General Information

The College

Santa Barbara City College is a comprehensive community college serving the south coast of Santa Barbara County. The college is one of 114 California community colleges organized under the California Education Code. As such, it is subject to the decisions of the California Legislature and, as defined by law, the California Community Colleges Board of Governors. It is also responsible to its local constituency through an elected Board of Trustees, which is the principal policy-making body for the college.

Santa Barbara City College offers an extensive program of postsecondary education that is especially responsive to the needs of adults in the local community. A wide range of associate degree and certificate programs are available, as are transfer programs that provide the first two years of study toward the baccalaureate degree. A variety of general educational opportunities, both credit and noncredit, is also available for persons wishing to develop new or expanded occupational skills, or to broaden their cultural perspectives or artistic talents.

Responding to community needs, the college’s programs address economic development, on-site workforce training, skills enhancement, job training and lifelong learning opportunities. To serve the diverse needs of students, a broad variety of student services is provided, including academic and personal counseling, financial aid, career guidance and maintenance of academic progress records. Special programs are also available for re-entry students, the physically disabled and the economically disadvantaged.

Students of the college are, for the most part, from the local community. However, the college also attracts many students from throughout the state, as well as national and international locations. Students range in age from under 18 to over 80 years and represent a wide range of ethnic groups.

Santa Barbara City College is especially committed to making its educational programs accessible to cultural, ethnic and age groups who have traditionally been underserved by postsecondary education. Means for achieving this goal include outreach, testing and diagnosis, counseling and placement, developmental education and special retention programs, such as peer counseling, tutoring and financial aid.

The college recognizes that the goals of today’s students are as diverse as the students themselves. Hence, SBCC attempts to provide programs compatible with a wide range of goals and to assist in goals clarification when appropriate. Among principal commitments of the college are the broadening of the individual’s view of educational possibilities that are available, and assisting students in formulating and carrying out a plan to achieve selected goals.

Our Vision

Santa Barbara City College strives to build a socially conscious community where knowledge and respect empower individuals to transform our world.

Our Mission

As a public community college dedicated to the success of each student...

Santa Barbara City College provides students a diverse learning environment that inspires curiosity and discovery, promotes global responsibility, and fosters opportunity for all.

Our Core Principles

Santa Barbara City College’s core principles guide all aspects of instruction, organization and innovation:

  • Student-centered policies, practices and programs
  • Participatory governance
  • A psychologically and physically supportive environment
  • Free exchange of ideas across a diversity of learners
  • The pursuit of excellence in all college endeavors

Our Charter

Santa Barbara City College’s mission and core principles honor our commitment to the spirit and intent of the foundational framework of the California Community Colleges, as described in California Education Code §66010.4:

  • Primary Mission: Academic and vocational instruction at the lower division level; advancement of California’s economic growth and global competitiveness through education, training and services.
  • Essential and Important Functions: Remedial instruction, ESL, adult noncredit instruction (in areas defined as being in the state’s interest), and student support services.
  • Authorized Function: Community services courses.

Institutional Learning Outcomes

Santa Barbara City College is committed to ensuring that all students who complete its programs acquire the core skills and competencies needed to be successful in their academic, career and personal pursuits. The Institutional Student Learning Outcomes state the competencies in General Education and personal and career development that students acquire by completing a program of study at SBCC.

As students follow a program of study at SBCC, they participate in performance assessments through examinations, portfolios and other activities that provide information about their proficiency in each of these outcomes. The data collected are used to document and improve student learning and the attainment of the Institutional Student Learning Outcomes.

Critical Thinking, Problem-Solving and Creative Thinking

Students will be able to define issues, problems, assumptions, or questions; collect relevant information in response to a question or issue; analyze and draw valid conclusions from statements, images, data and other forms of evidence; and assess the consequences of their conclusions.

  1. Define the issues, problems, assumptions, or questions being addressed.
  2. Collect and analyze data and relevant information including that derived from different sources and alternative research.
  3. Distinguish facts from opinions and biases.
  4. Draw insights from multiple reliable sources of information to create solutions to problems and identify possible consequences of those solutions.
  5. Use valid evidence and sound reasoning to support conclusions drawn about issues, problems, assumptions, or questions.


