ARC in the 1960s

1919 Spanos Court (administrative offices)

The Los Rios Community College District is a special district providing administrative services and governance for the public community colleges serving the greater Sacramento area. Common administrative services such as human resources, purchasing, accounting, and information technology are provided for the colleges at a separate off-campus district office complex. The district actively works to integrate its programs with school districts, local governments and employers to meet greater Sacramento's higher education and technical training needs.

Colleges and Branch Campuses

The educational facilities provided by the district include four accredited colleges, and several off-campus "educational centers" located to serve specific geographic communities.  Though each campus has similar goals and basic education programs, each one has special programs and resources that may not be available to the others, or degrees and certificates more suited to your individual education goals.

American River College – northeast of Sacramento near Carmichael and Citrus Heights. Includes the following branch campuses:

Cosumnes River College – south, between Sacramento and Elk Grove

Folsom Lake College – east of Sacramento in Folsom

Sacramento City CollegeDowntown Sacramento

Distance Education (Online Learning)

Each campus offers distance learning options for certain courses.  Each course generally requires at least one in-class meeting for orientation, as well as a final exam, at the college's main campus.


Governance and public oversight is provided by a Board of Trustees whose seven members are elected to four-year terms by the public from different geographical Trustee Areas.


The results of a March 17, 1964, election led to the 1965 formation of the Los Rios Junior College District to govern Sacramento City College (1916) which separated from the Sacramento City Unified School District, and American River College (1942) which separated from the Grant Joint Union High School District. When the district was formed there were 10,632 students attending the two colleges.

One of the first actions of the new Los Rios district was to form a planning committee which, in 1967, acquired new land for future colleges: north of Sacramento in Natomas, south near Elk Grove, and east near Folsom. That committee proved to be accurate in their predictions of growth, which has been invaluable to the district over time. Property values in these areas have soared and acquiring the amount of land necessary for a complete college campus today might be prohibitively expensive.

In 1970 the district opened Cosumnes River College on the site to the south.

By 1980 combined enrollment in the district's three colleges was about 44,500 students.

By 1995 combined enrollment in the district's three colleges was about 53,000 students.

In 2004 the district opened California's 109th community college, Folsom Lake College, on the site to the east of Sacramento in Folsom.

By 2005 combined enrollment in the district's four colleges was about 71,000 students.


Other Public Community College Districts

Yuba Community College District,  Serving parts of Yolo, Yuba, Sutter, and Lake counties

Sierra Community College District Serving parts of Sacramento, El Dorado, Nevada and Placer counties

San Juaquin Delta College Serving San Juaquin county