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El Camino College Compton Center

El Camino College
Compton Center
Established 1927

A Center of a

Public Community College
Undergraduates 6,780
Location Compton, CA, USA
Nickname Tartars

El Camino College Compton Center (originally Compton Junior College) operates as a "center" of El Camino College. Previously Compton Community College, the college lost its accreditation in 2006 and has since operated as a satellite campus for El Camino College.[1] Prior to the takeover, the college was operated by the Compton Community College District.

Under an agreement with El Camino College, Compton Center is open and offers accredited El Camino College courses to residents of Compton, Carson, Lynwood, Paramount and parts of North Long Beach. Compton Center is located in Compton, California; El Camino College is in Torrance, California.


  • History 1
  • Campus 2
  • Transition 3
  • Presidents 4
  • Notable alumni 5
  • References 6


Statue of Apollo The Archer on the College Compton Center campus.

Compton Community College was established in 1927 as a component of the Compton Union High School District. From 1932 to 1949, it operated as a four-year junior college, incorporating the last two years of high school as well as the first two years of college.[2]

In 1933 the campus was devastated by a major earthquake which struck the region, leaving two buildings standing. Fortunately, no one on campus was killed.

In the 1940s several thousand Compton College students entered the armed forces and during World War II the campus housed a military unit and a defense plant.

In 1950 voters approved a bond issue separating the college from the high school district. The new college campus was then constructed at the college's present site, 1111 East Artesia Boulevard. Classes began on the new campus in the Fall of 1953.

In the 1960s the composition of the student body changed dramatically from predominantly Caucasian to overwhelmingly African-American.

In 1970 the Board of Trustees appointed the institution's first African-American President/Superintendent, Dr. Abel B. Sykes, Jr. Highlights during his 14-year administration included the construction of the first two new campus buildings since 1952: the Jane Astredo Allied Health Building and the Abel B. Sykes, Jr. Child Development Center (named after him in 1995).

The 1980s was a period of reduced funding and partial retrenchment for the institution, but by the early 1990s the college had once again stabilized. The second major demographic shift occurred in the 1990s making the campus population 50% African-American and 50% Hispanic.

In 1996 the Board appointed Ulis C. Williams as Interim President/Superintendent and in January, 1997 made this appointment permanent. During President Williams' tenure the district has received full re-accreditation, the Ralph C. Dills Vocational-Technology Center and the Math-Sciences building were constructed, and student enrollment approached 10,000.


The 40,000-square-foot (3,700 m2) library on campus opened in 2014. Its opening was originally scheduled for 2007. At that time it had a cost of $25 million. The opening was delayed by almost seven years and with an additional $4 million spent due to violations in the building code. For the period it was highly renovated.[3]


In May 2004, the State Chancellor's Office issued an Executive Order 2004-01, and installed Arthur Tyler, Jr. as Special Trustee to assist the Compton Community College District toward achieving fiscal stability and integrity. Subsequently, in August, the State Chancellor issued another Executive Order (2004-02) authorizing the continuing authority of the Special Trustee to manage the College, and to suspend, for up to one year, the powers of the governing board of the College, or of any members of that board, and to exercise any powers or responsibilities or to take any official action with respect to the management of the College. Interim President/Superintendent, Dr. Rita Cepeda was hired in February, 2005 to assist with the recovery of the College.

In June, 2005, the Executive Director of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), Dr. Barbara Beno informed the College of the Commission's decision to terminate the College's accreditation. In July, 2005, the State Chancellor assigned Dr. Jamillah Moore, Senior Vice Chancellor of the California Community Colleges system as the interim President/Superintendent and Dr. Charles Ratliff as the Special Trustee with the impending departure of both Dr. Cepeda and Mr. Tyler. The College began its appeal to the Commission regarding the termination decision.

On March 1, 2006, a third Special Trustee, Mr. Thomas Henry, was assigned to the College District to continue with the implementation of AB 61 and the development of AB 318 to keep the doors open for students. On June 30, 2006, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed AB 318 (D-Dymally) into law giving the College District $30 million loan for recovery and the opportunity to partner with a college of good standing to offer accredited courses. The bill also gave the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) the responsibilities to conduct a comprehensive assessment and to develop a recovery plan for the College to regain its accreditation.

On August 22, 2006, at the Board of Trustees meeting, the Special Trustee approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with El Camino College District to solidify the partnerships between the two districts. Under this MOU, the campus became a center of El Camino College. The Office of the President/Superintendent was replaced by the Office of Provost/Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The center is officially established as the Compton Community Educational Center. At midnight, Compton Community College lost its accreditation.

On August 23, 2006, the Compton Community Educational Center officially became part of El Camino College with Dr. Doris P. Givens serving as the Provost/CEO. Dr. Lawrence M. Cox became Provost/CEO from 2008 to 2010.


  • Dr. O. Scott Thompson, 1927–1950
  • Dr. Stuart McComb, 1951–1952
  • Paul Martin, 1954–1959
  • Dr. Phil Putnam, 1960–1962
  • Foster Davidoff, 1963–1968
  • Robert McKinney, 1968–1969
  • Dr. Abel B. Sykes, Jr., 1970–1984
  • Dr. Edison O. Jackson, 1985–1989
  • Dr. Warren A. Washington, 1989–1993
  • Dr. Byron Skinner, 1993–1996
  • Ulis C. Williams, 1996–2005
  • Dr. Rita Cepeda, acting, 2005
  • Dr. Jhamillah Moore, acting, 2005–2006

Notable alumni


  1. ^
  2. ^ Winter, Carl G. (1964). History of the Junior College Movement in California (PDF). Bureau of Junior Colleges. p. 13. 
  3. ^ Song, Jason. "Compton Community College library opens seven years later than planned." Los Angeles Times. April 15, 2014. Retrieved on April 16, 2014.
  4. ^ "Don Bandy". Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Joe Perry". Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  • Compton Community College District Audit
  • Fisher, Marla Jo. "Embattled Compton Community College Loses Accreditation." Community College Week 4 July 2005: 3, 14.
  • Fisher, Marla Jo. "Head of Troubled California College Leaving." Community College Week 28 Feb. 2005: 3, 12.
  • Compton Center website
  • History of Compton Community College District
  • Michael Chapey
  • Silverstein, Stuart. “School Takes Partner in Deal.” Los Angeles Times 18 July 2006, home ed.: B4.

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