Fifty years ago, Reading Area Community College (RACC) was founded on October 1, 1971. Classes were held for the first time on October 13, 1971, with an enrollment of 265 students. The college operated from several buildings throughout Reading during its early years until it acquired the Holiday Inn (the current Berks Hall building) in 1978. In 1996, the college completed a campus expansion plan that transformed it into an attractive city-based campus.
Now, after fifty years, RACC has graduated 13,771 students and awarded 14,516 degrees, including associate’s degrees, certificates and diplomas. Training programs include career-focused training; transitional coursework; skills training for business and industry; personal enrichment programs and public service activities.
Students from every age, race, religion and many different countries throughout the world have chosen to study here. Those who are seeking degrees are attracted to programs like nursing, respiratory care, criminal justice and business. Others pursue certification in a variety of subjects. The Community Education/Workforce Development Division offers programs like dental assisting, home health aide, veterinary assisting, lab technician and GED preparation.
The college has had a deep impact in the business community as well. Founded in 2006, the Schmidt Training and Technology Center on the RACC campus, provides training in senior leadership, manufacturing technology, information technology, workplace readiness and workplace literacy. RACC also collaborates with other community organizations to enhance the economic vitality of the city and county.
As we look forward to many more years, RACC remains committed to our four, key “hallmarks” which we believe are at the core of a comprehensive community college: access, opportunity, excellence and especially – hope. Our mission ultimately offers hope to all persons, and we will continue to work diligently to sustain, and ultimately fulfill, that hope for all students.