The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Board approves new computer system contract proposal


This Thursday, the Board of Trustees and Paul Jarrell, vice president of educational programs, discussed the possible purchase of a computer system for the college to increase student retention.

The computer system under discussion was a Constituent Relationship Management system offered by a higher education technology company called Enrollment Rx. The purchase would cost the college $194,000 over the proposed five year contract, or about $38,500 per year.

The system would allow the school to more easily identify if students are struggling in school, said Superintendent-President Anthony Beebe, so that the school could intervene earlier.

Jarrell, who presented the advantages of Enrollment Rx’s system to the Board, said that these systems often “increase student retention by double-digit percentages.”

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The suggestion to purchase the system came from the Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative after the group was asked for guidance on what could be done to increase enrollment and decrease the drop rate at the City College.

The college has experienced a trend of precipitous enrollment decline over the last few years, cutting deeply into the funds it receives from the state, as the school receives much of its state funding based on its levels of enrollment.

According to Enrollment Rx’s contract proposal, full implementation of its system typically takes about sixteen weeks.

Trustee Craig Nielsen said that he is familiar with software similar to this system due to his sales background and that the software is good, but expressed concerns about its price.

Trustee Peter Haslund also voiced concern for the price.

“We are in an austerity process. For me to vote yes on a fundable item, it can’t just be good – it has to be at that level that says ‘this is critical,’” he said.

Jarrell responded by saying that he believes the software is critical, and that the first five years will be covered by grant funds from the state.

Moreover, he asserted that if the software consistently helps the college retain about 100 more students per year than if the software was not purchased, it will pay for itself. He said he expects that the software will help retain more students than that.

At the end of the discussion, the board approved the contract proposal for the system pending further review by the College Planning Council.

In other news, Superintendent-President Beebe reported that it is very likely the Santa Barbara Community College District will be awarded a Title V grant of $2.7 million, which will be allocated over the next five years if the college is awarded it.

He said he believes the money will be a big help to the district, but did not specify how the money may be used.

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