SMC, SMMUSD Agree to Historic Collaborative
Representatives from SMC and SMMUSD gathered to sign the historic collaborative. Left to right, SMC President Dr. Chui L. Tsang; SMC Trustees Rob Rader, Andrew Walzer and Louise Jaffe; SMMUSD Board members Kathy Wisnicki, Oscar de la Torre and Maria Leon Vazquez; and SMMUSD Superintendent Dianne Talarico.
SMC and the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District have signed an historic Educational Collaborative that seeks to strengthen ties between the two and offer expanded college-level opportunities to high school students.
The boards of both the college and the school district have voted unanimously to approve a Memorandum of Understanding that establishes the Educational Collaborative and specifies several initiatives to be undertaken as early as this summer.
“This is an historic move that greatly increases college course offerings to an even wider variety of high school students in the unified school district,” said SMC President Dr. Chui L. Tsang. “Santa Monica College is a major resource for educational advancement and enrichment to our local high school students, and we want them to take full advantage of our excellence.”
“The MOU represents a natural collaboration between our two academic institutions and will provide the groundwork for increased success for our high school students, increasing the number of students wishing to pursue post-secondary education,” said SMMUSD Superintendent Dianne Talarico. “We anticipate positive outcomes for both SMMUSD and SMC.”
Details of some of the initiatives in the Educational Collaborative have yet to be worked out, but the agreement calls for:
The college and school district to work closely to develop articulation in English and math to ensure that greater numbers of students are prepared for college-level courses when they enter SMC or other institutions of higher education.
Expanding the offering of college courses at SMC and at the high schools based on individual school site needs in both core and elective programs.
Offering a greater number of summer courses at Santa Monica High School. This year, SMC is offering approximately 60 “late-start” classes at SMC and Santa Monica High School that accommodate the high school students whose academic year ends two weeks later than SMC's. Classes are being offered in a wide variety of disciplines, including biology, robotics, economics, English, entertainment technology, history and math.
Increasing the shared use of facilities, ranging from classrooms to athletic fields.
Collaborating on the development and expansion of career and technical education programs undertaken by the college. SMC officials will include the unified district in planning the new programs.
Developing a High School Transfer Academy, a concurrent enrollment program targeting would-be “first-generation college attendee” high school juniors and seniors. The students would study at SMC, and the program would seek to encourage them to continue their education and attend college as they earned both high school and college credits.
Establishing an Early College High School Program for 9 th - to 12 th -graders that would most likely have a theme and will include research-based practices and the integration of technology. Details of such a program still need to be developed, and officials say that students, parents and faculty will participate in its development.