The "GAB" as it is affectionately known, has been in existence since the 1970s as a way for the college to build a bridge to the local community, and gather feedback about what the college does well, and what the college could do better.
Membership is by invitation of the College Trustees, the college's Superintendent/President, the Director of Community Relations. Our membership consists of a very diverse group of college neighbors, local professionals, business owners and civic leaders. There is a community member who serves as the president for two years. The mission of the GAB is to create an opportunity for the college to tell the Santa Monica Community about new and on-going programs and plans, and for the community to give the college feedback, ask questions and have an opportunity to meet both administrators and student campus leaders in an informal setting.
The GAB meets four times a year for a continental breakfast, always on a Thursday morning. Each breakfast program usually includes a "State of the College" discussion or update by the SMC President or staff and student presentations about a specific aspect of the college's educational areas and student services. In this way the college informs GAB members about its programs, special events, future plans, and current issues. As members learn about the college they serve as informal but knowledgeable ambassadors to the larger community.
The months are September, November, January, and March. The venue varies between SMC's various campuses, depending on what aspect of the college is being featured at the particular meeting. The meetings are always one hour, enabling everyone to get on with their day in a timely fashion.
In June we also have the GAB Student Athletic Awards which is now part of the SMC Scholarship Ceremony. It features SMC coaches and outstanding students who have been chosen for their distinction as fine athletes as well as good students and role models within their chosen sport. It is always a heartfelt and touching event with families in attendance. The college awards over $650,000 in scholarships to students at this event.
GAB members receive regular mailings and updates about programs and are invited to special events. For those who choose, there are also opportunities to be more involved with a specific department as a member of advisory boards, as tutors, club sponsors or through other volunteer opportunities.
If you are interested in becoming a member of the General Advisory Board, I invite you to contact me at any time, either at Elliott_Kiersten@smc.edu or on my direct line at 310-434-4173.
We welcome your participation.
Dean, Community and Academic Relations