• EVERY STUDENT, EVERY CHANCE, EVERY DAY •Dr. David E. Cash, Superintendent • 720 Santa Barbara Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 • (805) 963-4338
Editorial: Guest Opinion, Santa Barbara News-Press, February 17, 2011
A recent commentary by Fred Hofmann, an instructor in political science at Santa Barbara City College, invites these further thoughts on the histories of these leading Santa Barbara institutions.
Santa Barbara City College and UCSB emerged from the Santa Barbara School District, which was formed in 1866 and will celebrate its 145th anniversary this year.
In 1891, the Anna Blake School of domestic science was started in cooperation with the Santa Barbara School District. Later, the district took over operation and funding of this school, which became known as the Santa Barbara Manual Training School.
In 1906, a summer school for teachers was started at the Santa Barbara Manual Training School. In 1909, the teacher program became year-round and the state of California, at the request of the Santa Barbara School District, took the school over. At the same time, a junior college for grades 13 and 14 was established at Santa Barbara High School. This was the second junior college in the state.
In 1913, the teachers college moved to a newly constructed campus on the Riviera. In 1921, the junior college joined with it. Between 1921 and 1926, the official name of this institution was the Santa Barbara State Teachers College and Junior College.
In time, what became Santa Barbara State College became the immediate predecessor of UCSB. A new junior college was formed by the Santa Barbara High School District in 1946, and this junior college became Santa Barbara City College in 1959.
It is true, as Mr. Hofmann says, that the current Santa Barbara City College and UCSB have "distinct pedigrees." However, as he also notes, Santa Barbara City College now occupies the site on the Mesa that originally was intended for Santa Barbara State College and then, in 1944, the Santa Barbara College of the University of California when Santa Barbara State College became part of the University of California.
In many respects, the current Santa Barbara City College has inherited the spirit of Santa Barbara State College, though UCSB became the latter's institutional successor. Like Santa Barbara State College, Santa Barbara City College is located in the city of Santa Barbara and has high attendance by local students. By way of contrast, UCSB's roots are found as much in the University of California and it has a more diverse student body.
Leslie Westbrook writes in her recent history of Santa Barbara City College, "A Century of Success, A Future of Possibilities," that the challenge in writing on local higher educational history is "plumbing the unfathomable depths of . . . origins."
Santa Barbara is primarily an educational community. There are many great educational institutions here, including Santa Barbara City College, Westmont and UCSB. Mr. Hofmann should be commended for his contributions to increasing our understanding of the origins of local higher education.
Lanny Ebenstein is a past president of the Santa Barbara Board of Education