Students gather in the Santa Monica College quad. (File photo)

Santa Monica College (SMC) has launched 5 new short-term vocational and workforce preparation noncredit programs—Bicycle Maintenance, Business Essentials, Customer Service, Introduction to Early Care and Education, and Rehabilitation Therapy Aide—to offer adult learners pathways to entry-level or higher employment, as well as preparation for college.

These noncredit programs have no enrollment fees, and are free to California residents. The Santa Monica Regional Consortium for Adult Education—composed of SMC’s Noncredit Programs and the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified District (SMMUSD)’s Adult Education Center—which receives funding from AB 104: Adult Education Program of California, provided planning, implementation, and financial support for the 5 new programs.

Made up of a sequence of two or three courses, these new programs provide adult learners—18 years of age and older—a short-term option to gain basic job and professional skills. While three are being currently offered, all five new programs will be offered at SMC in the upcoming spring 2019 semester, which begins February 11, 2019 (enrollment for the new noncredit programs is ongoing). With direction from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, SMC faculty developed these courses so that students can complete them in a year or less.

“These free vocation-focused noncredit programs are an important addition to Santa Monica College’s curricular offerings. They certainly help the college fulfill the goal of meeting the educational needs of the broadest possible cross-section of our communities,” said Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery, SMC Superintendent/President. “SMC’s partnership with the SMMUSD to expand access to quality adult education and provide adults a fast track to employment is an example of collaboration that works!”

Current SMC students—who are enrolled in credit courses—may sign up for the noncredit programs through the college’s student portal Corsair Connect. To enroll, prospective students new to SMC can contact the SMC Noncredit Registration Office by emailing or, or by calling 310-434-3399.

Noncredit courses do not award college credits towards a degree—and are not designed as substitutes for credit courses—but are intended for those who want to prepare for college courses, learn or upgrade a professional skill, and/or for their own personal enrichment. In addition, six more noncredit programs are in the works to be launched at SMC before or in fall 2019 in the areas of Amazon Web Services cloud computing, Gerontology, Sustainability, and Transition to College and Career.

The Santa Monica Regional Consortium for Adult Education was first formed in 2014, and is composed of staff and leaders from SMC’s Noncredit Programs and the SMMUSD’s Adult Education Center. There are 71 such consortia throughout California, working to expand access to adult education. The two institutions—SMC and SMMUSD—meet different needs in education and training needs of working-age adults, but partner through the consortium to ensure that academic and career pathways are identified and established for adult learners.

While SMC focuses mainly on noncredit Career Development College Preparation (or “CDCP”) courses and programs—including popular noncredit English as a Second Language (ESL) courses and noncredit non-CDCP courses such as classes offered at SMC Emeritus for older adults—the SMMUSD Adult Education Center provides classes in high school diploma/credit recovery, high school equivalency exam preparation (GED), adult basic education, citizenship, and ESL.

“SMC’s Noncredit Programs and SMMUSD Adult Education Center have worked closely to ensure that adult learners 18 and older have the resources and support they need to be successful,” said Dr. Ben Drati, SMMUSD Superintendent. “This close collaboration has the aim of helping those who take courses through SMMUSD to transition to those offered at SMC to ensure that students have the skills to navigate and adapt to an ever-changing global society.

Brief descriptions of the five new noncredit programs that are now available at SMC:

  •      Bicycle Maintenance Certificate of Completion (Noncredit):  Introduces students to the basics of bicycle maintenance—including an introduction to small business operations to “pedal-assist”, electric and Light Electric Vehicle (LEV) technologies. Provides skills for jobs such as entry-level mechanics, bicycles sales positions, or in bicycle shop management upon completion of two courses.  An intermediate or higher skill level in ESL is recommended.
  •      Business Essentials Level 1 Certificate of Completion (Noncredit):  Introduces students to general business concepts, including the key business functions and the role of entrepreneurship in the United States economy. An intermediate or higher skill level in ESL is recommended.
  •      Customer Service Certificate of Completion (Noncredit): Introduces students to the theories of the customer service exchange and practical application during a customer encounter.  Provides marketable business knowledge and professional skills to students seeking employment in various customer-driven industries. An intermediate or higher skill level in ESL is recommended.
  •      Introduction to Early Care & Education Certificate of Completion (Noncredit):  Introduces students to the theoretical and practical knowledge required for working with young children in an early care and education setting.  This program allows students to determine their level of interest in the field, and prepares students for credit coursework in Early Childhood Education. It also counts towards the professional growth requirement for the renewal of an existing Child Development Permit, and is made up of a sequence of three courses that provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to gain employment as an entry-level Assistant Teacher or Family Child Care Provider.  An intermediate or higher skill level in ESL is recommended.
  •      Rehabilitation Therapy Aide Certificate of Completion (Noncredit):  Introduces students to the field and practice of rehabilitation therapy, including occupational, physical and speech therapy.  Students learn the essential job duties and responsibilities of a Rehabilitation Aide, and get clinical hands-on experience. An intermediate or higher skill level in ESL is recommended.

For more information on the Santa Monica Regional Consortium for Adult Education or SMC Noncredit Programs and Initiatives, see: or email And for more information on the SMMUSD Adult Education Center, email or

Submitted by Grace Smith, SMC Public Information Officer


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