overwhelming vote ratio of twelve to one, the Imperial Valley Junior College District was established. This was followed by the election of the members of the Junior College District Board of Trustees, one of whom comes from each of the seven high school or unified school districts represented in the area served by the Imperial Junior College District.

The District includes all of Imperial County except a small area in the northwest corner of the County that is a part of the Coachella Valley Community College District.

Because of the increase in enrollment at both Central Union High School and the Imperial Valley College, and because of the lack of space on the campus of the Central Union High School in El Centro, the Imperial Valley College moved to temporary quarters erected on the campus of the Imperial Valley Union High School in Imperial, California.

On October 4, 1960, the people of Imperial County set an all-time state record when they voted by a ratio of thirteen to one to approve bonds to finance construction of a new campus.

The Board of Trustees selected a nationally known architectural firm to plan the new buildings, and a 160 acre site which met the criteria recommended by the Citizens’ Committee was selected for the new campus.

On January 13, 1971, the Board of Trustees changed the name of the District to Imperial Community College District in order to further emphasize the close relationship the college has with its service area.

Student Characteristics

Like many community colleges in California, the student population at Imperial Valley College is always changing. In 1985, Hispanic students comprised 61% of total student enrollment. By 1999 that percentage had grown to 85%, exceeding the percentage of Hispanic residents in Imperial County (65.8%) by over 17%. Likewise, the female population at Imperial Valley College continues to grow, a trend begun in the early 1980’s. Currently, 63% of the total enrollment is female.

Other student characteristics worth noting are:

The average age of Imperial Valley College students is 30. In Fall 1990, the two largest groups enrolled were the 20-24 year olds at 30.1% and 30-49 year olds, comprising 33% of the student population. In Fall 1999, those percentages were 28.4 and 31.4, respectively.

More than half (51.1%) of the students indicate that they work full or part-time while attending Imperial Valley College.

During Fall 1999, students who attended Imperial Valley College on a full-time basis (12 units or more) comprised 37% of the total student population, with 63% attending part-time.

Gender Enrollment 1999
 
Females
4388
63.4
Males
2531
36.6
 
Full-Time/Part-Time Enrollment 1998
 
Full-Time
2563
37%
Part-Time
4356
63%
 
Enrollment by Ethnicity 1999
 
Asian
123
1.8%

African American

 90
1.3%
Hispanic
5882
85%

Native American

22
.3%

White (Non Hispanic)

725
10.5%
Other
77
1.1%
 


Population and Demographic Pattern of Imperial County

As early as 1540 Hernando de Alarcon, European discoverer of the Colorado River, visited the area now known as Imperial County. Spanish explorers and Catholic friars continued their explorations into the area for many more years. Although some settlements existed along the Butterfield Stage Route as early as 1858, no real development took place until 1901 when a canal system brought water into the area.

The Imperial Community College District spans the border of Imperial County which is located in the southeastern corner of California adjacent to the northern border of Mexico and Arizona to the east. Imperial County’s land mass, which extends over 4,597 square miles, is larger than some states. Only one fifth of this area of 2,942,080 acres is irrigated for agricultural purposes. Approximately fifty percent of the county land is undeveloped and is under federal ownership and jurisdiction. The central area, better known as the Imperial Valley, comprises incorporated and unincorporated communities, which constitute one percent of the county land. The Salton Sea extends over seven percent of the area.

The climate is hot and dry, ranging from lows in the mid 30's in January to highs of over 110 in July and August. Mean temperatures vary from a low of 55.9 to a high of 89.6 with little moisture. The average rainfall is 2.92 inches, with an average relative humidity of twenty-five percent.

 

Imperial County

Population
 
1994*
 
1996*
 
1998*
 
2000**
Brawley
 21,800
 21,500

   21,700

   22,586

Calexico
 23,750
 25,150

   25,650

   30,081

Calipatria

   7,225

    7,450

     7,400

     7,483

El Centro
 36,800
 37,500

   37,850

   37,089

Holtville
 5,575

    5,500

     5,525

    5,631

Imperial
 6,125

    7,175

    7,475

    7,137

Westmorland
 1,610

    1,710

    1,720

    1,702

Five Unincorporated

Communities
33,050
 34,500
 34,850
 39,422
Total
134,900
140,485
142,170
151,131

 *Source: 1980 & 1990 Census
**Source: Southern California Associations of Governments
SCAG Forecast Adopted April 1998

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 14 October 2008 07:27 )