About San Mateo County Community Colleges Foundation

Our mission is to make sure that quality, affordable higher education is available to every member of our community. To that end, we raise money that funds student scholarships (Why Scholarships?) and school programs (Why Programs?) at the three community colleges in San Mateo County: Cañada College, College of San Mateo (CSM), and Skyline College. For the 2014-15 school year, SMCCC Foundation is funding scholarships totaling $851,741 and providing $475,773 in program support.

It is due to the ongoing generosity of donors since the Foundation’s inception in 1966 as a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that many thousands of students have attended college and realized a better life.


College of San Mateo Skyline College Canada College


WHY SCHOLARSHIPS?  The scholarship part is straightforward – we raise money for students so they can better afford college. Scholarships can also be very motivating. For someone struggling alone to make it through school, it can mean the world to find out that many people (donors) think what you’re doing is so worthwhile that they are willing help pay for it.

WHY PROGRAMS?  The programs part has a dual goal. Many of the programs we fund are programs that help students get through school (math and writing tutelage, a textbook rental program to make books more affordable, etc.). The rest of the programs we fund are to make sure that our students are getting more than the world’s most basic education – to make sure that academic breadth, quality, and innovation are available here at our community colleges.

For example, the CSM Planetarium exists because of Foundation funds. Many schools get by without a planetarium, but CSM’s having one means its astronomy program is as good as or better than those of most four-year institutions.

Foundation funds also support innovative programs that faculty propose starting, like when the sole female graduate (now sole female professor) of the Skyline College’s Automotive Technology Program wanted to start a club that recruits women to and supports them through the Program. The “Heart Wrenchers” now volunteer around the community, doing free automotive repairs and maintenance for low income families.