Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Sunday, February 26, 2006

City College Dorms

City College has been in the news quite a bit lately and we haven't touched on it at all yet here at Blogabarbara.

Glem Mowrer's piece this morning outlined their plans for a 514 bed "dormitory" on Loma Alta and parking spaces near Garvin Theater will crowd and already existing Cliff Drive and Castillo exit. Compound the agreeement with Indiana University and CalTrans' seeming inability to fix the Cabrillo exit in the mix and we've got traffic.

Should community colleges outreach so far past their region? We have a great community college, is growth the only answer to their success?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent piece by Mowrer. City College has delusions of grandeur, wanting to be more than it is, which, as a sometime continuing student there, is often excellent. There's a great need for a college for locals, that not only fills in the huge gaps left in literacy skills by the local high schools but provides training in arts, culinary stuff, computer sciences as well as beginning level liberal arts.

There're already 18,000 or so students at City College; the only reason for dormitories is to attract out of area students who don't want to go to the community colleges in their own areas. If there is any extra state money, it should go to help less fortunate community colleges, not building dormitories.

2/26/2006 11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent points. The primary focus of SBCC should be the existing local community, for which housing is not SBCC's responsibility.

2/26/2006 5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think City College is looking ahead. Enrollment is already dropping at local elementary schools, housing is pricing young families out of reach and that trend would reach the JC at about the time a project like this would be built. It probably won't happen for a number of reasons, but they are trying to market themselves to deal with the coming enrollment crash. Carp and Hope Districts are already looking at school closures, SB isn't far behind and is limiting intra-district transfers. It isn't about growth it's about shrinkage. The fight for students in Beverly Barbara has begun.

2/26/2006 5:35 PM  
Blogger Joe Guzzardi said...

Glen's piece in today's News-Press was outstanding.

My favorite part of his excellent letter was, "I for one would welcome a less populated Santa Barbara, a decline in the California census, and a decrease in world population. Highways would open up, parks would be more accessible, SBCC students could find parking places, rents would decrease -- not bad at all."

I'm betting that most Santa Barbarans feel this way.


2/26/2006 8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Acid flashback dude.

2/26/2006 8:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. Glen's piece was outstanding.

Also agree that we don't need to pack any more non-locals into City College.

I went to City College decades ago because I didn't have parents or any money to start college elsewhere. City College also gave me the chance to start in the wrong direction a couple of times before I got my rhythm academically. I could work while attending.

I ended up graduating from a well-known four-year school and then attending a great professional school. I have had the chance to donate back to City College and probably have paid enough in property taxes allocated to CC to pay my tuition over by 100 times. I love the place.

But, come on CC, don't blow it. You've already changed the surrounding neighborhoods for the worse with the parking. And you continue to take far too many students from out of the area. Many live in I.V., creating some of the most dense housing in the state, along with the problems.

Once an out-of-state student has lived here for a relatively short period of time, like six months, can't they will revert to low in-state tuition anyway as "residents"? Won't the students just churn through the dorms?

2/26/2006 9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Joe -

"My favorite part of his excellent letter was, "I for one would welcome a less populated Santa Barbara, a decline in the California census, and a decrease in world population. Highways would open up, parks would be more accessible, SBCC students could find parking places, rents would decrease -- not bad at all."

I'm betting that most Santa Barbarans feel this way."

As one who has lived here since 1941 I agree and would like to see a lot of the new folks come here in my 65 years including Joe and feel maybe it is time for him to move too.

Santa Barbara has grown nicely compared to the rest of CA - we fight but be real -of my two children only one with her husband (who moved here after marriage) and their two children have stayed here but that has been part of the population increase - so Joe what do we do - my wife and I have resulted in four more residents even though half our family left?

Should I ask my daughter to leave or her children who are in SBCC and rent apartments in town not to live in a dorm because it adds to ?

Your logic is why I for one will vote for anyone but you.

2/26/2006 10:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh man I guess we have gotten to the point that anything new is wrong. So instead of local SBCC students who want to leave home living now in IV who would want a dorm experience it is horrible. We have become so overwhelming selfish and self important that schools in neighbors are horrible, gardens and parks are an environmental crisis as kids my have joyful screams.

I say to Joe and all his selfish friends lets outlaw families, children, schools, parks (people could gather), homes for seniors (they may moan to loud) and everything else execpt for your home and your public dole payroll.

Lets make it more impossible to live here Joe - lets take homes down and make people leave - all homes before 1990 should be removed - oh that is only a few hundred - oh then Joe - how about this - we take down all homes since 1950? Now that would be great - oh I am sorry that maybe your home.

2/26/2006 11:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe SBCC and UCSB should pledge to limit enrollment just like Westmont has a cap of 1200 students in their County CUP and local private schools have enrollment caps.

If it is good for Westmont it should be good for SBCC.

2/26/2006 11:41 PM  
Anonymous dd said...

Ah, but it's all about the money trail. Because of the high cost of living and the decreasing young population, SBCC is looking at less & less students. And less students means less funding, less teachers, less classes, etc. It is a Catch-22.

2/27/2006 10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

City college is loosing students
ucsb wants to add 5k+

the two should work together,
UCSB classes at city college campus

they are a 20 minute bus ride from one and other joint classes could be offered paid for by ucsb that allows CC to continue to offer great education opportunities and ucsb would have a pressure valve for its overflow.

2/27/2006 6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

City College is not "losing" students, the Santa Barbara community is losing families and middle class. Soon all of Joe, Das and Janet's dreams will come true - lower population as families are replaced by retired wealth with no need for a job, no need for schools, no need for community colleges - need for a bank and stock broker only. Now we got what Glen and Joe want - reduced growth - no peak hours as retirees do not have to go to work.

SBCC's issues are sign of future problems.

