Smiling students on bench
Sobre Cabrillo

Empowering Student Success

Our Philosophy


Cabrillo College empowers students to be effective communicators, critical thinkers, and responsible world citizens. With a commitment to quality and equity, we connect all learners to pathways that propel them from where they are to where they aspire to be, including: academic, personal, and career growth.


Cabrillo College improves the world, one student at a time.

Our Values
A Welcoming Place

Through a set of values shared by faculty and staff, we're able to create a learning environment where students of all kinds can reach their education goals.


We provide an excellent and safe learning environment that enhances a student's experience in the accumulation of knowledge, the sharing of ideas, and the celebration of achievement both within the classroom and throughout the college's community of learners.

Student Focus

We commit to creating the best educational environment for students and providing quality programs and services that promote their diverse and evolving needs as they progress toward their individual educational goals.


We are committed to cultivating an inclusive teaching and learning environment by providing equitable support, access, and opportunities for success emphasizing historically underrepresented and emerging student populations.


We encourage and support the open exchange of ideas nurtured through respect, trust, and consideration of differences.


We do the right thing for our students, Cabrillo faculty and staff, vendors, and community partners regardless of any perceived scrutiny.


We recognize that we are part of the Central Coast community and do not take the generosity and support of that community for granted.


We strive to hold each member of the Cabrillo community in esteem, based on the far-reaching potential of each individual, the diverse and often unrecognized journeys and achievements of each person, and the fundamental dignity of every human being.


We are committed to taking ongoing actions that make Cabrillo a more environmentally sustainable organization on every level.

Global Citizenship

We understand that we are connected to the wider world through the students who leave the area or study abroad, foreign students who attend Cabrillo, groups and organizations that represent us as they tour, and through the domestic and international guests who come to Cabrillo to participate in events and programs.

The Core Four
Building a Foundation

We are dedicated to providing the best faculty, staff, facilities, and resources possible in order to help all of our students master 'core four' major skills that they need to succeed both personally and professionally:


Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, and/or Conversing

Critical Thinking and Information Competency:

Analysis, Computation, Research, and Problem Solving

Global Awareness:

An appreciation of Scientific Processes, Global Systems and Civics, and Artistic Variety

Personal Responsibility and Professional Development:

Self-Management and Self-Awareness, Social and Physical Wellness, Workplace Soft Skills

Student near the bike lockers
Students in the Library
Radiology Students
Student and Counselor
Did You Know?
Cabrillo is a Special Place
Solari Green Technology Center
Modern Facilities

Our Construction and Energy Management (CEM) program is taught in the LEED-Platinum Certified Solari Green Technology Center in Watsonville.

Construction and Energy Management
a group of engineering students on their trip
Engineering Abroad

In January, our Engineering Department takes students to Guatemala to put their Engineering skills to work building water and farming systems.

Dental Students
Dental Hygiene Clinic

Our award-winning Dental Hygiene Department offers a community clinic for low-cost dental cleanings, X-rays, and treatments.

Dental Hygiene
A Local Vision
Founded in 1959

Cabrillo College was founded in 1959 as part of an ambitious higher education plan for Santa Cruz County. Along with UC Santa Cruz, Cabrillo was part of a broad vision to bring post-secondary education into the area.

Today, we have expanded from our original class size of just 400 students to serving more than 17,000 students per year in two locations.

Construction crew directional sign 1959
Cabrillo College original site in Watsonville
Sesnon House

Leadership and Governance

Matthew Wetstein, President

Experienced Leadership

Cabrillo College is led by Dr. Matthew Wetstein who serves as Superintendent and President. Matt holds a BA from the University of St. Francis in Illinois, and a Masters and Ph.D. in Political Science from Northern Illinois University. He is a statewide leader in the Research and Planning Community for California Community Colleges, having spent six years on their board and two years as President. He spent six years as a reviewer and one year as Chair of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges peer review team.

Matt started his career in 1996 as a Political Science Instructor at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, CA. Prior to his time at Cabrillo, he served for six years as the Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Instruction and Planning at San Joaquin Delta College.

Board of Trustees

Our Governing Board consists of representatives from seven areas across all of Santa Cruz County along with a Student Trustee who represents enrolled students.

Donna Ziel
Donna Ziel
Area I 11/2018-11/2022, Vice Chair
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Adam Spickler
Area II 11/2018-11/2022
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Christina Cuevas
Christina Cuevas
Area III 11/2016-11/2020
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Rachael Spencer
Rachael Spencer
Area IV 11/2016-11/2020
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Photo of Martha Vega
Governing Board Trustee, Area V | 03/2023 - 12/2024
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Dan Rothwell
Governing Board Trustee, Area VI | 12/2022 - 12/2026
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Steve Trujillo
Area VII - 12/2020-12/2024
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We Serve Students at Two Locations

map of surrounding Aptos campus
Aptos Campus
6500 Soquel Drive
Aptos, CA 95003
map of surrounding Watsonville center
Watsonville Center
318 Union Street
Watsonville, CA 95076
Visual arts and performing arts and Watsonville campus buildings
Visit Cabrillo
Come tour our Aptos campus and Watsonville Center.