By Marcy Rein, Vicki Legion and Mickey Ellinger
This article is a preview from the book Free City! Reclaiming College of San Francisco and Free Education for All.
Community colleges serve more than 40 percent of all US college students and provide a crucial entry point to post-secondary education for working class students and students of color. California teaches an outsize share of community college students, and City College of San Francisco (CCSF) is one of the state’s largest. Since its founding in 1935, CCSF has grown deep roots in the community. It teaches firefighters, chefs, medical techs and scores of other essential workers; its English as a Second Language department, the school’s largest, has taught English to generations of new immigrants; it has opened paths to four-year colleges, second chances, and lifelong learning. Sometimes called “the most important working class institution in San Francisco,” it stands firm on the 1960s legacy of open admissions.