Name: Dr. Alexis S. Montevirgen
Job Title: President
College: Pierce College
Regional Role: College Presidents
Pierce College is a flourishing two-year public institution in Southern California providing opportunities for transfer education, occupational training, and life-long learning.
Founded in 1947, Pierce is a comprehensive college with more than 60 disciplines and 111 degree programs being taught to 22,000 students each semester. It is one of the nine colleges of the Los Angeles Community College District, and is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, a nationally recognized accrediting agency.
Located on 426 acres in the western San Fernando Valley, nestled next to the thriving business district of Warner Center, Pierce College combines state-of-the-art technology and learning with the picturesque beauty of its rolling hills. The campus' setting among 2,000 trees, thousands of rose bushes, a nature preserve, botanical garden and a forest area boasting giant redwoods makes it unique in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.
True to its beginnings more than 65 years ago as an agricultural college, Pierce still maintains large sections of tillable and range land preserved as an enclave within a suburban environment. A 226-acre farm spans the west side of campus, featuring an equestrian center and sustaining small herds of cattle, sheep and goats.
Pierce College is setting the pace in community college education, preparing students to take their place or to retrain in industries at the forefront of technological advances. The creation of the 15-week semester plan led to higher enrollment, better learning and better retention. With five-week summer sessions and a five-week winter session, students are enjoying the opportunity to move more quickly through the curriculum with greater academic success.
Many Pierce College students transfer to the University of California system, the California State University system, and private universities to earn bachelor's degrees.
Pierce College has one of the highest transfer performances in Southern California. A six-year study first released in 2013 by the State Chancellor's office revealed that Pierce College is among the elite few of California community colleges showing the highest graduation and transfer rates among the 112 colleges in the system.1
Pierce Honors students have the enviable record of rarely being turned down for admission to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Honors students who applied to UCLA in the Fall of 2015 had a 90% acceptance rate.2 Pierce College students also transfer to California State University, Northridge (CSUN) in greater numbers than from any other college.
Pierce combines academic excellence with a friendly and helpful faculty and staff. It has a solid reputation for being a student-friendly institution, offering students high-quality and challenging education that will prepare them for university or vocational work. Pierce students benefit from smaller class sizes and lower tuition than a four-year university.
Over the last decade, the college's construction program funded by three Los Angeles voter bonds has revitalized the campus, enlarging and modernizing the capacity of the physical plant, and restoring its original mission-style grace.
The fine Center for the Sciences, Student Services Building, College Services Building, Child Development Center and Library Learning Crossroads are now vibrant centers for student learning and support.
Pierce College is proud to be recognized as one of the most respected community colleges and transfer institutions in California.