Sunday, October 4 , 2015, 5:07 pm | Mostly Cloudy 60º

Local Communities Give SBCC High Marks, Support Necessary College Upgrades

By Joan Galvan for SBCC |

On Thursday, the Santa Barbara City College District Board of Trustees received the results of a community survey conducted by the respected independent polling firm of EMC Research.

The survey was based on interviews with 501 randomly selected residents who live within the Santa Barbara Community College District and are likely to vote in November.

Residents in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Carpinteria and the surrounding local unincorporated communities all strongly approve of the job Santa Barbara City College is doing, giving the college an overwhelming 93 percent favorability rating.

“We have outstanding faculty and staff at SBCC and excellent academic and career/technical education programs, and we are so pleased to have the community’s recognition and support of us,” said Lori Gaskin, SBCC president.

The survey also showed a strong recognition that the college is in need of additional funding for facility improvements with 73 percent of respondents indicating that they would vote yes or lean toward supporting a potential local education bond to maintain quality, affordable education by investing in repairs and upgraded infrastructure at SBCC. The survey indicates support far beyond the 55 percent required to pass such a measure.

“With the cost of higher education skyrocketing, SBCC is committed to ensuring our students have access to high-quality, affordable college classes and programs to help them prepare for careers and transfer to four-year universities,” Gaskin said.

With regard to the community’s interest in a potential local education bond to address critical college campus and classroom needs, Gaskin said, “A locally approved bond measure would allow SBCC to repair aged facilities and upgrade academic, science, engineering, healthcare, and vocational classrooms.”

The presentation of community survey results concludes a yearlong effort to obtain stakeholder and community input on college needs and priorities. At the next two meetings on May 22 and June 12, the board will conduct final readings for a bond measure and finalize ballot language required to place the measure before voters in November.

— Joan Galvan is a public information officer for SBCC.

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