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Foundation for SBCC Receives $10,000 Transitions Grant from Fund for Santa Barbara

Summer-school program gives former inmates access to higher education and prevents recidivism

The Foundation for Santa Barbara City College has received a $10,000 grant from The Fund for Santa Barbara to support the college’s Transitions program, a highly successful summer series that provides individuals recently released from the California criminal justice system with access to a higher education and aids students who have been incarcerated to create viable opportunities for themselves.

This is the second year in a row Transitions has received a grant from The Fund for Santa Barbara. The $10,000 grant is the largest amount The Fund for Santa Barbara awards to any one recipient in a grant cycle.

The Transitions program consists of a six-week, full-day summer school program. The curriculum includes a required, specially designed College Success class, enrollment in a for-credit college elective class and attendance at five field study days that expose students to places of educational, cultural and historic importance, opening new doors to learning and self-awareness.

Transitions students also receive a financial assistance package and a comprehensive program of academic counseling and financial planning.

Of the 700,000 people released from U.S. prisons each year, about two-thirds will be re-arrested within three years. The Youth Violence Prevention Center at Harvard University recently conducted a study to determine which programs have been most successful in preventing recidivism. The one program that had a 100 percent success rate in preventing recidivism was people earning a college degree.

In line with this national data, at SBCC, students who have been incarcerated and are now part of the Transitions program have a zero recidivism rate. For these students, education is the only successful intervention, and their experience has shown that their best hope for staying off the streets and in school is working with other students who are making the same transition. 

Eighty-five percent of Transitions program participants complete the summer program, and 90 percent of these successful participants enroll and attend fall semester at SBCC.

— Candice Nyholt is a publicist representing the Foundation for Santa Barbara City College.

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