The SBCC Foundation provides funding for a number of student support programs that provide help to traditionally under-resourced and underprepared students, such as single parents and first-generation students, so they may make a smooth transition to SBCC and succeed in college and life. These include six-week summer bridge programs administered by Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) on the SBCC campus:

Running Start: A program for high school graduates who are financially and/or academically underprepared for college. Many of them are the first in their family to pursue higher education and benefit tremendously from academic tutoring, peer mentoring, and financial assistance prior to starting as full-time students at SBCC. As one participant explained, “In the beginning my grades were not great, and I remember how much it meant to have advisors in the Running Start program who believed in me and cared about my future.”

Running Start participants acquire a familiarity with the SBCC campus and the breadth of resources available before they officially start school. They build confidence which proves to be invaluable for high school students making the transition to college.

“Students find themselves helping their friends who weren’t in the program, showing them where the library is, and explaining how to meet with a counselor,” says Alejandra Martinez, the Student Program Advisor.

Read stories from Running Start students.

SPARC: Single Parents Arriving Ready for College is a program for single-parent students who are new to college or are returning after a hiatus. The primary focus of SPARC is addressing the unique needs of single parent students and helping them be successful in college and achieve their educational goals. The program works to increase the number of single parent students who are successfully employed or transfer to four-year universities.

“The SPARC program at Santa Barbara City College was a lifesaver,” says Amara Teague. “In addition to information about how to apply to college and succeed, the summer bridge program provides childcare, which is amazing. I was able to go to college and study, knowing my 3-year-old daughter was in good hands, and then come home and be a mom.”

“My goal is to graduate from SBCC and then earn a BA in history at UCSB. The support programs at SBCC have made it possible for me to go to college and be successful.”

Transitions provides access to higher education for individuals released from the criminal justice system, helping to create a smooth transition from prison to community college. Students attend a college success course, receive peer mentoring and advising, and explore practical strategies for empowering themselves to become active, responsible, and lifelong learners. According to federal data, more than 70% of former prisoners in the U.S. will reoffend and return to prison. For those with an associate degree, the percentage drops to 13.7%.

Alberto Lule completed the Transitions program, and was honored as the student speaker at his SBCC commencement in spring 2018. As a full-time student, he was selected for a prestigious internship at the SBCC Atkinson Gallery, sponsored by the SBCC Foundation. After graduating, he transferred to UCLA, where he is studying art and working at the Hammer Museum. “The experience and mentorship I gained through serving as the gallery intern has led to so many amazing opportunities. None of this would have been possible without the SBCC Foundation.”