County education office is looking for veterans and inmates for the degree program


Source: Santa Barbara County Office of Education

Between the 1940s and 1970s, thousands of students left high school to serve in the United States Armed Forces. During World War II, more than 100,000 people were interned in relocation camps across the United States. Some of these ex-combatants and internees were unable to complete their secondary education or receive their diplomas because of their military service or internment. Veterans and previously interned citizens can earn retroactive high school diplomas through the Santa Barbara County Office of Education (SBCEO) as part of the Operation Recognition program.

Santa Barbara County Board of Education and SBCEO invite veterans and those who qualify to apply for their high school diploma and participate in the operation’s graduation ceremony Recognition April 7, 2022. Individuals can apply posthumously for deceased family members who meet the Criteria.

“We are honored to recognize the service and sacrifice of these people by awarding their degrees,” said Susan Salcido, Superintendent of Schools for Santa Barbara County. “In 2019, six distinguished veterans graduated from high school, and we look forward to celebrating the class of 2022.”

The eligibility criteria, as established by the California Education Code, are as follows:

o Those who served in World War II – December 7, 1941 to December 31, 1946; the Korean War – June 27, 1950 to January 31, 1955; or the Vietnam War – February 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975; and have been honorably discharged from their military service.

o Individuals interned in a relocation camp from September 16, 1940 to December 31, 1946.

o All recipients must have been enrolled in a secondary school prior to enlistment or internment and were unable to graduate due to enlistment or internment.

Interested persons can apply until January 14, 2022. Parties requiring assistance with required military service documents can contact the Santa Barbara County Veterans Services Office at 805-681-4500 or 805- 346-7160.

Brochures and downloadable applications are available in English and Spanish on the SBCEO website at or via the links below.

Prospectus (English) Application (English)

Prospectus (Spanish) Application (Spanish)

Completed requests can be emailed to [email protected] or by mail to the Santa Barbara County Education Office, Attn: Valerie Cantella, PO Box 6307, Santa Barbara, CA 93160-6307.

For any questions, contact Valérie Cantella, Director of Communications, 805-964-4711, ext. 5282 or [email protected].

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