June 14, 2019
Dear Santa Monica College Student:
Summer starts Monday, June 17 at Santa Monica College—the best place in the world to take some big steps towards achieving your goal of transfer to that dream four-year institution or career and enjoy the sun & ocean breezes. You have come to the right place. Whether you’re here for the first time, returning, or taking courses while on summer break from a university, we enthusiastically say: “Welcome!”
At SMC, there is nothing more that matters than you. We are all here to help you succeed, and to help those seeking direction find the right major or area of study, that niche in the world that is uniquely yours. As California’s leader in transfers to the University of California for almost three decades, and a forerunner in the most affordable, high-quality career education out there, SMC has an established record of making thousands of dreams come true, over a storied 90-year history.
Here are some SMC updates, things you will want to note this summer:
Open Now, Brand-New Student Services Center: One-Stop Shop Dedicated to Your Success!
For the first time in Santa Monica College’s history, all counseling and support services are gathered in one place: the brand-new, spacious, three-story SMC Student Services Center on Pico Boulevard (Bonus: There are 499 new parking spaces under the building, accessible off Pico Blvd. and 19th Street! The first floor includes student parking, handicap parking, as well as several Electric Vehicle charging stations if you have an EV). With the exception of the SMC Campus Store and the Cafeteria which are still located in the center of the main campus, the new Center holds everything from Admissions & Records, Financial Aid & Scholarships, Center for Students with Disabilities to Welcome Center, Latino Center, Black Collegians, International Education Center, and so much more. The new Student Services Center has dedicated “hangout” spaces for you—make use of them for study or to catch up with your SMC family. Go to the Student Services Center webpage for a useful directory of what program is located where. This beautiful new building is the largest of its kind in California; make it yours, because that’s what it’s here for!
Transportation & Parking
Don’t be late for class your first week because you can’t find parking on main campus! Park for free at overflow lots on Bundy campus where there are plenty of open spots, parking is free all semester, and Big Blue Bus runs free shuttles to main campus every 14 minutes. Remember that with an activated student ID you can ride the Big Blue Bus for free. (Let the driver know you’re an SMC student).
To receive a $0.50 transfer, purchase a special SMC TAP card—available only at the Campus Store (a.k.a. the bookstore) on main campus—for $1. This is good only when transferring from Big Blue Bus to Metro or another transit agency. Other options to get to campus without a car (or traffic-induced headaches): Expo train, Waze Carpool, SMC Carpool match, bike, bikeshare, scooter, or by foot. If you use a ridesharing option, please note that pick-up and drop-off should happen only in the designated area on Pico Blvd. between 18th and 19th Streets. For details on all these options, see the SMC Transportation website.
Cal Grants & SMC Promise
An important heads-up: There are legislative proposals, as yet to be finalized, that would substantially increase Cal Grants for students who meet certain criteria. Please be sure to check in with the Financial Aid office to ensure you take advantage of this when the changes take effect.
Remember also that the Santa Monica College Promise for first-year, full-time SMC students offers free enrollment & textbook vouchers up to $1,200 ($100 in vouchers for summer session) for the entire academic year. If you think you might qualify, and haven’t signed up yet, check out the Free Tuition and Vouchers for Textbooks website for info, read the FAQ page for the Tuition and Vouchers for Textbooks, and go see a counselor!
Take Care of YOU
College can be exciting and also stressful—we know that many of you juggle school along with other responsibilities, whether that be supporting yourself and family members, financial obstacles, a less-than-perfect home situation, and more. I cannot emphasize enough just how very important it is to take care of your personal well-being. If you ever need one-on-one support, please visit SMC’s Center for Wellness and Wellbeing, which is located in the Liberal Arts building, room 110. You can call the office at 310-434-4503. There is also a 24/7 emotional support line for you: call the hotline anytime (800) 691-6003.
Thank you, again, for choosing Santa Monica College. I hope you have a fabulous summer!
Kathryn E. Jeffery, Ph.D.