Valley College ranked fifth best community college in California

Valley’s highly regarded curriculum landed the college in the top five schools in the state.

By Isaac Dektor, Staff Writer

According to Forbes, Valley College was ranked the fifth best community college in California. (Graphic Illustration by Gene Wickham/The Valley Star)

Valley College’s exceptional curriculum, faculty and alumni positions the school as the fifth best ranked community college in California and 26th in the country.

The rankings were created by Academic Influence, a notable team of academics and data scientists that generate objective lists of the top institutions providing higher education. Using Wikipedia and CrossRef, Academic Influence determines each school’s Concentrated Influence based on the number of references of those affiliated with the college.

There were 839 community colleges in the U.S. that met the requirements to be considered for the list. The conditions for each college included being fully accredited, having at least 1,000 students enrolled and primarily providing associate degree programs.

Valley’s President Barry Gribbons is happy to see the hard work of faculty and administrators being recognized.

“We've had an exceptional faculty and administrators and classified staffers for decades. Everyone is committed to providing life changing educational experiences for students,” Gribbons said. “That dedication, you know, it's sometimes hard to see with folks that work behind the scenes, but nonetheless critical.”

Valley’s high ranking is partially due to its nationally ranked curriculum. The college’s computer science program is ranked No. 375 and its communications program is No. 425.

Valley’s exceptional curriculum and faculty attributed to the success in the recent rankings, as featured in a Forbes article. The school’s proximity to production in Los Angeles draws in individuals pursuing careers in film, giving Valley an edge within Academic Influence’s criteria.

Valley has a number of successful actors as alumni including, but not limited to, Bryan Cranston, Briana Evigan, Ed Begley Jr. and Sean Astin.

Known for extensive film and television credits, Cranston’s iconic portrayal of villain protagonist Walter White in AMC’s “Breaking Bad” is his most renowned role. Viewers of the show will remember the ever-frightening “I am the one who knocks” monologue.

Evigan’s double threat — acting and dancing — is on display in the 2008 film “Step Up 2: The Streets.” She stars as the character Andie, with her acting being only rivaled by her dancing.

Having starred in multiple iconic films, such as “The Goonies,” “Toy Soldiers” and “Rudy,” Astin’s filmography is a force to be reckoned with. He has appeared in the second season of “Stranger Things,” and perhaps most notably, in the Lord of the Rings trilogy as Samwise Gamgee.

Environmentalist Begley Jr. has appeared in Tim Burton produced “Batman Forever,” Christopher Guest mockumentaries and unforgettably yelling “are you high?” at Seth Rogen during a family dinner gone wrong in the outrageous 2008 comedy “Pineapple Express.” Begley also advocates for entrepreneurial endeavors to create green energy products.

While Gribbons is proud of Valley’s recognition in the rankings, he is not content by lists and ratings, emphasizing the importance of continuing to pursue curricular development.

“The rankings of the college are great, you know, to see them when they come out, but my focus remains on access equity and success and making sure that we're doing everything possible for our communities,” Gribbons said.