Erlinda Martinez, Ed.D., president of Santa Ana College (SAC), has been invited to attend a one-day symposium on college completion on Monday, Jan. 30, in Washington DC. Martinez will join 23 higher education leaders, 16 well-known researchers, and eight policy experts to identify evidence-based best practices that work to increase college completion. Education Secretary Arne Duncan will address the gathering and ask participates to think about innovative, affordable ways to substantially boost college completion.
In recent years, Santa Ana College has been recognized for innovative measures that increase student retention and college completion. They include:
- Freshman Experience: The program, which helps students learn how to study, take notes, manage time, and take exams, has resulted in a college completion rate of 82 percent for its participants. The statewide Academic Senate for Community Colleges selected SAC’s Freshmen Experience to receive its Exemplary Program Award as an outstanding community college program of 2011-2012.
- Santa Ana ¡Adelante!: The initiative guarantees that all Santa Ana Unified School District students who graduate from high school, enroll at SAC, and complete all academic requirements and application paperwork will be admitted as transfer students to California State University, Fullerton or to University of California, Irvine. Recently, the Lumina Foundation provided a total of $600,000 over a four-year period to help fund the Santa Ana ¡Adelante! program.
- Santa Ana Partnership: The partnership dates back to 1982, when the institutional members of the partnership first gathered to jointly analyze barriers to student success in the Santa Ana area. More recently, community-based initiatives including Padres Promotores have encouraged college entrance and completion.
- According to Community College Week, SAC ranks 25th among the top 100 associate degree producers for “total minority” students in the nation. In addition, among the top 100 associate degree producers nationwide, SAC ranks 13th for Hispanic students and 20th for Asian American students.