The Hartnell Community College District was established in 1920. Hartnell CCD serves over 16,000 students annually through its main campus in Salinas, the Alisal Campus in East Salinas, the King City Education Center, and various outreach learning centers throughout the Salinas Valley. Hartnell College, a Hispanic Serving Institution, provides workforce training, basic skills courses, and prepares students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities.
Hartnell has been lauded by NASA, the NAACP, and UCSC as being among the top community colleges in the country in promoting and achieving success for its underrepresented students in the STEM disciplines. Hartnell has done this, in part, through intensive mentoring and internship programs with academic and research partners like the University of Santa Cruz Baskin School of Engineering, the Naval Postgraduate School, United States Department of Agriculture, Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, University of California at Davis, Fremont Peak Observatory, and many others. Hartnell's Alisal Campus is now home to a NASA Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy (SEMAA) laboratory for K-12 students and their families, the only SEMAA site on the West Coast.
Hartnell College (formerly Hartnell Community College) offers majors in the areas of health and nursing, math and science, animal health technology, agriculture, foreign languages, cultural studies, early childhood education, astronomy, justice administration, music, history, computer technology, drafting, English, engineering, welding, auto collision repair, business administration, anthropology, art, sociology, music, theater arts, and more. The college maintains three campuses: Main Campus, Alisal (East Salinas), and King City. The main campus in South Salinas also includes a Disabled Students Services Center, admissions and records office, financial aid office, Student Union, cafeteria, a parking structure and a library.
On June 29, 2007, the college Accreditation status was put on probation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
On January 21, 2008 the ACCJC, Western Association of Schools and Colleges took action to remove Hartnell College from Probation and place on Warning pending review of the Hartnell College progress report pending in March, 2008.
On June 30, 2008 the ACCJC, Western Association of Schools and Colleges took action to remove Hartnell College from Warning and reaffirm accreditation pending review of the Hartnell College progress report pending in March, 2009. The process to meet and exceed the ACCJC, Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accreditation standards for reaffirmation became the focus of Hartnell College staff and faculty for the next 6 years, addressing every aspect of the ACCJC, Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accreditation findings and recommendations.
The ACCJC, Western Association of Schools and Colleges met June 3–5, 2015 to review the Follow-Up Report submitted by Hartnell College and the report of the evaluation team that visited on April 15, 2015. The Follow-Up Report was certified by college and district leadership, including the president of the board of trustees, the college president, the Accreditation Liaison Officer, and leaders of the faculty, staff, and student organizations.
Update June 30, 2015: Hartnell Community College District is proud to report that the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) took action to remove Hartnell College from Warning and reaffirm accreditation. This is a great accomplishment attributed to the teamwork displayed in addressing the 12 recommendations issued to Hartnell two years ago to remove the College from Probation status and most recently Warning. For full documentation on Hartnell College's past and current accreditation status please visit hartnell.edu/accreditation.