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Frequently Asked Questions


You are a state-funded institution. Why do you need more support?

We are state-assisted at a relatively low rate per student compared to other educational institutions.

2003-2004 California State Funding Per Full-Time Student

University of California


California State University


K-12 Schools


National Community Colleges Average


Foothill - De Anza Colleges


Source: Community College League of California

What is the importance of Foothill-De Anza Colleges in our community?

Our four state-mandated responsibilities are:

  • Equal emphasis on lower division academic and vocational education for younger, older, and re-entry students.
  • Work force development to advance California's economic growth through education, training, and other services.
  • English as a second language, adult noncredit instruction, and support services to help post-high school students succeed.
  • Providing education and enrichment to our larger community.

What is unique and special about Foothill and De Anza Colleges?

We have educated more than 1 million students since 1957.

  • Almost 50% of the 90,000 students attending Silicon Valley community colleges last year were enrolled at Foothill or De Anza, a reflection of the quality and comprehensive nature of our programs and services.
  • An estimated 500,000 alumni are contributors to the innovative Silicon Valley work force.
  • We play a leading role in both job training and university transfer, addressing the needs of more than one million students since 1957.
  • We provide educational offerings at very low cost - $17 per unit.
  • We provide educational opportunities for students of every background - 62% of our students are people of color. Many are the first in their families to attend college. Hundreds of international students, from more than 50 countries, are hosted each quarter.
  • We offer thousands of hours of distance learning courses each year where students learn at their own convenience at home or in the office.

How do Foothill and De Anza help build a productive and effective workforce?

We offer coursework and certifications that corporations need: Animation; Biotechnology; Information Systems; Data Communication and Network Management; Environmental Design; Film and Television Production; Graphic Design and Computer Graphics; Manufacturing and Design Technology; Photography and Digital Imaging; Technical Communications; 19 Healthcare vocations, and much more.

  • We continually upgrade our capacity as a technology education hub in Silicon Valley, "bridging the digital divide" in a proactive, effective way. For example:
  • Foothill's Krause Center for Innovation empowers K-14 educators to integrate technology into their classrooms
  • De Anza's Advanced Technology Center provides instruction and self-study in computer science, engineering, mathematics, accounting, film/television, animation, graphic design and manufacturing along with 1,100 computers for student use.
  • We provide extensive English as a Second Language (ESL) opportunities

Voters passed a $248 million bond issue in November 1999. Why do you need money?

Yes, the voters passed this measure by an impressive 72% margin. Unfortunately, bond funds cannot be used for equipment, or anything movable. While $248 million is an impressive figure, our two colleges actually have $320 million in identified needs at this time. We are faced with the real possibility of new facilities equipped with worn-out or obsolete learning materials, furnishings, and supplies and very little likelihood of obtaining replacement funding by the state.

Why don't you just raise tuition and fees?

State law does not allow us to do so. Our tuition is established by the state at a rate that does not come close to covering costs.

What support is needed right now?

We need funds for scholarships , instructional equipment, and library materials to provide a quality learning experience for students. Since the passage of the bond measure in November of '99, 110 projects -- from general building maintenance to renovation to new building construction -- have been identified and are scheduled for completion over the next five to seven years. While this sounds impressive, it is estimated that another $72 million is actually needed to bring our facilities and equipment up to par, predominantly because bond funds cannot be used for anything not permanently affixed to the physical structure. Thus, right now we need individuals and organizations willing to invest in learning materials and equipment to replace items purchased when the Colleges opened in 1961 (Foothill) and 1967 (De Anza).

What do students and community members think of Foothill-De Anza?

Jennifer Hurnfeld attended our Child Development Center as a toddler while her mother was in school. Years later, her own son attended, enabling Jennifer to train for a career:

"I learned how to become a positive parent. I was required to help in my child's class 36 hours per semester, an excellent tool for me to learn how to use positive discipline and to be a loving parent."

Ron Gonzales, San Jose's mayor recollects:

"I came to study at De Anza during a crucial point in my life. I wasn't a great student in high school, and I thought I couldn't make it at a four-year school. But the teachers and counselors invested their time and effort to help me move on to the next level. They helped me gain the confidence I needed to succeed in school. They helped me believe that I could change the world."

Dianna McKenna, President of the Board, United Way of Santa Clara County and Retired Santa Clara County Board Supervisor affirms:

"Our community values innovation, a healthy environment, an inclusive society, and a good education. De Anza College, and its sister campus, Foothill, play a significant role in educating people and keeping our valley strong. I received a great education at De Anza more than 25 years ago! Today, they continue to provide the same excellent opportunities to people from all backgrounds and walks of life."

De Tran, Editor of the Viet Mercury Newspaper recalls:

"I grew up at Foothill College. I was an immigrant kid, straight out of high school and didn't have a lot of confidence. It's a beautiful campus and the teachers help create a supportive, nurturing environment. My classes bolstered my language skills and I found a sense of place and self-confidence in my abilities. Foothill's faculty are first rate. I still think about the English, economics and history lessons they presented. My teachers really showed me that there is nothing too big that you cannot do".

Who Do We Serve?

While the District's average student age is 28, educational offerings are designed for all ages:

  • Child Development Center pre-school children receive quality care, education, and enrichment while their limited-income parents receive career and vocational training on campus.
  • Middle College high school age students who don't do well in a traditional high school setting take college classes while completing high school requirements.
  • Older Adults Studies program enables seniors to earn as they learn.
  • 150,000 community members of all ages participate in community education programs each year: Sports Camp, Space Camp, planetarium/observatory programs, the Environmental Studies Area. Short Course offerings, a variety of noncredit, special interest classes for education and enrichment, are offered in classrooms, in the field, and online.

Who Benefits From Our Programs & Services?

We all do!A high quality public education system is linked to increased lifetime earnings and to reduced rates of dropout, teen pregnancy, unemployment, crime, and delinquency. Santa Clara County is currently experiencing a widening economic divide between the working poor and families of great financial means. Sound investments in Foothill-De Anza Colleges will make a tangible difference in bridging this gap, making an enormous impact on student lives and also on the well being of our community.

Is my donation tax-deductible?

Yes. The Foothill-De Anza Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation. Our Federal tax-exempt identification number is 94-3258220. Donations are fully deductible to the extent provided by law.



Last Updated: Thursday, September 11, 2008 at 6:20:02 PM
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