Taft College is a public community college located in Taft, California. Taft College is a part of the California Community Colleges system and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.
In 1910 Taft had a population of 1,650, but within eight years that number swelled to 4,000. New schools were built at all levels to keep up with population growth. Taft Union High School (TUHS) District was formed in July 1920, with the expectation that a junior college would shortly follow. On August 30, 1922, the TUHS Board voted to create Taft Junior College, with the first classes being held on the grounds of the high school. During the Second World War Taft hosted a training school for the United States Army Air Corps at Gardner Field. In October 1947 TUHS purchased leftover buildings from the defunct Gardner and Minter Fields. The junior college moved into these remodeled structures on August 27, 1948. By 1954 the population of Taft had reached 16,100 and Taft Junior College clearly required its own campus. On July 1 preliminary plans for the new campus were approved and the institution officially changed its name to Taft College. Construction began in May 1955 and the new campus opened its doors on September 11, 1956. In 1962 voters created a new College District and the college separated completely from TUHS. In October 1964 construction began on the first dormitories and students took up residence the following year. The Science Building opened in 1966, the Technical Arts Building in 1967, the Vocational Ed Building in 1969 and the library annex in 1970. A new gymnasium was added in 1981. The central quad in 2012. The Student Center building contains the cafeteria and testing center, with the baseball field in the background. At right is the administration/library building. Throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s Taft College featured highly in sports, particularly in football. In 1994 the college was forced to eliminate all athletic programs due to budget cuts. Some programs (but not football) were later restored. In March 2004 voters approved a $39.8 million bond to finance renovation of existing college facilities and expand into new structures. The work is ongoing as of May 2012. The total cost is estimated at around $100 million
Taft College is committed to student learning in transfer and career and technical education programs supported by pre-collegiate basic skills and a wide range of student services. All programs and services are focused on the educational needs of a community of learners.
Scott Baker, Major League Baseball player Al Baldock, football coach at Taft College from 1976-1991 Don Bandy, football player for the Washington Redskins and professor at Taft College for 33 years Homer Baird Kidwell, class of 1930, justice of the State Supreme Court of Hawaii Tracy Rogers, played football at Taft College and later professionally