Las Positas College was recently ranked fourth in a Best Community Colleges in America, based on U.S. Department of Education data for 2024. The data and rankings are compiled by the college ranking and listing service Niche.com. There are a total of 922 community colleges on the current list, which includes all of California’s 116 community colleges serving 1.9 million students.
The college ranked 6th on this same list in 2023, improving its standing this year by two places.
LPC President Dr. Dyrell Foster expressed excitement about LPC’s recent Niche 2024 ranking.
“This distinction represents Las Positas College’s continued commitment to academic excellence and student success,” said Foster. “LPC’s primary role is to support the academic and career goals of our students and to address the educational and workforce development requirements of our community. It is gratifying to witness the recognition our college community is receiving for our collaborative endeavors to advance student equity and promote academic success.”
The reasons why Las Positas ranked so high may not be of great surprise. The average California community college offers 11 degree programs, while LPC offers 38 — and an additional 42 technical certificate programs.
Las Positas is also one of two campuses with a theater conservatory program, where aspiring actors and actresses can hone their craft without incurring a $40,000-plus tuition cost. The list of unique features, offerings and enrollment programs all support students as a combined 69% graduate or transfer to a four-year college to complete their degree.
This is just the latest in a series of recognition for Las Positas. Recent recognitions also include earning a No. 15 ranking out of 405 for Best Hispanic-Serving Institutions in America, and No. 2 overall for both Best Community Colleges in California and Best Community Colleges in the San Francisco Bay Area.
LPC is not a you-get-what-you-pay-for college. Las Positas continues to offer an education at less than half of the annual cost of all two-year colleges based on U.S. Department of Education cost surveys. Hawks are able to select from a larger selection of degrees and certificates while keeping tuition cost affordable that includes options for financial assistance and scholarships.
Malenie Garibay, a psychology major, did not know that LPC is ranked No. 4.
“Honestly, I was not expecting it. I thought Delta was better than LPC. There are so many people that go here, and it’s great,” Garibay said.
Las Positas continues to strive for recognition for the college, its programs and student community. LPC is just one of 150 of over 1,000 community colleges nationwide invited to compete for the 2025 “Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.” This award is bestowed to one college every other year, which includes a $1 million prize. Aspen’s criteria indicates it assesses each college’s “…achievement in six critical areas: teaching and learning, certificate and degree completion, transfer and bachelor’s attainment, workforce success, access, and equity for students of color and students from low-income backgrounds.”
A win for the Hawks would both add another award for the campus. Any prize money would require collaboration of the administration and faculty to find how to reinvest the funds back into the LPC community.
Paul George is a staff writer and copy editor for The Express. Follow him @paul.georgePIO on X.