Sunday, March 18 , 2018, 6:41 am | Fair 42º


Santa Barbara City College to Break Ties with Kaplan International Program

English-language school will search for new local space since the Board of Trustees voted to not renew its lease with the program

Santa Barbara City College won’t renew its lease to let Kaplan International operate on its East Campus beyond 2017. More than 200 students use six portables south of the Campus Center.
Santa Barbara City College won’t renew its lease to let Kaplan International operate on its East Campus beyond 2017. More than 200 students use six portables south of the Campus Center.    (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

Santa Barbara City College plans to end its leasing partnership with Kaplan international language school, parting ways by July 1, 2017 when the current agreement expires.

The decision was two-fold — SBCC needs more space to expand its offerings and the community college was responding to increasing discontent among locals worried the campus accommodates too many international students, according to Joe Sullivan, SBCC’s vice president of business services.

SBCC board of trustees voted 4-2 last week to not renew its lease with Kaplan International, which ends in May 2016 with an option to extend another year.

Since 2003, SBCC has leased space on its East Campus to Kaplan, where its 220 international students learn English, often progressing into the college’s international program.

“It’s been a very positive (relationship),” Sullivan said. “I would say now, listening to the board’s reason for really not continuing the relationship, that we do have a demand for space on our campus. Our needs on campus have basically out-performed the benefit that they provide us.”

Kaplan, which is based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and boasts more than 400 locations in the U.S. and Canada, will search for a new location in Santa Barbara.

“We’re proud of the mutually successful collaboration we’ve maintained with Santa Barbara City College since 2003 and are disappointed to have to relocate our international student programs off the campus,” a Kaplan spokesperson said.

“Kaplan expects to continue its English-language training and college preparatory programs at a new location, which will continue to offer our students the Santa Barbara experience."

Kaplan paid SBCC $600,000 annually in rent to occupy six double-wide portable buildings just south of the Campus Center, Sullivan said.

Kaplan built those portables and fronted $1 million to help SBCC construct 20 total portables, although Sullivan said the campus is now phasing those buildings out.

Rent went toward SBCC’s deferred maintenance program and kept the college from dipping into its general fund.

Sullivan estimated Kaplan’s students — 93 percent of whom live with local host families —  help generate about $1 million annually between the lease and spending at SBCC food service, campus store and more.

“This is a setback for both of us,” he said. “It is revenue that’s local to the area.”

SBCC recently received funding to hire six more counselors for its Student Success program and six more full-time instructors, which will require new offices, Sullivan said.

Kaplan occupied nearly 6,000 square feet on a campus with buildings totaling more than 600,000 square feet.

Sullivan said SBCC has never had any issues with Kaplan students and hopes to continue a friendly relationship in the future, since Kaplan students could still enroll at SBCC.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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