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SBCC to Host Community Forums on Continuing Education

The college will provide an update on its recommended plans for reorganization

Santa Barbara City College will host three community forums in the next two weeks with an update on the recommended plans for the reorganization of the SBCC Continuing Education Division.

The forums will be held:

» Thursday, Aug. 30, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Selmer O. Wake Center, Thornton Auditorium, 300 N. Turnpike Road, Santa Barbara

» Wednesday, Sept. 5, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. (bilingual translation in Spanish), Alice F. Schott Center, Tannahill Auditorium, 310 W. Padre St., Santa Barbara

» Thursday, Sept. 6, 10 to 11 a.m., Schott Center, Room 31, 310 W. Padre St., Santa Barbara

After an extensive analysis, including recommendations from a visioning task force made up of community members and college constituents, SBCC will recommend to its Board of Trustees on Sept. 27 that the Continuing Education Division be integrated into the college’s Educational Programs Division.

Non-credit classes that are no longer funded by the state and converted to fee-based, will be offered under the auspices of a newly created Center for Lifelong Learning, an entrepreneurial enterprise.  These courses are those considered by the state as being primarily for personal enrichment and not part of a structured class sequence leading to completion of a certificate, degree or employment.

The breadth and depth of class offerings under the CCL center umbrella will be more expansive because the center will function independently of state requirements associated with non-credit offerings. The center will be designed to keep the cost of these classes as low as possible. The CCL will formally launch in 2013.

Non-credit classes that are funded by the state will be administratively reorganized into the mainstream of the college’s educational programs. These include courses under broad categories that the California Community College system has determined as primary focuses for community colleges — transfer preparation, career and technical education and basic classes. Courses such as ESL, short-term vocational, adult high school, GED and basic skills will continue to be accessible to the entire community and offered free of charge.

“While these are difficult fiscal conditions we face with the state economic crisis, our circumstances have also provided us with the opportunity to reassess our programs, strengthen our processes, correct certain systems and structures that were not aligned with state guidelines and refine our focus,” SBCC President Dr. Lori Gaskin said. “We believe this reorganization will serve to further strengthen our noncredit/enhanced programs and provide greater connection, linkages, and pathways for students to embark upon following their noncredit success.”

Gaskin also acknowledged the work of the Achieving the Vision for Continuing Education task force, which was organized last fall by SBCC Executive Vice President Dr. Jack Friedlander to study various options for Continuing Education operations. The task force turned in its recommendations to the college this summer.

“Our collaboration was a very positive one and we appreciate all the efforts of the task force and their collective commitment to the college,” Gaskin said. “These key stakeholders have provided us with the framework for moving forward in a positive direction in this environment of change.”

— Joan Galvan is a public information officer for SBCC.

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