During a ceremony at the Crocker Art Center in Sacramento on July 17, 2018, Santa Barbara City College was once again presented with the prestigious Dr. John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Award from the California State Chancellor’s Office.
After receiving the award in 2011 for its Veterans Program, and for its Transitions Program in 2012, SBCC was honored with the 2018 award for its Single Parents Arriving Ready for College (SPARC) program.
SPARC is an intensive six-week summer bridge program that serves as an entry point for single parent students who are new or returning to college and are struggling academically. The program was designed by single parents for single parents of low income, who are academically unprepared, and are trying to better themselves through higher education. SPARC offers comprehensive and academic support services and guidance on personal issues. Graduates of this program not only leave with a solid foundation to begin their higher education, but also with a new sense of discovery that their voices matter and deserve to be heard. SPARC provides opportunities for single parent students to break through barriers and create a future for themselves and their children.
One of those accepting the award on behalf of SBCC was Paloma Arnold, Director of Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) and Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE). “The EOPS SPARC Program is extremely honored to receive the Rice Diversity and Equity Award, and we are grateful to many people who help make the SPARC program a reality,” she said. “Not only is this award a recognition of our program, but more importantly, it is a recognition of single parent students, the many obstacles they face pursuing higher education and the multi-generational benefits of supporting single parent students.”
The Dr. John W. Rice Diversity & Equity Award was established in 2001 to honor community college staff members, districts, colleges or programs that have made the greatest contribution towards faculty and staff diversity or student equity.
“The success of SPARC is due in part to the talented, committed staff who work every day to support our students,” said Dr. Anthony Beebe, Superintendent/President of SBCC. “Dr. John W. Rice believed in the importance of diversity and equity, and SPARC is one of several programs offered through our EOPS Program that carries on his legacy.”