Santa Barbara City College won a first-place prize for its program geared toward accelerating two-year degrees for Latino students by the national organization Excelencia in Education, which focuses on evaluating programs to improve Latino higher-education success. The purpose of SBCC’s program, Express to Success (ETS), is to increase the percentage of Latino students who complete English and math courses required to transfer to four-year universities.
ETS has grown since it launched — with grant funding — in 2011 and is expecting to enroll more than 1,200 students this school year. Students are divided into 21 learning communities, and these students stay in the same group throughout the fast-track program. Results indicate the students in ETS completed two levels of accelerated math or English in one semester at a 40-50 percent higher rate compared to students taking traditional courses.
According to SBCC spokesperson Joan Galvan, 39 percent of the school’s unduplicated head count reported Hispanic ethnicity.