January 21, 2021

Summer 2021 Update

The following memo was sent to Santa Monica College students & employees by Superintendent/President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery on Jan. 21, 2021:

Dear SMC Colleagues & Students:

This is an important announcement regarding the Summer 2021 semester. The health and wellbeing of Santa Monica College’s students and employees remain the highest priority.

Based on current LA County Public Health and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) directives for higher education, the ongoing spike in COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles, and uncertainty around when the vaccine will be more widely available to the general population, Santa Monica College will remain remote-only for the Summer 2021 term, with the exception of a limited number of in-person lab/practicum tools to be made available for students training in workforce areas deemed essential by the State of California.

The SMC Emergency Operations Team continues to monitor trends related to the pandemic and vaccine distribution. A decision regarding the Fall 2021 semester is forthcoming within the next few weeks, as new guidelines and factors are expected to take effect and impact the College’s direction towards on-campus classes and operations.

Santa Monica College remains committed to the highest-possible quality of online education, with an even greater emphasis on equity and access. Please make note of the following:

  • All major college events leading up to summer—including the Spring 2021 Institutional Flex Day for employees, Graduation 2021, and VIP Welcome Week 2021—will be virtual. Work is already underway to ensure that these events are as meaningful and engaging as possible even under the restrictions of social distancing.

  • In terms of SMC’s business operations and services, the college currently remains in Phase 1 of the Roadmap to Recovery: this means telework is the preferred mode for almost everyone, except essential employees who cannot accomplish their job duties remotely. A transition to greater on-ground presence will occur as public health guidelines and conditions permit.

  • SMC will continue the following support services for students & employees and is continually assessing ways to meet needs (please check your SMC email regularly for the latest updates and information):

    • The free Chromebook lending program for students & employees
    • Wi-Fi access for students at Bundy Campus
    • Access to basic needs such as food (the weekly drive-thru pantry, the SMC Foundation’s Meal Project & more), connections and access to housing resources, and health services (including mental health counseling)
    • The disbursement of state and federal emergency relief aid to help those most adversely affected by the pandemic 
    • Professional development tools and sessions for faculty & staff

Students: Please know that Santa Monica College is here for you. We look forward to a brighter future and to welcoming you back on campus, as soon as it is safe to do so! Remember to check out smc.edu/resources for the many ways SMC is here to meet your needs during this difficult time.

SMC Colleagues: Together we have made our way through unforeseen challenges in the past months. As we forge ahead, I am deeply mindful of your dedication to SMC students and to upholding the college’s educational mission under the most challenging circumstances

Special thanks to the Board of Trustees, the EOT, and representatives of all college constituencies (senior administrators, CSEA, Academic Senate, Faculty Association, and Management Association) who continue to engage in pivotal conversations to ensure that this college remains a beacon of equity and access.

Thank you all for being a part of the Santa Monica College family as we meet each challenge together.

Kathryn E. Jeffery, Ph.D.