Recruitment of a coach and tentative team members are underway and further details will be announced at an organizational meeting scheduled in early May.
The decision to add women’s swimming was based on a number of factors: a demonstrated student interest and athletic abilities as expressed in three years of survey data, a desire to provide equitable opportunities for female students to participate in intercollegiate athletics, and a growth trend in women’s aquatic programs in community colleges throughout the region.
“SBCC is one of the best community colleges in the nation as evidenced by our recently winning the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence,” said Ryan Byrne, SBCC Athletic Director. “We also have one of the best transfer rates for student-athletes who go on to four-year colleges and universities.” He added, “With the phenomenal local talent in women’s swimming, the addition of this sport to our slate of intercollegiate offerings will bring us one step closer to our goal of being the premier community college athletics transfer institution in the country.”
The SBCC women’s swim team will compete in the Western State Conference (WSC) against other area colleges including Allan Hancock College, Cuesta College, and Ventura College and other community college in the greater Los Angeles area.
The SBCC Athletic Department also is considering an implementation plan for women’s water polo, citing the interest and complementary nature of the two sports.
“We have an on-going responsibility to provide a vibrant and relevant set of course offerings and co-curricular activities to our students,” said SBCC President Lori Gaskin. “This requires we use our limited funds judiciously with the interests of the students at the heart of our offerings.” She added, “Women’s aquatics is an example of that thoughtful commitment to our student-athletes, and I look forward to watching this program grow and thrive over time.”
The SBCC Athletics Department currently sponsors 17 sports for men and women. In addition to higher-than-average transfer rates, statistics show that SBCC student-athletes are twice as likely as non-student-athletes to be transfer-ready after two years and twice as likely to complete their degrees. Nearly 33 percent of all student-athletes are on the SBCC Honor Roll with at least a 3.0 GPA.
About Santa Barbara City College:
Founded in 1909, Santa Barbara City College currently serves more than 20,000 credit and 13,000 non-credit students annually. In 2013, SBCC was named national co-winner of the prestigious Aspen Institute Prize for Community College Excellence. The college was recognized for its quality and focus in four areas: facilitating underrepresented and minority student success, student learning outcomes, degree completion and transfer rates, and labor market success in securing good jobs after college.