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The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Dedicated SBCC counselors offer student support in Isla Vista

J.C. Corliss
On a rather slow Tuesday evening, April 12, Kari Cox and Carl Schmidt test out one of the new Apple Chromebooks that students can use when they visit the Student Support Center located in the St. George Family Youth Center in Isla Vista. The center is funded by Santa Barbara City College and provides counseling and a quiet place to study in what can be a rather hectic community for students.

Students living in Isla Vista now have a new, quiet place to study and receive counseling without a car or bus ride.

The St. George Family Youth Center is allowing City College to use a shared space at their location from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday. It will be open during these hours until the end the semester, but close during summer sessions. The center has been open for students since March 21, and offers personal and academic counseling, tutoring and a place to get away from the noisy Isla Vista atmosphere.

“There is so much potential as far as resources and space here at the center and I think students would really benefit from just coming in to chill or study,” said Carl Schmidt, a City College security guard who works at the center.

To be granted access to the center, students only need a City College ID card and student activity sticker. The center provides wifi and computer access, private rooms for tutoring sessions and an area with a refrigerator, along with a microwave and coffee maker.

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City College’s administration is paying for better wifi accessibility, not only for the students, but also for the center itself. Many high school and middle school students go to the center after their classes are over; so increased internet speed will benefit them as well.

“This space is for them [City College students]. We want to provide a quiet safe place,” said Board of Trustees member Jonathan Abboud. “This will give students an opportunity to study and create student success along with accessing City College resources.”

Karima Cox, a personal counselor and licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, is volunteering her time during the center’s open hours, in hopes that students will take advantage of what it has to offer. Cox is an instructor for the Stress Management and Wellness class and the Strategies for Student Success class at City College. She offers personal and selective academic counseling at the center.

“It’s been slow. Busy in the beginning but we definitely need to get the word out there,” Cox said. “We are here to help.”

Schmidt and Cox are currently the only employees working every night at the facility. They hope that once more students come in to use the center regularly; more counselors and tutors will be able to work there.

“There is free counseling being offered! We’re coming to the end of the semester and this could be a great place where students can study for final exams,” said Cox.

“We are investing in this. We want a good place for our students,” said Abboud. “Hopefully what we gain is our students doing better in school because of this and can graduate faster.”

The City College counseling center is located at 889 Camino del Sur in Goleta at the St. George Family Youth Center. For questions, readers may call the City College administration for General Student Information at (805) 730-4450 or the main campus office at (805) 965-0581.

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