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Community Survey Takes City College’s Temperature

New President Gauging School's Strengths and Weaknesses

Santa Barbara City College
Paul Wellman (file)

Nearly 700 students, teachers, and community members responded to a Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) survey launched in July by President Anthony Beebe on his first day at work. The results are in and ​— ​while predictable in many respects and lacking proper scientific structure ​— ​have helped Beebe gain a greater understanding of the college’s strengths and weaknesses, both real and perceived.

As a Santa Barbara newcomer, Beebe wasn’t historically privy to SBCC housing and parking issues, both of which, he said, have since pinged more substantially on his community-relations radar. He has also paid particular attention to the mistaken perception that the college’s student body has been ever-expanding, when in fact enrollment overall has dropped since the Great Recession. “I got some good feedback,” he said.

As far as takeaways go, Beebe said the college “needs to do a better job in terms of communicating with the community.” In that respect, he’s working with Director of Communications Luz Reyes-Martin to expand outreach intentionally and more proactively through newsletters and social media, for example. Beebe added that the college is exploring more noncredit programs for the community; its current offerings include a range of fee-free classes, from its adult high school diploma program and English as a Second Language to international business and computer network engineering.

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