2/28/2006 1:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you are not smart enough to go to a uc or csu maybe you shouldnt be going to a jc. just go to a trade school and get on with your life.

3/07/2006 1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Das has discussed this issue at length. He has a dynamic plan to keep our schools world class.

3/07/2006 2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just in case you missed the response from SBCC President...

Commentary by John Romo, President, Santa Barbara City College

A recent commentary by Glen Mowrer, regarding Santa Barbara City College’s exploration of the possibility of building a dorm on campus, contained a number of inaccuracies and misrepresentations that I felt I must write to correct.

First, however, I want to emphasize that the primary commitment of Santa Barbara City College has been, is, and always will be to provide quality programs and services for the residents of our local community.

That said, given the realities of how our college is funded, it is essential that we maintain our enrollment numbers in order to maintain the breadth, depth and quality of the programs and services we provide to this community.

It is for this reason that the college is exploring a variety of proposed strategies for meeting our annual enrollment targets, one of which is the possibility of building a dormitory to house students attending SBCC from out of this area or from overseas.

Percentages cited by Mr. Mowrer in his letter were incorrect in terms of the funding for SBCC. Proposition 13 shifted community colleges from being institutions funded primarily by local property taxes to institutions funded primarily from the state’s budget. With this funding shift came a shift of mission as well: by law, the mission of California’s community colleges is to serve the residents of the state of California, not just local residents.

The key to understanding our concern about dwindling local enrollments is this: approximately 75% of our college’s funding comes from the state, and the state bases the funding we receive on the number of full-time equivalent students we enroll.

Because of projected changes in local demographics, including an accelerating decline in local area high school graduates, we cannot count on local area residents to generate the enrollments (and hence the revenue) we need to maintain the programs and services we provide to this community, or to offer the competitive salaries required to attract and retain highly qualified faculty and staff.

To avoid cutbacks in our outstanding programs and services and to ensure that our tradition of excellence is not compromised, the college has been studying a variety of strategies for meeting student enrollment targets.

One strategy being explored is the construction of a dorm that could house out-of-state and international students. These students pay much higher tuition than California residents and the college gets to keep that money.

While this possibility is in the early stages of study, I believe it is worth exploring as a responsible way to meet the needs of the college and our local community while minimizing any adverse impact additional students would have on the area.

I also wish to correct the misrepresentations made by Mr. Mowrer about our affiliation with Indiana University. SBCC has transfer agreements with nearly 30 four-year colleges and universities, several of which are out-of-state and international.

The agreement with Indiana University is unique among these in that it allows students to complete their degree from IU while remaining on the South Coast. This arrangement targets and benefits working residents of this area, and we are honored to be one of just two community colleges in California to have this new and innovative agreement with this fine institution.

We have worked hard to create excellent transfer opportunities for our students since transfer is one of the core missions of community colleges. We are proud of our students who transfer, and we are equally proud of the students who complete our strong, community-oriented vocational programs, such as those in culinary arts, nursing, auto technology, early childhood education, PC support, and many more.

Graduates of these programs are our community’s nurses, chefs, radiographers, childcare teachers, auto technicians, computer network administrators, bookkeepers, hotel managers, webmasters, landscape architects and EMT’s.

The News-Press recently ran articles on several City College programs specifically designed to meet local needs. These include our Professional Development Center, which brings courses to employees in the workplace to serve the personnel development needs of local employers.

Our new Construction Academy was initiated to meet the needs of local contractors who are experiencing a critical shortage of skilled workers to complete local construction projects.

Our Nursing Program trains Registered and Vocational nurses and Certified Nursing Assistants to meet the tremendous demand for health care workers in local hospitals and care facilities.

And, our Dual Enrollment Program and high school academies provide the opportunity for more than 1,800 local high school students to take college courses on their own campuses. They earn both high school and college credits, thereby saving time and future college costs.

In short, serving the residents of our local community is and will continue to be our focus. If there remains any doubt, consider that more than 45,000 South Coast residents participate every year in at least one of our Adult Ed courses, seminars or workshops. Any enrollment strategies we consider are aimed at making sure it will stay that way.

3/08/2006 1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Das can bring a modern solution to this proble. We need his leadship.

3/09/2006 3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a modern solution? is that the new Das-speak?

He's running for Supervisor, not philosopher-king.....

3/09/2006 7:16 PM  
Blogger answer-man said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/15/2006 6:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is a rather belated post but there's several of us locals that could have used a dorm at SBCC (or a similar student hotel to those in SF) housing even as far as sharing a room is expensive. And being on average 16 to 18, trying to rent a room when you don't have previous rental history or make three times the cost of rent is a pain in trying to secure local housing. And a few of of us don't have mommy and daddy to pay our bills or buy us a car nor want to take up excessive loans to cover housing for a JC/CC --- so the possibility of being able to live on campus especially while trying to get into a position where one can more easily transfer into UCSB -- it would have been ideal for both local and non local students.

and let's face it even with more affordable options in Ventura County and elsewhere... there's a fair number of the local community that would have benefit from dorms. Community colleges that have dorms are able to charge a few more fees in regards to housing, many requiring meal plans which can also provide the school with additional income... being self sufficent and saving the 'local' tax payers money.

Although Feather River was a decent experience though it didn't really utilize my AV experience.

Oh and to the nimrod that said
'if you are not smart enough to go to a uc or csu maybe you shouldnt be going to a jc. just go to a trade school and get on with your life.'

Again refer to the mommy and daddy snide remark. Thanks. Anggun.

1/04/2007 1:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If there is any extra state money, it should go to help less fortunate community colleges"
How clueless can you be? Where do you think the money comes from? "Out of area" students are those who support OUR low fees. Wake up, please.

1/30/2007 1:29 PM  

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