Santa Maria Valley’s educational facilities include one K-12 academy, 24 elementary schools, five junior high schools, five high schools and one business college. The city is also home to the campus of Allan Hancock Community College, which has presented over 40 years of world-class theatre and training of some of today’s biggest names in the entertainment field including Robin Williams, Kathy Lloyd, Belita Moreno, Mercedes Ruehl, Kelly McGillis, Boyd Gaines, Robert Blackman, and Kathy Bates.

The Santa Maria Valley also boasts several nearby educational institutions — including UCSB in Santa Barbara and Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.

Community College

Allan Hancock Joint Community College District
800 South College Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93454
(805) 922-6966
Superintendent: Dr. Jose M. Ortiz
Enrollment: 10,700 credit, 5,500 non-credit

Allan Hancock College serves all of northern Santa Barbara county and parts of San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties at campuses in Santa Maria, Lompoc, Solvang and Vandenberg Air Force Base. Over 1,300 courses are offered in over 100 fields of study via nine academic departments. Allan Hancock College, with nearly 1,000 employees, is one of the five largest employers in northern Santa Barbara County. Its economic impact on the community is over $150 million annually.

The college offers opportunities for those who want to complete the first two years of a bachelor’s degree, earn an associate degree, prepare for a career or upgrade their skills.

Hancock’s well known and much accomplished athletic program offers intercollegiate football, basketball, soccer, tennis, baseball, softball, golf, volleyball, cross country, and track and field.

University Extention Programs

Brandman University Academic Centers
1300 East Cypress Street Building A, Santa Maria, CA 93454
(805) 928-3443
Enrollment: 540

Brandman University offers undergraduate and graduate programs leading to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. A Master of Arts degree, a Master in Education and Teacher Credential Program is also available. Approximately 30 courses are held each 10-week term in Santa Maria.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
144 Wyoming Avenue, Building 14004 Room A-3, Vandenberg AFB, CA  93437

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University provides instruction in aviation, aerospace, business, and management through more than 130 campuses in the United States, Europe, Canada, and the Middle East, and through online learning.  The Vandenberg Campus offers the Bachelor of Science in Professional Management and the Bachelor of Science in Technical Management undergraduate degree programs.  Additionally, the Master of Aeronautical Science and the Master of Science in Project Management graduate degree programs are offered at the Vandenberg Campus.  Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

La Verne University
144 Wyoming Avenue, Building 14004 Room A-2, Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA 93437
(805) 605-5917
Enrollment: 100

Designed for mature working professionals the University of La Verne offers two undergraduate programs and one graduate degree program at the Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) Residence Center. The Bachelor Degrees currently being offered are: Business Administration (BA) and Organizational Management (BS). The Master Degree Program is in Business Administration (MSB) with optional concentrations in Information Technology and/or Management & Leadership.

Business College

Santa Barbara Business College
303 E. Plaza Drive Suite 1, Santa Maria, CA 93454
(805) 922-8256
Enrollment: 250 every six weeks

Santa Barbara Business College, one of the oldest institutions of higher education in California, was founded in 1888 with the philosophy to offer market-driven, student-centered, employer-based training. This philosophy remains a cornerstone in the School’s successful 115-year history. The School offers programs in Pharmacy Technology, Medical, Paralegal, Criminal Justice and Business fields. Associate degrees are offered in all programs for those interested in increasing their marketable skills.

County Education Office

Santa Barbara County Education Office
402 Farnel Road, Suite M, Santa Maria, CA 93458
(805) 349-0443

Santa Barbara County Education Office is an intermediate agency between the California State Department of Education and the 23 school districts and two community colleges that are located within the county’s boundaries. K-12 enrollment in 2004 was 67,112 students. Schools throughout Santa Barbara County are well respected for the quality of their academic programs, their commitment to all students, and the excellence of their school staffs.


Santa Maria-Bonita School District
708 South Miller Street, Santa Maria, CA 93454
(805) 928-1783
Superintendent: Phil Alvarado
Enrollment: 12,395

The Santa Maria-Bonita School District serves kindergarten through 8th grade students at 19 schools. There are four new school campuses, and portions of 11 existing campuses were recently remodeled.

Orcutt Union School District
501 Dyer Street, P.O. Box 2310, Orcutt, CA 93457-2310
(805) 938-8900
Superintendent: Sharon McHolland
Enrollment: 4,960

The Orcutt Union School District includes six elementary schools and two junior high school, all of which operate on a traditional calendar. All district schools have received the honor of being named California Distinguished Schools and four have achieved the status of nation Blue Ribbon Schools, awards that are given to a small number of outstanding schools each year.

High School

Santa Maria Joint Union High School District
2560 Skyway Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93455
(805) 922-4573
Superintendent: Dr. Douglas Kimberly
Enrollment: 6,101

The Santa Maria Joint Union High School (SMJUHSD) serves 7,114 students from six feeder elementary districts within a 558 square mile area.

The district has three comprehensive high schools (Pioneer Valley, Ernest Righetti, and Santa Maria High) as well as one continuation school, Delta High School.  Although the district’s newest school, Pioneer Valley, opened in August 2004, the community’s rapid growth has necessitated the addition of another high school by 2009.  The community passed a $79 million school bond in November 2004 to build this fourth high school, as well as add permanent classrooms and complete a variety of projects at its other high schools.

Charter Schools

orcutt academy k-12 charter school
610 pinal avenue, orcutt, ca 93455
(805) 938-8550

family partnership charter school
625 s. mcclelland, santa maria, ca 93454
executive director – todd mitchell                                                                                                                (805) 348-3333

Nursery & Preschools

The Children’s House Montessori School, (805) 937-0991
Christian Life Early Childhood School, (805) 928-1717
Columbia Children’s Center, (805) 922-KIDS
Creative Beginnings Preschool, (805) 928-3544
Creative Beginnings Preschool II, (805) 938-1976
Glad Tidings Assembly of God, (805) 934-1387
Grave Lutheran Nursery School, (805) 922-5419
Hancock Early Childhood Study Center, (805) 922-6966 ext. 3290
Happy Hollow Nursery School, (805) 937-9177
Pacific Christian Preschool, (805) 934-1253
Stepping Stones Infant Toddler Pre-school, (805) 349-0369
St. Mary’s of the Assumption Preschool, (805) 346-6541
Valley Christian Academy, (805) 937-2171
YMCA Young Child’s Preschool & Express, (805) 937-8531

Private Schools

Children’s House Montessori, K-8, (805) 937-0991
Christian Life, K-6, (805) 928-3713
Lion of Judah Christian School, 1-12, (805) 928-8388
Pacific Christian School, K-8, (805) 934-1253
St. Joseph High School, 9-12, (805) 937-2038
St. Louis de Montfort Elementary School, (805) 937-5571
St. Mary of the Assumption School, K-8, (805) 925-6713
Valley Christian Academy, K-12, (805) 937-6317

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