Santa Monica College (SMC) will be delivering classes and support services primarily in an online environment for the Winter & Spring 2021 semesters because of the continuing public health COVID-19 crisis. The college’s main campus at 1900 Pico Blvd. in Santa Monica and its five satellite campuses remain closed to the general public until further notice.
SMC is offering over 700 online classes for the Winter 2021 intersession, which runs from Jan. 4 to Feb. 11, 2021. Students can pick from over 2,800 classes—representing 175 degree and certificate options, including 40 noncredit career development and college prep classes—for the Spring 2021 semester, which runs from Feb. 16 to June 15, 2021.
In compliance with Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) guidelines, SMC offers safe, limited access to practicum/lab tools for instructional programs deemed essential by the California Governor’s Office including Nursing, Respiratory Therapy, and Media/Interaction Design.
In a college-wide memo sent Sept. 21, SMC Superintendent/President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery also announced that the college made these decisions based on recommendations from its Emergency Operations Team, which monitors the pandemic and is utilizing California’s four-tiered risk assessment system, in addition to LA County Public Health and CDC guidelines and requirements as a framework for decision-making.
“It is unlikely that a safe, widely available vaccine will appear this year,” Jeffery wrote. “The safety, health & wellbeing of SMC colleagues and students is the highest priority …Santa Monica College upholds the highest level of dedication to access, equity, and excellence in these challenging times.”
SMC will continue its free Chromebook lending program for employees and students; provide the services of a designated free Wi-Fi area for enrolled students at its Bundy Campus; and continue to disburse federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) financial assistance to students disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. SMC has distributed $2.6 million in one-time checks to nearly 5,000 students and the remainder of the $6.1 million grant designated for direct aid to students will be distributed throughout the fall semester to those with verifiable needs. The college was also awarded an equal amount of $6.1 million to cover costs related to the transition to an online environment.
SMC provides robust telehealth services through its Center for Wellness & Wellbeing including a free 24/7 emotional support hotline and short-term, free, confidential therapy. Students also have access to a full calendar of extra-curricular online events, and a weekly drive-thru pop-up pantry. The SMC Foundation’s Meal Project has delivered well over 86,000 meals—free of charge—via social enterprise Everytable to the homes of more than 12,180 students who need the assistance, including seniors, housing insecure students, veterans, and former foster youth.
Santa Monica College has the most comprehensive student support and counseling network in California; approximately 170 counselors (including psychologists) complement the efforts of SMC’s world-class professors to ensure students can meet their personal academic and career goals. SMC’s Nursing and Respiratory Therapy programs have donated ventilators and respirators to hospitals fighting COVID-19, through the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). In coordination with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, the State of California, and OptumServe, the SMC Airport Arts Campus serves as a walk-up, by appointment only COVID-19 testing location.
The college works with public health agencies including the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and coordinates emergency response with local partners, including the City of Santa Monica. For more information on SMC’s response to the coronavirus, visit: smc.edu/coronavirus.