The Student Success Card for Santa Ana College places us on the bottom-rung of community colleges in Orange County, based on transfers and graduations.
But the numbers are deceiving. The scorecard does not account for the hardships that students here face at home.
Santa Ana is the poorest city in Orange County, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. When a family is struggling to survive, earning an income takes priority over an education. That’s the reality for most SAC students.
Many are taking less than 12 units while working roughly 24 hours per week.
In the midst of a city populated by first generation immigrants and a reputation for gang violence, SAC remains an island of opportunity in a sea of obstacles.
This city has seen a drop in violence and poverty over several decades. Undoubtedly, the availability of a nearby college plays a pivotal role.
As more residents flock to this campus, obtain an education and earn a better living, their children will have an easier time attending college. This college’s scores will rise at the same rate the city’s affluence does.
For now, let’s remember that the scorecard is simply a list of numbers that ignore the realities of our lives in the working class.