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Westmont College: Inspiring to Lead A Life of Significance

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One of the best liberal arts colleges in America – Westmont College was established in 1937 in Los Angeles by Ruth Kerr – who was then head of the Kerr Glass Manufacturing Company. The college moved to its location in Santa Barbara in 1945 after outgrowing its facilities in Los Angeles. In recent years, Westmont has earned increasing national recognition for its academic quality, leadership training, and unique emphasis on intellectual, spiritual, and personal growth. Westmont College is an undergraduate, residential, Christian, liberal arts community serving God’s kingdom by cultivating thoughtful scholars, grateful servants, and faithful leaders for global engagement with the academy, church, and world.

A Bouquet of Academic Programs

Thriving on the values of faith, academics, and community, Westmont College offers a bouquet of academic programs. It offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in 30 liberal arts majors, 11 pre-professional programs, an elementary and secondary credential program, and up to 12 units for internships and practicums. The five most popular programs offered by the college are Economics & Business, Kinesiology, Psychology, Communication Skills, and Biology.

Creating Education Interesting and Affordable

Westmont College is located in the mountains of Montecito and is minutes away from the Pacific Ocean and Santa Ynez mountains. This beautiful setting is an ideal location for an advanced and transformative learning experience. Alongside providing a beautiful campus, the college also encourages students to develop a deep love for god, which distinguishes it from the other colleges.

As a private Christian college, Westmont College continues to cultivate its culture of spiritual vitality. It provides an environment that incorporates three important values – faith, value, and community– into students’ learning experience on and off-campus. The college also encourages students to stay active and take walks and hikes through the mountain trails, bike and run by the beach, or engage in other outdoor activities.

Furthermore, Westmont is ranked second in California for its financial aid as 95% of its students receive some form of assistance. It is committed to making education affordable to its students. Numerous students from the college qualify for generous and automatic merit scholarships at various levels, which they may renew every year.

Seeking Curiosity and Hard Work

Students who thrive at Westmount College are intellectually curious, enjoy challenges, and work hard. They believe that their faith compels them to engage in the most vexing problems facing the world so they can step in to help make a difference or provide a solution for a need. Thus, students seeking admission in Westmont College should demonstrate a desire to deepen their faith and spiritual character.

The applicants should also demonstrate preparations for Westmont’s rigorous academic environment by submitting references, doing an interview with the college representative, and submitting their academic transcripts. Besides this, the college prefers students who have discovered an area of interest and make choices to pursue that passion with great purpose and creativity.

Pivoting to the Change

The COVID-19 pandemic challenged Westmont to think innovatively and become more creative. However, the college easily pivoted, changed direction, and was nimble with planning as the state and local restrictions changed weekly. Under the auspices of Jason Tavarez (Director of Institutional Resilience), Westmont has bought students to campus and held classes in person outdoors. The college community followed the CDC protocols and social distancing as well.

During the pandemic, Westmont College remained open with students residing on campus. The faculty was committed to teaching and reaching out to their students, and students uncomfortable with teaching in person had the option to join classes via Zoom. With a faculty-student ratio of 11:1 and many small classes, students could develop a relationship with the faculty even when classes occurred remotely.

Furthermore, Westmont College launched the Chapel Program which moved services from meeting in person to gathering online. Campus Pastor Scott Lisea involved significant sectors of the campus community – including students, faculty, and staff in recorded messages – giving students the opportunities to connect beyond their classes, homework, and exams.

A Flurry of Extra-curricular Activities

Westmont offers more than 30 official student-directed clubs funded through the Westmont Activities Council (WAC). WAC oversees several annual events including dances and concerts. Spring Sing—the college’s most popular annual event at the Santa Barbara Bowl, features students from each residence hall producing Broadway-style skits and competing for prizes and bragging rights at the iconic venue.

Westmont students also volunteer for several service projects, which include working with the underserved in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Emmaus Road. It also sends students around the globe for month-long service trips.

Besides this, the college also offers an athletic program that has a long and successful tradition and is an exciting part of campus life. As a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC), Warrior teams compete in numerous sports events. In recent years, virtually every team has qualified for the regional and national competition and has produced individual All-American performers.

The COVE Career Center

Through the COVE (Career opportunities and Vocational Exploration) Career Center, the college assists students navigate the difficult job market and equip them for life after graduation by teaching them essential skills such as building an effective resume and preparing for job interviews. Moreover, Westmont Downtown offers a semester in social entrepreneurship in Downtown Santa Barbara. This unique off-campus program trains students to learn for life and often places them in businesses and organizations after their internships or research experiences.

Expanding the Footprint

The pandemic has allowed Westmont College to show its Warrior resiliency, community unity, and care. The crisis has also given it the opportunity to serve the needs of the world and live its mission. Making most of these opportunities, Westmont College aims to expand its academic programs, facilities, and opportunities to stay abroad.

The college has a new engineering program and is building new learning spaces on campus. It has also purchased a building in Downtown Santa Barbara –which will house a proposed Bachelor of Science in Nursing –expected to be approved for spring 2020. Westmont College strives to innovate and create to continue its commitment to live and learn in the community together.

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The Educational landscape is changing dynamically. The new generation of students thus faces the daunting task to choose an institution that would guide them towards a lucrative career.

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