Established in 1926, College of the Sequoias (COS) is in Visalia on the eastern edge of the San Joaquin Valley midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The college, like most of the early community colleges in the state, developed out of the local public school system.
The Great Depression drove many unemployed young people to enroll in classes who were either not prepared for, or not necessarily interested in, transfer education.
During the 1960s and 1970s a new mission known as "community education" came to shape COS's development and transformed the institution, quite literally, from a "junior" to a "community" college. The college became a "full service" institution that met not only the community's adult educational needs, but also provided it with vocational and recreational activities.
Today, the college offers its approximately 13,000 students a variety of transfer, vocational and community-based classes, including the fire and police academies for Tulare and Kings counties.
The college, named for the giant Sequoia trees native to the nearby Sierra Nevada mountain range, offers classes on several satellite campuses in the cities of Corcoran, Dinuba, Exeter, Farmersville, Hanford, Ivanhoe, Lemoore, Lindsay, Orosi, Porterville, Strathmore, Three Rivers, Tulare and Woodlake.