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Tuesday, February 19 , 2019, 3:23 am | Fair 39º


SBCC Plans Campus Gathering to Celebrate Aspen Prize

Several hundred people are expected to gather at Santa Barbara City College’s Student Services Building Plaza on Tuesday for the first campus-wide recognition of SBCC being named a co-winner of the 2013 Aspen Institute Prize for Community College Excellence.

Awarded by the prestigious Aspen Institute, the honor gives SBCC a No. 1 ranking among more than 1,000 public community colleges in the nation.

SBCC President Lori Gaskin as well as a team of colleagues and a student were on hand in Washington, D.C., on March 19 when the announcement was made at an Aspen-sponsored luncheon.

“It was such a privilege to be there to accept this award on behalf of the entire college,” Dr. Gaskin said. “Now back at our campus, we want to gather everyone together on April 23 to celebrate this shining moment in the college’s more than 100-year-old history. I am so proud and so full of pride for what our faculty, administrators and staff do every day to give our students the best educational experiences possible.”

SBCC sophomore Edith Rodriguez was the only community college student among the speakers invited to the March 19 Aspen luncheon. She candidly discussed her own path to higher education, which included earlier run-ins with the law and visits before court judges.

“When the last judge told me there would be serious consequences if I had to come before him again, I knew in my heart it was time to make a change,” Rodriguez said.

About that time, Adolfo Corral, an SBCC counselor with the college’s EOPS program, came to Rodriguez’s high school and discussed Running Start, a college summer program focusing on helping at-risk high school graduates transition to college. Something clicked at that moment, she said. With the help of many people, programs and services, she blossomed at SBCC and is currently an electrical engineer major planning to transfer to a four-year university.

SBCC will receive $400,000 from the Aspen Institute for the top ranking.

— Joan Galvan is a public information officer for SBCC.

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