NCHEA was founded in 1990. By pooling resources, MiraCosta College, Palomar College and California State University, San Marcos hope to realize their goals for collaboration among college and university educators. They seek to foster better communication among staff and students at the three institutions to ensure seamless transfer from lower to upper division programs. In April and September of 1990, the founders of NCHEA adopted the following objectives:
Since 1990, NCHEA has sponsored a variety of activities that have enhanced the mission of the Alliance, and has continued to refine that mission on the basis of those activities.