American River College (ARC) became part of the Los Rios Community College District in 1965. The district also includes Cosumnes River College, Folsom Lake College and Sacramento City College. ARC primarily serves the adult residents of the five-county greater Sacramento region. With more than 38,000 students, ARC is among the largest community colleges in the state and is looked upon as a leader in innovative programs and services.
ARC’s history pre-dates the Los Rios District. It opened its doors as California's 61st public junior college in 1955, but goes back to 1942, when Grant Union Junior College was established in Del Paso Heights to train civilian personnel during World War II. In 1945, the name was changed to Grant Technical College.
In June 1954, voters agreed to establish a new junior college district, followed by the approval of a $3 million bond in November of that year. Grant Technical College ceased operation after 13 years and the American River Junior College District was started in the fall of 1955.
With the passage of districtwide and statewide bond measures, construction on new buildings began in 2004 and will continue well into the second decade of the 21st century. New construction in recent years include a new theater and performing arts classroom, a gymnasium, the Learning Resource Center, health education classrooms and offices, Natomas Education Center, San Juan Center and an expanded college library.