Degrees First

The Latino Democrats’ mission includes supporting initiatives that will benefit the Latino community, and the community at large. We’re concerned about the reorganization that is proposed for the Santa Barbara City College’s Continuing Education (CE) division, and the effects that it will have on our community as a whole. We’re especially concerned that as an unintended consequence of this reorganization, students will find classes for their necessary degrees cancelled, which will delay the fulfillment of their goals.

The California state legislature has mandated that courses  including ESL, GED, adult high school, and short-term vocational courses  be prioritized over “community service courses.” The proposal of integrating the latter into the Educational Program Division will further strangle resources at that level. This should not happen at a time when SBCC is already offering 117 fewer credit sections than last fall. It makes no sense.

At the same time, this reorganization would drain the Continuing Education division of bilingual teachers and other valuable resources. Among the human resources that could be lost is Dr. Ophelia Arrellano and her leadership. She is the highest ranking Latino member of the administration, and a role model to staff and students alike.

Before any reorganization of current “community service courses” occurs, a timeline and fee structure must be implemented and released to the public. The Latino Democrats oppose a reorganization of the current Continuing Education division without knowing the full impact such reorganization will have on credit and non-credit courses that should be prioritized.

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