News Release

Santa Ana College and Santiago Canyon College Receive $3 Million in Grants

​(Santa Ana, CA)—In late May, the California Community College Board of Governors awarded Santa Ana College (SAC) and Santiago Canyon College (SCC) a Basic Skills and Student Outcomes Transformation grant. Each college will receive $1.5 million over a three-year period, from 2016 to 2019.

The Board of Governors awarded $60 million in grant funding statewide to 43 community colleges. The grants are funded by Proposition 98, which allows community colleges to implement and/or expand evidence-based innovations in areas of assessment, student services, and instruction. These grants will help students advance from remedial education to college-level education.

With this funding, SAC will address the following issues: basic skills students that do not progress to completing transferable courses; basic skills as a barrier for career technical education (CTE) students; transition of non-credit diploma and general education development (GED) program students to credit programs; and the limited number of students who place into basic skills classes completing transferable courses.

The grant will allow SAC to achieve the following objectives:

    • Develop multiple measures for placement of students in English, math, reading, and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes.
    • Develop articulation agreements for high school math courses and non-credit math courses to align with SAC’s Math 083/Math 084 courses.
    • Develop articulation agreements for non-credit English courses to align with English N60 and English 061 and develop articulation agreements for non-credit ESL courses to align with SAC’s credit English as a Second Language (ESL) courses.
    • Integrate basic skills instruction into pharmacy technology, fashion design and merchandizing certificate programs.
    • Establish a Career and Transition Center for students enrolled in non-credit high school subjects, GED, and Career Technical Education programs.
    • Host a Transition Conference to encourage non-credit students to transition to credit classes and track non-credit students after they transition.
    • Redesign basic skills class sequences in English from three or four to two or three classes needed to progress to transferable college-level courses.

Ray Hicks, SAC ESL professor and project director of the Basic Skills and Student Outcomes Transformation program said, “This is clearly a transformational grant for us at SAC. We will significantly improve the lives of our students coming from the high schools, from non-credit and in the CTE programs.”

Through this grant, SCC will address the issues of: placement being dependent on one test; student persistence in basic skills courses; the role of the reading department; the disconnect between basic skills students and student services; and the transition of continuing education students into credit pathways.

The grant will allow SCC to undertake the following objectives:

    • Implement multiple measures for placement including high school GPAs for English and Math.
    • Instigate an accelerated co-requisite model in the English pathway allowing students who place one level below transfer English to take supplemental instruction along with college-level English courses to avoid an extra semester of remediation.
    • Eliminate multiple lower level courses in the English pathway through course redesign and provide additional support for students in the Writing Center.
    • Redesign the math pathway, combining basic skills courses to reduce the number of semesters students spend in remediation.
    • Develop a series of one-unit reading courses to be taken with content-area courses that will help students increase comprehension and engagement.
    • Organize a schedule for counselors to visit basic skills classrooms three times during the semester to provide academic planning and support services.
    • Integrate counseling sessions into non-credit classes helping students to address academic, career, and personal development needs and to ease the transition into credit classes.

Maureen Roe, SCC professor of English and one of the Basic Skills Initiative coordinators said, “This grant will afford us the opportunity to do even more for our students! We want them to attain their goals without burdening them with overly lengthy pathways to success. We are confident that the innovations resulting from this grant will make many of our current practices more productive, purposeful, and transformational.”

For more information about Santa Ana College, visit For more information about Santiago Canyon College, visit

About Santa Ana College
Santa Ana College (SAC), which turned 100 years old in 2015, serves about 18,000 students each semester at its main campus in Santa Ana. The college prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions, provides invaluable workforce training, and customized training for business and industry. In addition, another 11,000 students are served through the college’s School of Continuing Education located at Centennial Education Center. Ranked as one of the nation’s top two-year colleges awarding associate degrees to Latino and Asian students, the college is also recognized throughout the state for its comprehensive workforce training programs for nurses, firefighters, law enforcement and other medical personnel. SAC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District. Visit to learn more. For information about Santa Ana College’s Centennial, please visit

About Santiago Canyon College
Santiago Canyon College (SCC) serves about 14,000 students each semester. The college prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions and careers, and provides courses for personal and professional development, as well as customized training for business and industry. The college is recognized for its adult education program which keeps the working adult - and seniors - in mind by offering flexible schedules, and community locations. Serving the residents of Anaheim Hills, Orange, Tustin, and Villa Park, SCC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District.

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Contact: Judy Iannaccone

Phone: (714) 480-7503