Academic Computing (computer labs)

Cayton Associated Students Computer Lab


Partially funded by the Associated Students (the student association of SMC)


Cayton Center Room 209, on the second floor above the cafeteria on the main campus

Lab Hours

We are closed until further notice. Printing is not available until the College reopens for in-person services.

Who can use this lab

This lab's computers and printers are restricted to students enrolled in current semester SMC classes who have agreed to pay both the optional Associated Students (A.S.) Resource Fee and optional Student Benefits Fee. The two fees together pay for most of the equipment in the lab.

"Associated Students of Santa Monica College" is the student association.

Lab staff can help any student with many problems related to SMC computer services, including Corsair Connect, SMC email, or forgotten passwords.


91 computers with Microsoft Windows 10 and high-speed Internet


  • Microsoft Office 2019 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access)

  • Browsers: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Internet Explorer


Every semester starts with a $15 printing credit. Credit does not roll over from one semester to the next.

Printing credit is deducted for every piece of paper at the following "prices":

  • Grayscale laser printers (black toner only):
    • 10 cents for a one-sided sheet (one page)

    • 15 cents for a two-sided sheet (two pages) – that's a 25% discount!

  • Color laser printers
    • 45 cents for a one-sided sheet (one page)

    • 90 cents for a two-sided sheet (two pages) – color toner is very expensive, so there's no discount

There's no way to buy more credit (unless the Associated Students modifies its agreement with the College). If you run out of credit, print in another college lab using the SMC pay-for-print system, which requires real money.

Students Must Save Work on Own Media

Any files left on the computer hard disks are automatically erased at logout. Save your work in at least one of these ways (and you might make an emergency backup copy in a second way):

  • USB flash drive

  • Google Docs

  • Office 365

  • Attach a file to an email

Lab Rules

Lab privileges are temporarily suspended or restricted immediately for violations of:

  • lab rules (displayed upon log-in),

  • the SMC Student Conduct Policy, or the

  • SMC Computer Use policy.


Trained student lab assistants and professional instructional specialists provide technical support for software, hardware, and online services owned or licensed by the College and used in the lab.

Lab Specialist (days): Lee Peterson

Lab Specialist (nights): Ramon Salcedo

Limits on Technical Support

In-person technical support is limited to software, hardware, and online services operated by the College and used in the lab.

Canvas is remotely supported by the company that owns it, with instructions for getting support on the menu inside Canvas.

The lab is not able to provide technical support for hardware or software owned by students. Please seek information about personally-owned equipment from the manufacturer, software developer, a private computer repair company, or books or magazines.

Wireless Hotspots in the Lounge Next to the Lab

Wireless access instructions are published online by the SMC Library. Limited technical support for SMC wireless access is provided through chat or email by the SMC Library staff.

Only students enrolled for a semester that has already started may use the SMC wireless network. An SMC computer network username and password are required. If you're having trouble logging on, log on to a computer in an SMC computer lab first.

Printing is not available through campus wireless. Transfer files to a computer in an SMC computer lab.

Job Applicant Information

Paid employment as a Computer Lab Assistant is a popular job on campus. We are not currently hiring. We will not accept job applications until sometime after SMC schedules a date to reopen its computer labs.

In a normal year at SMC, most student employee hiring collegewide is completed within three weeks after the start of the school year. After that, available jobs are often just replacements for the occasional student employee departing to do other things.

Hiring and continued employment requires adequate school grades. A grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or better is preferred, because student employment is usually terminated at 2.0 or below. If you would like to see an SMC Grade Distribution Report, it's published regularly.

Work hours for those hired are limited to ten hours or less a week, because of limits in the financial aid program used to pay wages. 

Student employees are not allowed to work during their scheduled class times. A student who changes their class schedule after being hired might find themself with fewer work hours (or none, which means termination of employment). There's usually some flexibility. Work schedules are adjusted during final exam periods. Work schedules are changed each semester to deal with each employee's new class schedule, if the employee's performance is satisfactory.

This lab's student employee selection process includes a written test of an applicant's ability to answer questions about technology used at SMC, such as web browsers and the SMC set of Microsoft 365 and Google applications.

Other questions relevant to potential employment might also be on the test. The ability to do basic arithmetic, such as multiplying a given wage per hour by a stated number of work hours to calculate what is called "gross wages" is likely to be tested. So is the ability to calculate one or more given payroll tax percentages of "gross wages", subtract those calculated numbers from "gross wages", and calculate how much money is left to be "net wages" on a paycheck. (Student employees working at their college are exempt from payroll taxes, but students who work for other employers have payroll taxes deducted from their paycheck. Working for their college gives a student more cash.)

Some applicants who complete the written test may be invited to a job interview.

Some of those interviewed may be offered a part-time job. 

This lab tests only job applicants who meet these requirements:

  1. eligible for student financial aid from the United States government. International students are not eligible to work in the lab because U.S. Government money pays most of the wages for the lab's student employees.

  2. have a government-issued photo identification card

  3. have a Social Security Number and the official card for it. Hint: find out now where the card is.

  4. filed a FAFSA  (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at least two months before the test date. It takes financial aid offices at most colleges, including SMC, at least 8 weeks to award financial aid. Hint: have FAFSA results sent to SMC before March 2 of any year for maximum on-campus job opportunities in the following August!

  5. complete the SMC Financial Aid Orientation. There might be a test question about it!

  6. submit to SMC all documents requested on the Financial Aid page inside Corsair Connect

  7. be enrolled in at least six units during a fall or spring semester. Be enrolled in at least three units during a winter or summer session. Many student employees take winters and summers off from work, which is OK.

  8. must be a candidate for a Federal Work-Study financial aid allotment from the SMC Office of Financial Aid. Hint: if your "Expected Family Contribution" (EFC) index number from the FAFSA is 7,000 or less, this requirement is usually met. Your EFC number is on your FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR). The lab supervisors can help you find this number on the SAR report if you need help locating it.

  9. have read the FERPA orientation and passed the online FERPA quiz after the nearest July 1 before applying. Give your department name as "SMC" and leave the supervisor name question blank so the quiz results are recorded electronically and will be available for any on-campus job you apply for. Taking the quiz before July 1 will not count, but it's an easy quiz so you can do it over again.

If you are interested in other student jobs at SMC, please check those listings.