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Felton Meeting: Cabrillo College Name Change

Cabrillo College is nearing the end of its name-changing process and they’re looking for input from north county residents. The Name Exploration Subcommittee will host a meeting at the Felton Branch Library this Wednesday, July 12 at 6 pm at 6121 Gushee Street, Felton.

The options have been whittled down to five candidates: 

Costa Vista College
Spanish for “coast view,” although technically “coast view” would more accurately translate to “vista de la costa.”

Seacliff College
Correlates to the unincorporated community of Seacliff, CA. Currently, Seacliff State Beach and Seacliff Academy in Aptos share the name. 

Aptos College
Ohlone for “the people.” Records indicate it was a local name for the area. Some say that the Indigenous people called this area “Aulinta.” The Aptos people were one of the larger Awaswas tribes.

Santa Cruz Coast College
Spanish for “Holy Cross” — the area picked up the name when Father Fermin Lasuen established La Mision de la Exaltacion de la Santa Cruz (Mission Santa Cruz) to convert Awaswas of Chatu-Mu and Ohlone villages nearby.

Cajastaca College
A village of the larger Aptos tribe, may mean “jackrabbit” or “the place of the jack rabbit.” The village had connections to the Uypi and Calendaruc tribes nearby and intermarried with the Cajastaca. Many Cajastaca identified as Aptos in their death records.


Cabrillo’s governing board voted in November 2022 to accept the recommendations of the college community to change the name due to criticisms of the college’s namesake Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, a European explorer with a history of brutal treatment of indigenous people. 

“After reading the extensive report prepared by the Board Name Exploration Subcommittee and conducting a robust discussion during the Board meeting, our Board of Trustees decided that the right action at this time is to change the name of Cabrillo College,” Board Chair Donna Ziel said at the time. “As stated in the report, the harm caused by colonial expansion is real and it is a harm that represents transgenerational trauma to this day. As many people pointed out during the community dialogues, now that we know the name Cabrillo does continuing harm to members of the College’s public, we have a responsibility to correct that harm.”

A new name will be selected by August 2023 and implemented at the beginning of the 2024-2025 school year. 

Previous meetings were held in June in Watsonville and Aptos. After Wednesday’s Felton meeting 2 more sessions will be available online.

Thursday, July 13
Wednesday, July 19

To read the Board Name Exploration Subcommittee Report, visit

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One Thought to “Felton Meeting: Cabrillo College Name Change”

  1. Sue Hoff

    Check the background of Ralph D. Mattison! Check your history of Aptos Pioneers!

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