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Jack Friedlander: SBCC Increases Transfer Opportunities for Students

Despite deep cuts in state funding, the college is focused on helping students achieve educational and career goals

At a time when the importance of having a highly educated and skilled workforce has never been greater for California to maintain its economic vitality, the state continues to make substantial reductions in funding for higher education. In the past five years alone, California has reduced its funding for community colleges and universities by more than $3 billion. Among the many consequences of the state’s alarming disinvestment in its system of higher education are that community colleges, California State University and University of California campuses have had to make significant reductions in the number of California students they are able to serve.

Dr. Jack Friedlander
Dr. Jack Friedlander

The effects of these budget reductions are indicated in: 1) the decline of more than 200,000 students enrolled in community colleges; 2) the decline from 22 percent in 2007 to 18 percent in 2010 in the percentage of eligible high school students attending a UC or CSU campus; and 3) growth in the numbers of California high school graduates and community college transfer students who are pursuing options other than a UC or CSU campus such as enrolling in out-of-state universities, private universities, or not pursuing or completing their higher-education goals.

The Public Policy Institute of California projects that unless it increases the number of students who earn a bachelor’s degree or higher, California will be 1 million degrees short of meeting economic productivity demands. To maintain its economic vitality, California needs the innovation and high productivity that comes from a well-educated workforce. A highly educated workforce has always been a major factor behind California’s strong economy.

Steps SBCC Is Taking to Increase Transfer Opportunities for Students

» Expanding the partnership with California State University Channel Islands in Camarillo to offer three new bachelor’s degree programs at the SBCC campus. In fall 2012, students will be able to complete their upper division courses toward a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and in fall 2013, CSUCI will offer on SBCC’s campus upper division courses needed to earn a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, a bachelor’s degree in business to MBA program, and possibly bachelor’s degree programs in additional majors. SBCC students who complete their lower division requirements will be given special consideration in being admitted to these CSUCI bachelor’s degree programs.

The partnership started in fall 2011 with 30 participants in the CSUCI’s Business Program attending weekend classes held at SBCC. The current partnership with CSUCI is a seamless transition for SBCC business majors transferring to complete their four-year degrees. It also allows local residents interested in earning a bachelor’s degree from CSUCI to either complete their lower division transfer requirements at SBCC or, if they have met these requirements elsewhere, enter the program at the junior year level so they can finish their CSU degree program locally. SBCC and CSUCI formally announced this expansion at a news conference on Monday.

» Continuing the Antioch University Santa Barbara Bridge Program, which permits SBCC students to transfer up to three years of college credit to AUSB, one full year more than is accepted in transfer units to most four-year colleges and universities. After transfer, students may need to complete as little as one year of study at Antioch in order to complete their bachelor’s degree. This innovative program provides members of our community with a convenient and relatively low-cost option to earn their bachelor’s degree in Santa Barbara.

» Completing by fall 2014 associate degree for transfer agreements with all CSU campuses for its most popular majors. Students who complete the lower-division requirements with the appropriate grade point average will be guaranteed admission to a CSU campus. These transfer degree agreements provide clear pathways that students can follow as they prepare to transfer to a CSU campus and be guaranteed junior year (third-year) standing.

» Increasing the number of SBCC Transfer Admission Guarantee and articulation agreements with universities. SBCC has Transfer Admission Guarantee agreements with 18 universities and articulation agreements with 55 colleges and universities. These include an increasing number of out-of-state institutions such as Arizona State University, Portland State University and Syracuse University. Our goal is to increase the number of transfer articulation agreements by a minimum of 25 per year in each of the next five years. Closer to home, UC Santa Barbara remains SBCC’s most popular transfer destination.

» Offering the new Transfer Program for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) majors in fall 2012. Last year, SBCC received a five-year, $4 million federal government grant to support programs to increase the number of its students who complete an associate’s degree in a STEM major and who transfer to four-year institutions in a STEM discipline. The program will provide clearly defined pathways for students to complete their associate’s degreed and transfer requirements in two years or less, and successfully transfer to a four-year university in a STEM major.

» Offering a new Transfer Success Program for students pursuing non-STEM majors. Thanks to a generous grant from the Santa Barbara Foundation and support from donations made to the Foundation for SBCC, in fall 2013 the college will implement a similar program as the one described above for STEM majors for students majoring in business, the fine arts, humanities, and the social and behavioral sciences.

With these options, SBCC plans to double the number of its students who complete their studies at SBCC and successfully transfer to four-year colleges or universities. Despite the severe reductions in state funding, the college will continue to identify opportunities for its students to achieve their educational and career goals. This is one of the significant ways SBCC is contributing to help enhance the economic and civic vitality of our community, state and nation.

— Dr. Jack Friedlander is SBCC’s acting superintendent/president.

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