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Education in Stanislaus County

As an economic development organization, Opportunity Stanislaus understands well the importance of an educated population, the link between strong economies and educated residents having long been established. Therefore, it is of great importance that Stanislaus County is an area known for excellence in education at all levels from preschool through college.

K-12 Education

The county has 106,126 students across the 26 districts and 190 schools serving its population of 525,491 people. Its largest school district, Modesto, has nearly 30,000 students and its smallest, Knights Ferry, has 85 students.

The average class size in Stanislaus County in 2011-12 was 22.7 students compared with a statewide average of 23.6. This number is down from 2008-09 when Stanislaus County averaged 25.6 students per class and statewide numbers were 25.4.

Stanislaus County students enjoy more technology per student than the state average at 6.9 students per computer in both elementary and high school as compared to the state average of 4.7 students per computer in high school and 5.6 students per computer in elementary school.

The county has 4,613 teachers, with 99% possessing Bachelor’s degrees, while an additional 18% have Master’s degrees and .3% have Doctorates. Stanislaus County averages 1,448 across the three sections of the Scholastic Achievement Test.

According to the US Census American Community Survey in 2009, among those people living in Stanislaus County who are 25 and over 72,528 had an Associate’s Degree or higher. This is up 17,815 from the 2000 census.

Stanislaus County enjoys a higher high school graduation rate than the state average at 84.6% in 2014-15 compared to 82.3% statewide. This is up from 82.1% and 81% respectively.

Standout K-12 Programs in Stanislaus County

  • Stanislaus County has 129 Career Technical Education Programs across 11 districts with four that lead to state certifications, 23 that are articulated, and 43 that are A-G approved.
  • Modesto High School has the only IB program in the county.
  • As of 2011-12 (the last year data is available) Stanislaus County had 25 charter schools, compared to just 15 in 2002-03.
  • Students in Stanislaus County speak 47 languages other than English.


California State University, Stanislaus

California State University, Stanislaus has been providing a high-quality education to students in California’s Northern Central Valley since 1960. Set on a beautiful 228-acre campus, Stanislaus State features a low-student-to-teacher ratio, a diverse student body, and broad opportunities for student involvement that include clubs, fraternities and sororities, activities, and leadership programs. 

Even more remarkable are the 42 undergraduate major programs, 23 master's programs, a doctoral program, seven credential programs and eight certificate programs offered by the university. Most impressive of all is quality of education the student body of just over 9,000 receives: in July 2015, Money magazine ranked Stan State No. 3 in the nation and No. 1 among public universities for helping students exceed expectations. In October 2015, a study commissioned by National Public Radio ranked Stanislaus State No. 5 among all the nation’s four-year universities for fostering the upward mobility of its students.

For more information, visit


Modesto Junior College

Modesto Junior College, one of the oldest community colleges in the state, was organized in 1921 to serve just 61 students. Today the school serves nearly 24,000 students across two campuses and 20 community sites with a faculty of full and part-time professors numbering over 375 strong.

MJC serves a district of over 4,000 square miles with a broad variety of offerings that include 85 associate degrees, 58 certificate programs and 19 skill recognition programs. Additionally, MJC now offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Respiratory Care - a program for working respiratory therapists who wish to earn a baccalaureate degree to enhance their career. MJC students have their choice of  21 intercollegiate athletic teams, a variety of clubs, activities and performing arts, and a range of popular academic programs that include Transfer Studies, Nursing, Business Administration, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Child Development, Administration of Justice, Athletic Training/Sports Medicine, Medical Assisting, Art, and Natural Sciences.

To learn more about Modesto Junior College please visit


Stanislaus County students attend some of the nation’s best colleges. Read the 2015 report for more information.