Apr. 19th, 2015

SMC and SMMUSD Governing Boards to Hold Special Joint Meeting

The governing boards of the Santa Monica Community College District (SMCCD) and the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) will hold a special joint meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 17 in the Board Room at the SMMUSD headquarters, 1651 16th Street, Santa Monica. This meeting, the first of its kind in recent decades, is open to the public.

“We want to ensure that we bring even more SMMUSD students into the higher education pipeline,” said Rob Rader, Chair of the SMC Board of Trustees. “We also want to enhance the work we have already begun to address what is a priority to both our institutions – increased access and success for all our students, especially historically underrepresented students.”

In 2007, the two districts signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and partnered in executing the objectives. The Young Collegians program was born out of this collaborative, allowing an increasing number of SMMUSD students at Santa Monica High School (SAMOHI) to get a head start on SMC classes and accrue up to 14 college units. Eight years ago, the program started with 15 students. This summer, 64 students participated.

In early 2015, the SMC Board of Trustees also waived enrollment fees for high school students, and those who qualify now take classes at SMC for free. This fall, SMC is also offering graphic design and computer science classes at SAMOHI under the LA HI-TECH grant to bring interested high school students into a higher education pathway at SMC that will lead to tech jobs.

“We are thrilled to have a collaborative partnership with SMC, which benefits all students in our community,” said Laurie Lieberman, President of the SMMUSD Board of Education. “SMMUSD students are fortunate to have such a wonderful institution of higher learning close by to attend concurrently and after graduation.”

During this special meeting, the members of the two governing boards will discuss the dual enrollment program; and the readiness of high school students who proceed to SMC from SMMUSD. They will also look into developing data-driven benchmarks to measure progress and inform curriculum and resources that both institutions will partner in providing, to ensure that all SMMUSD students have access to higher education at SMC and to increase their likelihood of success.

“Our partnership will be an example for all California districts in sharing resources, data and personnel for the benefit of students,” added Rader.

The SMC Board of Trustees includes Rob Rader (Chair); Dr. Louise Jaffe (Vice Chair); Dr. Susan Aminoff; Dr. Nancy Greenstein; Dr. Margaret Quiñones-Perez; Barry Snell; Dr. Andrew Walzer; and a student trustee Jonathan Eady.

The SMMUSD Board of Education is comprised of Laurie Lieberman(President); Dr. Jose Escarce (Vice President); Oscar de la Torre;Craig Foster; Maria Leon-Vazquez; Ralph Mechur and Dr. Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein.

The agenda for the public meeting is available at: www.smc.edu/09172015BOTAgenda. For more information on the meeting, contact swahrenbrock@smmusd.org or Rose_Lisa@smc.edu

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