In 2014, Antioch University Santa Barbara was awarded a $1.6 million, five-year federal Title III grant to support college completion for students who are at risk of leaving college without a degree. For its third year of operation, 2016 – 2017, AUSB will receive $345,110 in Federal funds that it will match with an additional $101,980 to support the project.
In addition to one-on-one academic support, the grant, under the leadership of Project Director Catherine Radecki, is focused on creating a pathway to post-graduation career success. Through the College-to-Career program funded by the grant, students learn pre-employment skills such as résumé writing, networking, and employment interview skills.
Bachelor of Arts students at AUSB who participate in the program gain substantive résumé-building work experience in their field of study and are assisted in development of a long-term career plan. Local staff hired using the grant funds are working with community nonprofits and businesses to develop meaningful job and internship opportunities for which students also earn academic credit.
Lee Yarborough, AUSB’s Career Counselor, has been successful in placing almost 30 participating students into internships and jobs in the Santa Barbara area. The project is finding that students who receive career counseling and employment experience show a significant increase in their career self-efficacy.
“Being able to guide and encourage students to follow and pursue their professional dreams is inspiring on many different levels,” Lee said about her role at AUSB. “These students are our future leaders and will pave the way for innovation, creativity, social justice and improvements in the community. Through internships, part-time employment, job shadowing, and exploring career options, our students are gaining real world experience and confidence before they graduate.”
AUSB’s Academic Success Advisor Shira Minerd takes a proactive approach to ensuring that students stay enrolled at AUSB through the completion of their degrees. Whether students would benefit from a one-time meeting to refresh study or presentation skills, multiple meetings to master time or stress management skills, or even weekly check-ins to help keep them on track, Shira is available to help meet their needs.
“The college environment presents unique opportunities for students to put their knowledge to the test and develop their skill set,” said Associate Director of Admissions, Tony Urban. “Our student services team makes sure they are well-equipped to tackle these challenges head-on with all the tools they need to succeed in the classroom as well as in life.”
The Title III Grant also enabled AUSB to hire Allison Adelman, Director of the Writing Center on campus, and Abby Pasley, English Language Learner Tutor, to help students in these areas of development.
All domestic students in the AUSB Bachelor of Arts program are eligible to participate in the College-to-Career program.