For more than 30 years, Santa Barbara City College has provided Santa Barbara senior citizens with Continuing Education classes through its OMEGA Elderhood curriculum in local adult day care, assisted living and memory care facilities.
These classes offer seniors the opportunity to continue the learning process, broaden the scope of their interests, enhance their sensory awareness and problem solving, develop coping skills and engage in social interaction.
California’s fiscal crisis has led to unprecedented budget shortfalls for SBCC. One result is that SBCC Continuing Education will soon no longer be able to schedule OMEGA Elderhood courses as free older adult, state-supported offerings. The only option will be to change or convert these courses to tuition or fee-based offerings.
However, there is widespread concern that many of the seniors in these facilities, and the facilities themselves, have limited budgets and will not be able to afford these classes.
The Continuing Education Division and the Foundation for Santa Barbara City College are exploring grant-writing and other options to support these classes, which fulfill such a vital role for older adults.
— Kelly Kapaun is a publicist representing the Foundation for Santa Barbara City College.