SANTA MONICA COLLEGE — With the help of a two-year federal grant, Santa Monica College is looking forward to furthering its quest to promote global citizenship.

The $180,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education will benefit the college’s Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Program, which focuses on undergraduate instruction in these areas.

“We’re very pleased to have received this grant, which will help tremendously as we continue our comprehensive efforts to enhance global awareness reflected in the curriculum and campus environment as part of the Santa Monica College experience,” Kelley Brayton, dean of SMC’s international studies program said.

The global citizenship initiative was launched 2 1/2 years ago with the aim to give students a comprehensive look at today’s world.

Through curriculum changes, professional development programs, study abroad opportunities and a focus on SMC’s foreign students, it fosters an understanding of international, intercultural and ecological issues with a focus on economics, human rights and the environment.

Unlike programs at other colleges and universities, the initiative also incorporates volunteer work and a sense of global responsibility into its curriculum, college officials said.

So far, SMC has added a required global citizenship class to its Associate of Arts degree, as well as strengthened its Study Abroad Program. The college now offers international studies scholarships for low-income students as well as an internationally themed lecture series. In addition, SMC has sent faculty and staff around the world to explore a variety of international issues.

With the grant money, which amounts to $88,500 for the 2009-10 school year and $89,986 for 2010-11, the college will hopefully be able to establish study abroad programs in China and Turkey, Brayton said.

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