Santa Barbara City College’s Community Education Center was honored as the Community Organization of the Year by the Mexican Consulate at a special event on September 15 at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center. The annual award recognizes an educational institution for its outstanding role in working with the local community.
Located at SBCC’s Wake Continuing Education Center, the Community Education Center was honored for its many new initiatives serving the Latino community throughout the South Coast. Special recognition was given to Plaza Comunitaria, a Spanish literacy project, inaugurated in January 2010. Thirty-eight students initially enrolled in night classes for Spanish literacy, elementary and junior high education. Currently over 80 students are enrolled with a number intending to continue their education by pursuing a G.E.D. through SBCC Continuing Education and then transferring to the SBCC credit program.
Rogelio Flores Mejia, Mexican Consul, said, “We congratulate Santa Barbara City College for this highly successful collaboration. Since its inauguration, Plaza Comunitaria has shown immediate and very positive results.”
“Addressing the educational needs of all our constituents in the community is a high priority for our college,” said SBCC Superintendent/President Dr. Andreea Serban. “This award re-affirms that programs such as Plaza Comunitaria are making a difference in our community and opening educational opportunities.”
Recently the Community Education Center received a $10,000 grant from the Institute for Mexicans Abroad and the University of California scholarship program. Wells Fargo also awarded a grant of $6,000 to support student scholarships.
The SBCC Community Education Center promotes and provides educational opportunities and citizenship services to the immigrant community in the South Coast including literacy programs, computer training, Spanish or English GED training, vocational/career development courses, English courses for Spanish speakers and enrollment in university or community college courses.