The College Area neighborhood centers around and is named for San Diego State University (SDSU). The school began in 1897 as the San Diego Normal School in the area now known as Normal Heights. In 1935, it was renamed San Diego State College and moved to its present location. In the 1970s, the college became a university, but the College name continues to define the neighborhood.
El Cajon Boulevard serves as the shopping district for the College area and has recently been going through redevelopment adding a new supermarket and many new shops and restaurants. The College Avenue median has recently been landscaped with new plants and stamped concrete.