Campus News


SBCC Summer Bridge Programs Provide Local, At-Risk Students with Tools for Successful Transition to College

August 12, 2014

Running Start Graduates

Photo Identification:
SBCC Running Start graduates (l to r) Frida Lagunas, Joseph Delgado, and Isabel Jones all are enrolled at the college for fall semester 2014.

For many young people in our community, summer is a time to take a break from the pressures of attending school or college.  However for 111 at-risk students who just completed Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) Summer Bridge programs, the summer was focused on a special set of courses and interaction designed to ensure a successful transition to college.  The program series is run by SBCC’s Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) and partially funded by Santa Barbara City College Foundation.

"The EOPS Summer Bridge programs give students, who for whatever reasons did not believe they could successfully attend college, the opportunity to succeed in the college environment,” said EOPS Director Marsha Wright. “Not only do they succeed in the summer, 97 percent of this year’s participants will continue their college education in the fall semester.  We have alumni from the summer bridge programs who have gone on to pursue masters’ degrees and are now working in professional jobs in our community." 

Each summer bridge program is customized to a specific student population.  All offer specially tailored College Success courses, other college courses or EOPS orientation, peer advising and mentoring, tutoring and weekly field trips.

Running Start is a six-week summer bridge program for local at-risk high school students who did not think they could attend college. Joseph Delgado, a 2014 graduate of Dos Pueblos High School, first learned about Running Start after hearing an EOPS counselor presentation at his school. “Earlier I didn’t care much about going to college but then realized I wanted to do something with my life,” he said. “This program has given me a head start on getting familiar with the college environment and increased my self-confidence.”  Joseph is currently working part-time at a local restaurant and has an eye on a possible culinary career. 

Isabel Jones, a 2014 graduate of Santa Barbara High School, said “Running Start is the best thing that has happened to me.  It is not babysitting.  Instead we were treated like adults and provided with the tool and support to be successful in college.”  She plans to pursue a teaching career.

The other EOPS Summer Bridge Programs are SPARC (Single Parents Arriving Ready for College), a six-week program for single parents who are new to college or returning to college, or who are current single-parent students struggling academically, and Transitions, a six-week program for recently released inmates or individuals on probation or parole. 

“SBCC serves local students from a wide variety of backgrounds,” said SBCC President Lori Gaskin.  “Many have had to overcome significant obstacles in order to pursue their educational goals and SBCC is here to assist them every step of the way.” She continued, “The EOPS Summer Bridge programs are excellent examples of the commitment by both the college and the SBCC Foundation in helping ensure that all students, regardless of their circumstances, have an opportunity to go to college, pursue their educational dreams, and become productive members of the community.”


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