SBCC ends lease with Kaplan international school early

PHIL JOSEPH, Channels Staff

After nearly 15 years of partnership, Kaplan International School and City College will part ways at the end of the semester.

The decision to split follows the Board of Trustees’s vote last September against extending the school’s lease. The original lease ended July 2017, but the international school decided that an early move is best for them.

“[The Board of Trustees] are the one’s who made the decision. We just have to just have to make plans for the future,” said Kaplan Director Tyler Willson. “The entire administration supported us.”

Kaplan has moved to various locations on City College’s campus since 2003. In its stay, the international school generated a cluster of opinions from students and staff.

“Kaplan helps give [City College] a really unique community,” said student Zach Patterson. “It definitely isn’t the Santa Barbara Community. It’s its own deal and Kaplan is definitely a part of it.”

Despite Kaplan and City College’s respectable relationship, some are not disappointed about their withdrawal.

“[Kaplan] doesn’t help at all,” said former Kaplan student Doris Zhang. “It’s a waste of money and time. It doesn’t help at all Chinese students who plan to go to SBCC. I’m glad they’re leaving.”

Kaplan’s departure will significantly impact City College’s revenue. The school paid City College $600,000 annually for rent on East Campus, and the international school’s economic benefits reached far beyond that figure. Kaplan students were frequent consumers of the Campus Store and Food Services.

The loss of Kaplan won’t bring any major changes to the school’s international program or enrollment according to Mark Broomfield, a member of the College Planning Council.

The school will move to State Street and Cota Street, where they expect to continue their role as a “stepping stone” for international students attending City College or UCSB.

Kaplan’s vacant classrooms will temporarily be replaced by English, English skills, and social science classes.

“We’re swapping one classroom for another.” said Barbara Bell, the English department chair.

The classes will move from a few East Campus Classrooms, which will accommodate the planned renovations to the Campus Store beginning this summer semester.