The Hispanic Serving Institution Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (HSI: STEM) grant places special emphasis on Hispanic and low-income students and is the single largest in the college’s history.
SBCC will use the funding to develop and implement the Express to Transfer Program which will provide clearly defined pathways for students to enroll as science, engineering or math majors, complete their associate degree and transfer requirements, and successfully transfer to a four-year university in a STEM discipline. Students accepted into the Express to Transfer Program will be expected to complete their lower-division transfer requirements in two to three years. The grant also will help develop a comparable program for non-STEM majors.
The Express to Transfer Program will focus on student progression from basic skills (college prepared) to college-level courses to degree completion and transfer in STEM majors. The program will include clearly defined pathways of accelerated study in learning communities (cohorts of students) with additional services such as intensive counseling, tutoring and book loans. SBCC also will explore strategies to increase its number of articulation (transfer) agreements in STEM majors with four-year colleges and universities.
The grant also calls for developing strategies to strengthen academic and support services to underrepresented STEM students including the development of tracking and curriculum pathways, integration of academic and support services into STEM learning communities, and in-depth faculty and staff development.
This grant will help SBCC address a shift in employment trends, according to Dr. Jack Friedlander, SBCC Acting Superintendent/President. “More jobs are being developed in the fields of science, engineering and science,” said Dr. Friedlander. “This grant will help us increase our resource capacity to give students the skills they need to compete effectively in today’s global environment.”
This grant, along with the $3 million HSI grant that SBCC received last year to develop the Express to Success Program to increase and accelerate the success, progression, degree completion and transfer preparation of students, brings the total to more than $7 million in student support.
While these grants dollars are critical for student program development, Dr. Friedlander noted there is a continued need for fundraising from the community through the Foundation for Santa Barbara City College. “Students need our support from many fronts,” said Dr. Friedlander. “For instance, both our Express to Transfer and Express to Success Programs require that the students be enrolled full-time because of the accelerated pace. Many of these students need financial assistance in order to make this level of commitment, and these federal grants cannot be used for this purpose.” He added, “The Foundation for SBCC annually provides scholarships and additional academic and support services for our students, and we are very grateful for the community’s generosity. The extra support from the Foundation can make or break a student’s dreams in achieving his or her educational goals.”