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Santa Barbara City College wins prestigious award

March 19, 2013 | 12:36 pm

Santa Barbara City College on Tuesday was awarded the Aspen Prize —  a prestigious award recognizing high achievement among community colleges.

The award, which Santa Barbara City College shared with Walla Walla Community College in Washington, is in recognition of the schools’ success in student learning outcomes, degree completion, transfer rates and for facilitating minority and low-income students success.

Both were selected from more than 1,000 community colleges nationwide. The award was announced at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.

“Santa Barbara City College and Walla Walla Community College offer outstanding models for achieving exceptional levels of student success at a time when our nation needs community colleges to do even more than they have in the past,” said Josh Wyner, the executive director of the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program.

The program lauded Santa Barbara City College’s success with its burgeoning population of Latino students — over 30% of the student body — who graduate and transfer at higher rates than the national average.

Overall, over half the students who attend the college and transfer to four-year colleges attain a bachelor’s degree within six years of graduating high school. About 64% of first-time, full-time students transfer or graduate within three years — above the national average of about 40%.

Both Santa Barbara City College and Walla Walla Community College will receive a $400,000 prize to support their programs.

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— Stephen Ceasar

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