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Higher Education Excels Near Rice Ranch

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It’s finally Cal Poly Graduation Weekend! We know this past year has been an interesting and challenging road for everyone in Higher Education, and this year’s graduates have a lot to be proud of. They have successfully navigated not only their class schedules, senior projects, and final testing, but also new ways of learning and distancing from fellow students, family, and many more obstacles. We want to say congratulations to you all!

New ways of learning have actually been the norm at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) since 1901; their core education philosophy is learning by doing.

Learn by Doing means that we don’t see a difference between the education we provide and the “real world.” Here, experiences are part of the curriculum. That’s because knowledge is inextricably linked to the world around us. To learn is to do. To do is to learn. At Cal Poly, each fuels the other.

Cal Poly

Higher Education University Around Rice Ranch

Cal Poly - higher education excels around Rice Ranch
Cal Poly photos by Joe Johnston/University Photographer/Cal Poly 8-17-20

Cal Poly’s six academic colleges offer more than 150 undergraduate majors and minors as well as over 50 graduate programs. Regardless of college, all programs emphasize hands-on learning and real-world experience in their curriculum. 

Cal Poly is located in about 40 minutes from Rice Ranch in nearby San Luis Obispo and is consistently rated among the top universities in the nation. Another standout on that list is the University of California, Santa Barbara.

UC Santa Barbara is a leading research institution that also provides a comprehensive liberal arts learning experience about an hour’s drive from Rice Ranch. Teaching and research go hand-in-hand at UC Santa Barbara. Students are full participants in an educational journey of discovery that stimulates independent thought, critical reasoning, and creativity. The academic community of faculty, students, and staff is characterized by a culture of interdisciplinary collaboration that is responsive to the needs of our multicultural and global society. All of this takes place within a living and learning environment like no other, with inspiration from the beauty and resources of an extraordinary location at the edge of the Pacific Ocean.

UCSB - higher education excels around Rice Ranch
Photo by UCSB

At UC Santa Barbara, we offer a dynamic environment that prizes academic inquiry and interpersonal connection to inspire scholarly ambition, creativity, and discoveries with wide-ranging impact. We’re inquisitive and curious, community-driven and globally-focused. Across our campus, you’ll find independent thinkers and consensus builders, Nobel Laureates and leaders chasing noble causes. But no matter how you define us, we are above all Gauchos — diverse in our pursuits, yet connected in our collective drive toward excellence.


There are also two renowned community colleges near Rice Ranch. Allan Hancock College, located close by in Santa Maria, is ranked as one of the five best community colleges in California and one of the top 120 community colleges in the nation.

Allan Hancock - higher education excels around Rice Ranch
Photo by Allan Hancock College

Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo serves more than 10,000 students and is a center for community use by individuals, families, and community groups. It is fully accredited by an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and by the U.S. Department of Education. Cuesta College also transfers more students to Cal Poly than any other community college, providing approximately a quarter of Cal Poly’s incoming transfer class each year.

Cuesta College - higher education excels around Rice Ranch
Photo by Cuesta College

These are both outstanding options for transferring to pursuing a bachelor’s degree, earning an associate degree, preparing for a career, or learning new skills.

people sitting on chair in Higher Education class.

The Meadows and The Groves at Rice Ranch is Santa Barbara County’s only master-planned community. Our gorgeous new homes have open floorplans, plenty of space for an office or multi-generational living, plus stunning views of oak-studded hills. It’s surrounded by 580 acres of open space and hiking/biking trails, plus includes private access to the Summit Club.

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