In 1932, when a furnished house in Oceanside rented for around $13 a month and hamburger sold for 10 cents a pound, talk of establishing a community college in North County started. Though the idea was initially rejected, it soon became evident that an economically shaken Oceanside needed a way to provide local students with a college education without having to leave home.
In 1934, the Oceanside-Carlsbad Union High School District Board of Education voted to establish a community college, to be located in one wing of Oceanside High School and led by Superintendent/Principal George R. McIntyre. Known then as the Oceanside-Carlsbad Junior College Department of the Oceanside High School District, the school opened on September 3, 1934, with 20 faculty members who taught about 120 students. The college offered 16 courses that were accepted as credit toward advanced standing at the University of California. The college also offered vocational courses for students not wishing to transfer to a university.
Fresh from high school, students formed social clubs and participated in many activities. In the first two years after opening its doors, the college formed football, basketball and track teams; the drama department presented two plays; and the A Cappella Choir performed in different towns in the district. The journalism class established the weekly school paper, "O-C Campus," which was a combination of the high school and college newspapers.
The students also published a yearbook, the "Phalanx" and formed a sorority, "Coraphilia" and a fraternity, "Keymen." To differentiate themselves from the high school students who shared the same campus and followed the same bell schedule, freshmen students wore green felt skullcaps, nicknamed "dinks."
A student booklet printed in the late 1930s highlighted the importance that student activities played in the early years of the college. The booklet advised, "Specialized training and cultural academic work are supported by a well-planned social life, a health program, and an opportunity for growth through the enjoyment of leisure-time activities." Hover your mouse here to see students socializing during "College Hall."
Just months after offering the first classes, the local community voted to continue the existence of Oceanside-Carlsbad Junior College (O-CJC), with 84 percent of votes cast in support of the college. In April 1935, the California State Board of Education approved its permanent establishment.