PASADENA, Calif. – The year was 1977. President Jimmy Carter occupied the White House and Star Wars dominated the box office. It was during this era that Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School purchased campus space at 5 and 6 Westmoreland Place next to the historic Gamble House. After 35 years as a fixture in Pasadena’s East Arroyo Neighborhood, Pacific Oaks announces that it has sold the property for $6 million to The Institute for the Redesign of Learning/Almansor Center. Today the entire college—including its local classrooms, library, and faculty and administrative offices—now resides at its main campus on Eureka Street.
“For more than three decades, Pacific Oaks called Westmoreland home and it will forever be a part of our history,” said Dr. Ezat Parnia, president of Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School. “I speak for our entire academic community—alumni, faculty, students, staff, and friends—in conveying nothing but absolute appreciation for the East Arroyo Neighborhood Association and all of those who passed by our campus every day and made us feel welcome. We’re not far away, just a mile down the street, and hope that people in the community will continue to stop by and visit us. Our plan is to hold even more open programming—panels, lectures, and other events—in the days ahead.”
According to Dr. Parnia, the transition offers the college more unity and room to grow. After experiencing a student-population decline in the late 2000s, Pacific Oaks College is emerging as one of the most pronounced higher-education comeback stories in recent history. Enrollments have nearly doubled over the past two years, from 462 in 2010 to nearly 800 projected for fall 2012.
“It’s an exciting time for the college,” added Dr. Parnia. “While it’s never easy to move on from the past, we now have all of our operations under one roof at Eureka. Plus the sale places us in a stronger financial position. Pacific Oaks is growing and we now have the means to reinvest even more into our infrastructure and provide an even better experience for our students.”
Originally built in 1909 and 1913, the two Westmoreland Pl. buildings became home to Pacific Oaks College just as it was gaining national attention for its pioneering work in early childhood education. Before then, classes for the 53-year-old institution were held at West California Boulevard, which today exclusively houses the nationally renowned Pacific Oaks Children’s School. After years of transitioning classroom space and operations to its current campus at 55 W. Eureka St., Pacific Oaks completely vacated Westmoreland Pl. in 2011.
The Westmoreland sale is the latest in a series of news events for Pacific Oaks over the past year. Last fall it inaugurated its new School of Education, which was followed by an announcement of Dr. Parnia as the institution’s new president, a major grant from the Parsons Foundation, and a partnership with the Pasadena City College.
About Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School
Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School has played a crucial role in the development of early childhood education in the United States for more than half a century. Founded in 1959, Pacific Oaks College is dedicated to the fundamental principles of inclusion, social justice, and the valuing of every human being. The college’s faculty advances an innovative curriculum that is effective with adult students who are returning to the classroom to gain additional competencies in early childhood education, human development, and teacher credentialing. Pacific Oaks is well-known for its leadership in andragogy and for its ground-breaking anti-bias curriculum, which has been implemented in schools throughout the country and is often required reading in early childhood teacher training courses. An accredited nonprofit institution, Pacific Oaks College offers bachelor’s, master’s, and certificate programs in early childhood education, human development, counseling, and teaching credentialing. It is a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU). Founded in 1945, Pacific Oaks Children’s School is widely recognized today as one of the finest preschools in the nation. For more information, visit www.pacificoaks.edu and www.pacificoakschildrensschool.org.
In 2010, Pacific Oaks affiliated with TCS Education System, a nonprofit service organization that supports institutions each backed by an approach to education that prepares socially responsible professionals in applied fields such as education, psychology, and law.