Our History

Our History | Los Angeles, OC & Ontario, CA

American Career College (ACC) was founded more than 35 years ago and has prepared thousands of talented men and women for personally rewarding careers in health care.

American Career College has steadily grown through the years by adding faculty, curricula and campuses to address the growing need for highly skilled health care employees.

Today, with five locations in Southern California, along with degree and diploma programs in eleven major areas of health care, American Career College has become a leader in the demanding and challenging health care education field.

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"I found it hard to get into the health care field without any help, nobody really wants to hire you unless you have training and skills, and ACC will get you there."

Stephanie V. Medical Assistant Graduate
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While the college's facilities and programs have grown significantly, one very important aspect has never changed: American Career College has understood that a high-quality education can mean the difference between a short-term job and a fulfilling, long-term career.

The college takes its commitment to its students seriously and continually seeks opportunities to enhance students' classroom and laboratory experiences, including well-equipped dental assisting labs to the latest training in surgical technology. All of this is done to ensure that graduates will step confidently, comfortably and successfully into their chosen health care careers.

Founded as American College of Optics, on Jan. 11, 1978, ACC was devoted exclusively to the optical dispensing profession. In 1985, the college moved to Wilshire Boulevard, and four years later relocated to its present facility in Los Angeles at 4021 Rosewood Avenue.

In September 1990, the college expanded its curricula to include the Pharmacy Technician Program and changed its name to American College of Optechs. During the next decade, the college's curricula continued to expand to include other specialized allied health programs such as Medical Assistant and Medical Billing and Coding.

To better reflect its increasingly comprehensive curricula and expanding educational mission, the college permanently changed its name to American Career College in 1993. In November 2000, the Orange County campus opened as a branch of the Los Angeles campus.

In 2006, American Career College opened its Inland Empire campus in Norco, and in July 2008, moved to its new home in Ontario — marking another major milestone in its eventful history. The strikingly beautiful campus is a 64,000-square-foot modern learning facility with advanced laboratories, classrooms and student amenities.

In 2013, American Career College opened its newest campus in the heart of downtown Long Beach. The 18,879-square-foot building will contain classrooms, labs, and administrative areas. The idea behind this space is to embrace the historical culture of Long Beach, keeping the Art Deco architecture intact.

In 2013, St. Francis Career College merged with American Career College in order to continue its mission of providing quality health care education programs to residents of Lynwood. St. Francis has a long history of educating students who in turn bring their skills to the hospitals and medical facilities within Lynwood, serving the community in which they grew up. St. Francis began as a single Vocational Nursing class of 14 in 1988 and has grown to become a nationally accredited educational institution today.

Today, American Career College proudly serves more than 5,000 students throughout its five-campus system. With close to a 40 percent referral rate from current or former students, the college attracts new students through its reputation for outstanding faculty, classrooms and laboratories, along with its wide spectrum of health care specialties.

From respiratory therapy to pharmacy technician, from vocational nursing to health information technology, American Career College is preparing a new generation of health care professionals for challenging and fulfilling careers in the constantly changing and demanding health care industry.