Meeting Student Needs
During the COVID-19 pandemic, challenges that some students faced on a daily basis were highlighted. Since going remote in March 2020, Long Beach City College has seen an increase in demand for basic needs. In response, LBCC found innovative and trailblazing ways to provide the tools students needed to succeed.
Establishing the Emergency Aid Form
The student emergency aid application allowed students to indicate all the ways in which they needed support included housing, food, mental health, transportation, technology, and direct aid. Since Fall 2020, more than 5,000 students completed the emergency aid application form.
The Viking Vault, our food pantry, started in 2018. We have two locations (one at each campus).
Since the start of the pandemic, LBCC has served a total of 6,174 students and thereby reaching a total of 14,785 people in their households.
LBCC established a loan program for students to provide laptops, Chromebooks, and hotspots. Since Spring 2020, LBCC received a total of 4,643 technology requests.
The LBCC team assembled and distributed equipment since going remote:
- Loaning out 815 Chromebooks to students
- 260 hotspots
- Loaning out 51 Dell laptops
- And another 200 Chromebooks have been given to students through generous donors
LBCC understood that the global pandemic presented many challenges to our students in pursuing their education at Long Beach City College. As a way to demonstrate that LBCC is committed to seeing our students succeed, LBCC forgave outstanding charges/student account debts owed to between Spring 2020 and Fall 2021. A total of 5,572 students were impacted through this debt forgiveness program.
Helping Unhoused Students
Long Beach City College implemented a pilot Safe Parking Program for enrolled students to reside in their vehicles overnight in a secure campus location. LBCC initiated the pilot program to provide a safe place for the almost 70 current students who sleep in their cars each night. The goal of this program is to serve as a pathway to housing stability for unhoused students. These students would otherwise have to worry nightly about their vehicles being broken into, trying not to be seen or bothered, and not having the police called on them — all while keeping up with their coursework. It can be an exhausting situation that makes it more difficult to get ahead. The pilot program aims to keep students safe so they can better focus on their student responsibilities.
All currently enrolled students who are experiencing homelessness are eligible to stay in the secured Pacific Coast Campus Parking Structure, seven nights a week. The students will have access to restrooms, Wi-Fi, and showers. Students participating in the Safe Parking Pilot Program would also be case-managed by LBCC staff in order to find more long-term and stable housing.
The pilot program is the latest in LBCC’s efforts to assist unhoused students. The LBCC Foundation has a fundraising group that focuses on finding housing solutions and the LBCC Basic Needs Office was formed in recent years to provide food and other assistance for students.