Students will demonstrate communication skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking in order to exchange information, ideas, findings, or opinions effectively across disciplines and for varied audiences, with or without assistive devices or persons.

  1. Read texts (visual, auditory, or tactile) critically in order to participate in academic discourse.
  2. Employ the conventions of standard English to create original texts that clearly communicate ideas and information.
  3. Orally communicate clear, well-founded and developed ideas in an organized manner.
  4. Attend to, interpret, and respond to verbal and nonverbal communication.
  5. Recognize and interpret forms of visual or observable communication such as images, diagrams, film and video.

Quantitative Analysis and Scientific Reasoning

Students will be able to analyze, estimate, use and evaluate quantitative information using words, graphs and symbols, as well as apply scientific methods to questions regarding observable natural, physical and social phenomena.

  1. Apply quantitative and qualitative skills to the interpretation of data.
  2. Use graphs and symbols to describe mathematical relationships and to establish sound arguments supported by accurate quantitative evidence.
  3. Apply mathematical concepts to solve problems.
  4. Employ scientific methods to form and test hypotheses.
  5. Distinguish empirical evidence from speculation.

Social, Cultural, Environmental and Aesthetic Perspectives

Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of significant social, cultural, environmental and aesthetic perspectives.

  1. Describe how the interaction among social, economic, political, cultural, environmental, and historic factors affects the individual, society and the environment.
  2. Explain how culture influences different beliefs, practices and peoples.
  3. Recognize the contributions of fine arts, visual arts, literature and performing arts in influencing the human experience.
  4. Recognize the social and ethical responsibilities of the individual in society, explaining the value of choosing to interact with respect in differing cultural contexts.

Information, Technology and Media Literacy

Students will be able to locate, evaluate, synthesize and use multiple forms of information employing a range of technologies.

  1. Strategically search for, select, and evaluate multiple formats and sources of information for their authority, accuracy, credibility and relevance.
  2. Effectively use technology to find, analyze, integrate, create and communicate information and ideas.
  3. Critically evaluate how information is created, communicated and valued in textual, visual, aural and tactile formats in different disciplines.
  4. Identify the legal, ethical, social and economic rights and responsibilities associated with the creation and use of information in various media and formats.

Personal, Academic and Career Development

Students will be able to assess their own knowledge, skills, and abilities; set personal, educational and career goals; work independently and in group settings; and identify lifestyle choices that promote self-reliance and physical, mental and social health.

  1. Develop, implement and evaluate progress toward achieving personal, academic, career and lifelong learning goals.
  2. Demonstrate personal responsibility for choices, actions and consequences, including but not limited to attending classes, being punctual, and meeting deadlines.
  3. Work effectively and civilly with others, respecting cultural, gender, and other group and individual differences.
  4. Identify and use appropriate resources to find answers, make choices, or solve problems.


Santa Barbara City College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, located at 10 Commercial Blvd., Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949, (415) 506-0234. The ACCJC is authorized to operate by the U.S. Department of Education through The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008. Accreditation materials are available for review online.


Santa Barbara City College was established by the Santa Barbara High School District in 1909, making it one of the oldest community colleges in California. The college was discontinued shortly after World War I, and its work largely taken over by the Santa Barbara State Normal School, which became the Santa Barbara State College and, later, the University of California, Santa Barbara.

SBCC was reorganized by the high school district in the fall of 1946. Called Santa Barbara Junior College from its inception, the Santa Barbara Board of Education formally changed the name to Santa Barbara City College in July 1959.

Also in the summer of 1959, the institution moved to its present and permanent location on the Santa Barbara Mesa, former site of the University of California, Santa Barbara. Situated on a 74-acre bluff, the campus overlooks the harbor and Pacific Ocean. Passage of a 1969 construction bond issue and a 1973 land acquisition bond issue ensured that the college would have a single, consolidated Mesa campus.

In 1965, the Carpinteria Unified School District was annexed to the Santa Barbara Junior College District. That same year, the Santa Barbara Junior College District became a separate governing authority under the control of its own popularly elected Board of Trustees. On July 1, 1971, the name of the district was changed to Santa Barbara Community College District.

