Santa Rosa Junior College
Founded in 1918, Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) runs the first two years of a bachelor program before you transfer to a 4-year university to complete the remaining 2 years (2+2).
SRJC offers guaranteed transfer to all 23 campuses of the California State University (CSU) system, 6 of the University of California (UC) campuses (including nearby UC Davis), as well as a number of universities located in other states. The most popular universities to which SRJC students transfer include Sonoma State University, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, UCLA and San Francisco State University, though SRJC students also transfer to out-of-state institutions such as New York University, Cornell University, Purdue University and Seed partner institution, Louisiana Tech University. For further information on why the community college pathway can be a great option, please click here.
SRJC is a popular choice for international students thanks to its affordability and fantastic transfer options into top 4-year universities in California and beyond. Currently there are approximately 150 international students from 41 different countries on campus at any one time so you are sure to make global connections during your studies!
And, in case you are wondering, Junior College is the original term for what are now more widely referred to as Community Colleges. As one of the oldest community colleges in the USA, Santa Rosa has decided to stick with tradition and keep Junior College in its name!
Santa Rosa offers over 100 different majors so you have plenty of choices. Popular fields of study include Business, Biology (for future studies in Medicine and Health Sciences), Computer Science, Engineering and it boasts an extensive farm for its Agricultural majors.
Be sure to check the full list of available majors here.
There are a number of merit-based scholarships that students can apply for. In recent years a significant proportion of students from Africa studying at SRJC have successfully applied for these merit scholarships and Seed looks forward to helping you become the next beneficiary!
SRJC’s Black Student Union has also successfully campaigned for the all-new Sawubona Black Student Scholarships, open to both domestic and international students! This new scholarship will be available from 2021 and awards will be worth at least $1,000 per year.
Also new from Fall 2021 is the Doyle Scholarship (worth $1,200 per year), which has been opened up to international students for the first time. Unlike the other SRJC scholarships which can only be applied for after arrival, the Doyle Scholarship needs to be applied for before arrival to Santa Rosa.
Remember though that, in choosing SRJC, you have already chosen a quality institution with tuition fees that are significantly below the average in the US!
Santa Rosa Junior College is located in the small city of Santa Rosa (population: 175,000) in Sonoma County, an area renowned for its rich agriculture. The city is located 90 km north of San Francisco, where the nearest international airport can be found.
San Francisco and the Bay Area make for great places to visit at weekends. San Francisco is the cultural, commercial and financial center of North California. The proximity to the world renowned Silicon Valley (home of Google, Facebook, Apple and many other well-known tech companies) has led to San Francisco inhabitants having the highest average salary of any city in the world (CNBC, April 2020).
San Francisco is perhaps best known by visitors for the Golden Gate Bridge. Be sure to bring warm clothes with you when you come to San Francisco as its proximity to the ocean means that fog is a regular occurrence and summers can be quite cool. In contrast, Santa Rosa itself is known for its warm, Mediterranean climate in the summertime.
There’s plenty to keep you entertained on campus when you have finished studying for the day. Make use of the sports fields and tennis courts, or perhaps try out for one of the college’s many sports teams.
There are also over 40 clubs to choose from where you can meet like-minded people. Popular clubs include the Math Club, Business & Networking Club, the International Student Club and, of course, the Black Student Union.
Aspiring performers may also wish to try out for the regular drama, music and dance performances on campus. The photo above shows an Ivorian student called Jordan, who took on several big roles in college dramas and musicals during his stay!
SRJC is in the process of constructing its first student dormitory on campus. For now, attractive apartments immediately next to the campus are available for international students aged 18 and above who are interested.
Alternatively, Santa Rosa Junior College has partnered with International Student Placements, a company specialising in finding nearby host families, also known as homestays, which welcome students into their home. Not only is living with an American family a great way to learn more about American culture and the American way of life, but the duration of stay can be flexible, making it an excellent option during the first months for students planning to rent an apartment. Students will have their own single room but will share a bathroom with other members of the household. Breakfast and dinner can be provided at additional cost by the homestay. Homestays will typically be located 8 – 10 km from the campus so students should expect to have to take public transport to go to campus and back each day. Students aged under 18 years of age should opt for homestay accommodation.
What comes next?
Most students come to SRJC as a first step towards gaining a Bachelor’s degree. You will therefore complete your Freshman and Sophomore years (Years 1 and 2 of the Bachelor), before transferring to a 4-year university for the Junior and Senior years (Years 3 and 4).
While you may be desperate to transfer to a university as quickly as possible after completing your program at SRJC, did you know that you can be eligible for one year of OPT (Optional Practical Training) before going on to continue your studies at a university if you prefer? OPT is an opportunity to work off-campus in an area related to your study for up to 12 months: you will gain valuable work experience and, at the same time, you will be paid! If you do opt for OPT after SRJC, you are eligible for another year of OPT after completion of your bachelor’s degree.