CSI’s Santa Barbara Day Reporting Center (SB DRC) has established a promising collaborative relationship with Santa Barbara City College (SBCC). SBCC’s Extended Opportunities Programs and Services Department has been operating a summer bridge program (Transitions) for students involved in the criminal justice system to prepare them to enter college in the fall.
This summer, SB DRC had 8 clients start and complete the Transitions Program, and two former clients that completed the program last semester were hired as peer mentors to the current students. SB DRC has 10 clients entering SBCC full-time for the fall semester.
Deirdre Smith, Program Coordinator of Santa Barbara DRC, formerly was employed at SBCC in the Extended Opportunities Programs and Services Department and holds the program close to heart.
“We are providing each student client with a gift bag to keep them motivated and show them how important we view their educational journey. These bags contain binders, dividers, paper, notebooks, pens, pencils, highlighters, index cards, and calculators, along with a note from the staff including meaningful educational quotes. The quote on the front of the card has deep personal meaning to me and I shared it with the Transitions Program when I spoke to them this summer.”
Deirdre Smith then added, “Education was a life-transforming experience for me and I am so glad to be able to collaborate with SBCC on behalf of our clients to assist them in that same experience.”
From the SBCC website:
What is Transitions?
The mission of the Transitions Program is to provide access to higher education to individuals released from the California criminal justice system, and create a smooth transition from prison to the community college.
What is the goal of the program?
The goal of our program is to assist individuals on parole to re-integrate into society by pursuing their goal of beginning or continuing college. Through a College Success class and peer mentoring, students explore practical strategies for empowering themselves to become active, responsible and lifelong learners. During the program, students will complete a journey of self-discovery that will help prepare them to make wise choices both in a college setting and in life outside of the college environment.