SMC Wins National Award for Innovation in International Education

College Recognized For Groundbreaking Global Citizenship Initiative

Santa Monica College received a 2017 Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education from the Institute of International Education for its Global Citizenship Initiative. Through curriculum, extra-curricular activities, study abroad programs, and professional development for faculty and staff, the SMC Global Citizenship Initiative imparts to the campus community the opportunities and responsibilities of living in a global, interconnected society.

January 23, 2017

Santa Monica College (SMC) is pleased to announce that it has won a 2017 Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education from the Institute of International Education (IIE). The IIE Heiskell Awards showcase the most innovative and successful models in international higher education. The awards will be presented at a ceremony in Miami, Florida on March 14.

SMC was one of two institutions that received an award in the first-ever category of Internationalizing the Minority Serving Institution, for its Global Citizenship Initiative. The inaugural award is shared with Virginia Union University (VUU), a historically black university in Richmond, VA.

“Santa Monica College is thrilled to receive this distinction,” said SMC Superintendent/President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery. "The College’s forward-looking Global Citizenship initiative, championed by President Emeritus Chui L. Tsang, established a culture in which SMC students are actively aware of both the opportunities and responsibilities of living in a global, interconnected society. From Santa Monica College, students can literally go anywhere.”

Santa Monica College is a diverse minority-serving institution with the second highest international student population among community colleges in the U.S. Through a college-wide effort that grew out of a faculty task force convened in 2008, the college’s Global Citizenship Initiative funds $75,000 in student scholarships for study abroad programs for low-income students, faculty global grants for special on-campus lectures and events. Overseas professional development has enabled SMC professors to travel to destinations like Salzburg, China, and Turkey to integrate a global perspective into their curriculum.

“Santa Monica College’s accomplishment is truly exceptional, especially at the community college level,” said Kelley Brayton, SMC Dean of International Education. “A collective institutional vision was adopted as a priority by the college, and backed up by resources for it to become a reality. The entire effort, of course, was made possible by collaboration among faculty, staff, and administrators who created this innovative approach to allow our diverse student body to develop a global perspective.”

The IIE awards honor the most outstanding initiatives in international higher education among the member campuses of the IIE Network, IIE’s membership association of more than 1,300 colleges and universities. Five colleges and universities—representing six U.S. states as well as countries like Morocco, Australia, and the U.K.—will receive awards in the three other categories: Study Abroad, Internationalizing the Campus, and International Partnerships. Three campuses will receive honorable mention.

“The campuses that IIE is recognizing this year have developed new approaches to extending more study abroad opportunities to a broader segment of their student populations and integrating international programs into the campus experience,” said IIE President and CEO Dr. Allan E. Goodman. “We recommend these programs as models, and hope they will offer inspiration as well as guidance to professionals on other campuses who share the goal of preparing their students to live and work in today’s global environment.”

The winners for the 2017 IIE Heiskell Awards—named for the late Andrew Heiskell, a former chairman of Time Inc., philanthropist, and a long-time member of IIE's Board of Trustees—were selected by a panel of international education leaders from a diverse range of organizations.

The Institution of International Education is an independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919. It provides international education strategies and program services. For the complete list of IIE 2017 Andrew Heiskell Awards for Innovation in International Education, please visit the “news and events” section on the IIE website at More information about SMC’s Global Citizenship initiative is available at

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