Since its reorganization following World War II, college growth has been rapid—both in enrollment and course offerings. Santa Barbara City College currently serves approximately 20,000 students each semester who enroll in credit and noncredit courses for transfer preparation, career education and foundational skills, and an additional 3,800 enroll in fee-based lifelong learning classes each semester.


Students at Santa Barbara City College are privileged to study in one of the most beautiful locations in the world. Santa Barbara is a city of 90,000 people, located on California’s picturesque south-central coast—“where the mountains meet the sea.” Devoid of heavy industry, it is renowned as a cultural and educational center.

Santa Barbara is far enough away from California’s big cities to avoid the characteristic hectic pace and congestion—yet close enough to partake of its many cultural advantages.

Nearly half of Santa Barbara’s streets terminate along one of the nation’s loveliest white sand beaches. Many other roads lead to the gently sloping foothills of the Santa Ynez mountain range, where travelers are treated to superb views of the city and the offshore Channel Islands. Santa Barbara’s early California architecture, abundant flora and mild year-round climate in addition to mountains, sea and sand—make for a unique atmosphere in which to live and study.

In addition to the main campus on the Mesa, Santa Barbara City College has two additional campuses: the Alice F. Schott campus located at 310 W. Padre St., Santa Barbara, CA 93105, (805) 687-0812; and the Selmer O. Wake campus located at 300 N. Turnpike Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93111, (805) 964-6853.

National Co-winner for Community College Excellence

Santa Barbara City College was the 2013-2015 national co-winner of the prestigious Aspen Institute Prize for Community College Excellence. The college was recognized by The Aspen Institute for its quality and focus in four areas: facilitating underrepresented and minority student success, student learning outcomes, degree completion and transfer rates, and labor market success in securing good jobs after college.

Completion and Transfer Rates

Federal Student Right-to-Know regulations require publication of college completion and transfer rate data. The statewide percentages for all California community colleges, based on the most recent cohort of Fall 2011 students, are:

Completion Rate 29.45%
Transfer Rate1 10.90%

Santa Barbara City College’s rates, based on the most recent cohort of Fall 2011 students, are:

Completion Rate 31.63%
Transfer Rate1 15.04%

Student Retention Rate

In compliance with Chapter I of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 178.4(f), data regarding student retention and enrollment patterns may be obtained by contacting Melanie Rogers, Analyst, Institutional Assessment, Research and Planning, at

Santa Barbara City College Foundation

The SBCC Foundation was established in 1976 to provide Santa Barbara City College with private philanthropic support. The foundation acts in partnership with the college and bridges the gap between available public funding and institutional need, as determined by the college leadership. Serving as the vehicle through which individuals and organizations may invest in the college, the foundation fuels the educational excellence that has long been the hallmark of SBCC. The SBCC Foundation provides more than $4 million annually for student success programs, scholarships, book grants, and other critical needs of the college in order to support SBCC students as they prepare for careers, transfer to four-year universities, and pursue lifelong learning goals.

School of Extended Learning

School of Extended Learning programs are designed for adult learners seeking to advance their career or life skills. Most Extended Learning programs are tuition-free and include Adult High School/GED, English as a Second Language, Career and Vocational Skills, Courses for Older Adults, Home Economics, Parenting, and Health & Safety. These programs can provide pathways for students to advance to the credit division of SBCC and/or obtain employment. In addition to tuition-free programs, Extended Learning offers fee-based programs in life enhancement subjects such as Cooking, Culture, Travel, Fitness, Recreation, Do-It-Yourself, Languages, and Spirituality. Courses at the School of Extended Learning are largely offered at our Wake and Schott campuses.

Catalog Updates

Board policies, administrative procedures and regulations, courses and schedules described in this publication are subject to change at any time without prior notice. The college reserves the right to alter fees, statements and procedures contained herein. Further fees and regulations are subject to change at any time by the State Legislature. In addition, administrative procedures may be updated/revised and approved by the Superintendent/President. See the college’s website on Board Policies and Administrative Procedures, for the most current Board Policies and Administrative Procedures for the college.

It is the student’s responsibility to meet and remain informed of college requirements. When changes occur, they will be printed in the next regular publication of the Catalog or Class Schedule, as well as updated on the college website.

Public Information

Requests for documents under the Public Records Act should be directed to the Office of Communications.