SRJC to expand international students program to generate more revenue

Drew Sheets, News Editor

SRJC’s Board of Trustees Aug. 14 meeting focused on a potential expansion of the International Student Program (ISP).

The board is in favor of expanding SRJC’s ISP, which not only adds revenue to the table, but also diversifies the campus and gives SRJC students more worldly exposure.

Open Doors: Institute of International Education reported in 2010-2011 that when it came to numbers of international students, California had 13 of the top 40 ranked community colleges in the country.

Santa Monica College has the same enrollment as SRJC, but makes $14 million a year from their ISP compared to SRJC’s $400,000 annual generation.

This plan is not expected to displace locals because the extra revenue will help to keep open more class availability and more classes in general.

“It is a strategy that is working, but it is important not to grow too fast,” said SRJC president, Dr. Frank Chong.

Foreign students pay more for their units. At SRJC it is an extra $29 a unit. Santa Monica used their revenues to support their English as a Second Language program.

Chong had another poll done last semester and new data found that SRJC’s student body is more than 25 percent Hispanic. This sets SRJC up for federal funding as a Hispanic Serving Institution.

“We’re leaving funding on the table. We need to step up our game at the federal level,” Chong said.

Chong strongly advocated for the development of an alumni program to build revenue. Sara Legos came from DePaul University in Chicago to develop this program.

The Board also commended its employee of the month, Hector Garcia. Garcia has worked at Shone Farms for more than 24 years and was described by the Board as, “a positive person who looks at life as the glass being half full.”

The SRJC Board of Trustees announced that the time to register as a candidate in the upcoming board elections has passed. In the words of Trustee Robert Burdo: “You’re stuck with us for another four years.”