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Monday, February 18 , 2019, 10:47 am | A Few Clouds 53º


Santa Barbara Foundation Awards $75,000 Grant to SBCC Foundation

Funding will be used to increase student degree completion and transfer rates

SBCC students will receive a boost in their efforts for degree completion and transfer to four-year colleges or universities thanks to a $75,000 grant from the Santa Barbara Foundation. The funding has been awarded to the Foundation for SBCC and be used for the development of the Express to Transfer Program.

SBCC developed the Express to Success Program in Basic Skills and the subsequent Express to Transfer Program to increase the progression, degree completion and transfer rates of its students. Initial funding to develop and implement these programs came from two federal grants that the college was awarded in fall 2010 and fall 2011.

“The Santa Barbara Foundation is committed to using philanthropy where it can have the most impact in our community,” said Ron Gallo, Santa Barbara Foundation president and CEO “We are pleased to support innovative programs like Express to Success and Express to Transfer that will result in increased college retention rates and college completion. Both are so important to the future of not only our students of today but also for our county’s workforce of tomorrow.”

Research has shown that the number of incoming students eligible for SBCC’s college-level courses has decreased in the last four years in all core subject areas of writing, reading and math. These students are academically unprepared for direct admission to a four-year college and most lack basic skills to succeed in degree- and transfer-level courses.

After two years of analysis, planning and successful pilot programming, SBCC formally launched the Express to Success Program in Basic Skills in fall 2011 with more than 250 at-risk students. The program is designed to increase and accelerate completion of basic college skills and the first degree/ transfer courses in English and math in two years or less through structured curriculum pathways that include student support services, close monitoring of student progress and timely intervention if needed.

At the conclusion of fall 2011, 80 percent of all ESP students passed the English and math courses in which they were enrolled, and 70 percent passed two English or two math classes in one semester. These completion rates are substantially higher than those of non-ESP students enrolled in other sections of the same classes. Plans are under way to increase the number of students that take part in this program.

The Express to Transfer Program is under development and scheduled to begin in fall 2012. Faculty and staff will work with students who have completed their ESP Basic Skills courses or who enter the college at one level below college-level English and math and who are committed to achieve their transfer objectives to four-year colleges or universities. Program parameters will enable students to achieve their transfer units in only two years (half of the current average) from the time they enter the program, substantially increasing the likelihood of college completion.

The $75,000 grant from the Santa Barbara Foundation will be used to build the infrastructure and planning for the Express to Transfer Program such as acquisition of electronic educational plans and the development of data bases and systems to track student progress.

“We are so pleased that the Santa Barbara Foundation shares our belief in the transformative power of higher education,” said Vanessa Patterson, executive director of the Foundation for SBCC. “This particular grant for the Express to Transfer Program will have such a positive impact for our students who are most in need and have goals for a four-year degree.”

Dr. Jack Friedlander, acting SBCC superintendent/president, added: “In my more than 25 years with Santa Barbara City College, the Express to Success Program in Basic Skills and the Express to Transfer Program are two of which I am most proud. Our faculty and staff have worked very hard to put together outstanding programs with huge potential to substantially improve our student retention, degree completion and transfer rates. Partnering with the Santa Barbara Foundation will assist us in developing a critical phase of the transfer program.”

— Joan Galvan is a public information officer for SBCC.

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