The education system in the state of California is based on a public education model supported by the states taxes. The California Department of Education oversees public education in the state.
Since the year 1907, the state has seen the introduction of two-year junior colleges also known as community colleges into the education system. These community colleges provide vocational education and also offer transfer programs. As of 2009-2010, about 2,759,107 students had enrolled in the 116 community colleges across California. The California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office governs and regulates these colleges. After their two-year program at one of the community colleges students are often able to transfer to the four-year colleges and higher education institutions in the state.
Public higher education is further provided by the University of California, four-year state colleges and a number of private colleges. The University of California has ten campuses. The first campus at Berkeley was set up at 1855. The campuses at Santa Cruz and San Diego have a number of colleges affiliated with them. Other campuses at Los Angeles, Riverside, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Davis, Merced, and Irvine serve as centers f higher education in the state. The University of California enrolls the top 12.5% high school students in the state.
The California State University is another premier university in the state. It is the third largest university system in the USA. Its branches at Long Beach, San Jose, and Fullerton and the Fresno State University and San Francisco State University enroll the top one-third high school students every year.
Over ten percent of the state's college students attend the prestigious private institutions such as the California Institute of Technology, the Mills College, the University of Southern California, Stanford University, the Occidental College, the St. Mary's College, Santa Clara University, the University of the Pacific, the Claremont Colleges, Touro University, Thomas Aquinas College the Westmont College, and the California Institute of Arts.
California presents a variety of education options and is a coveted destination for foreign students. A number of film schools, vocational education institutions, and art and music schools have come up offering the students a variety of education options.