April 30, 2020

Fall 2020 Update + *Watch*: We Miss You!

Dear SMC Student:

I hope that you are safe and healthy. We miss seeing you at Santa Monica College! I am pleased to learn that hundreds of you are reaching out to SMC counselors and instructors, during this time of physical distancing because of COVID-19. This is not an easy time; I admire your resilience and strength. Keep moving forward, and know that SMC is here to help you.

This Monday, April 27, SMC released its summer and fall 2020 schedule of classes; more than 840 classes including short-term noncredit ones are available this summer; and for fall, nearly 3,000 class sections are on offer! The Summer 2020 session, as you already know, is going to take place online. SMC has been monitoring the COVID-19 public health crisis; the decision to move the Spring 2020 semester, and then Summer and Graduation to a virtual environment were made because your health and safety is SMC’s highest priority.

Please take a few moments to read this important update on Fall 2020:

Fall 2020 will be Online

Santa Monica College’s Emergency Operations Team—that has been monitoring the COVID-19 public health crisis—made a critical and timely recommendation. Because it is likely that a COVID-19 vaccine will not be available widely until early 2021, and because it will be nearly impossible for SMC to monitor and distinguish between possible COVID-19 and typical flu cases during flu season (which will be in the fall), SMC will be delivering all classes and student support services for Fall 2020 in an online and distance learning environment.

This was not an easy decision. There is no replacement for teaching, counseling, and talking to you in person; at the same time, nothing is more important than your health and physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

SMC is working to determine whether a few courses that may not be easily converted to a fully online format can be offered through a limited hybrid option, but only if current public health & safety requirements change to permit this. Keep an eye on the Online Schedule of Classes for updates coming soon, and check in with your counselor.

The college is also actively developing plans to transition classes and services back to a physical setting, so that we can be together as soon as it is safe and permissible to do so. It will be so wonderful to have you back on campus!

SMC is Here for You + Stay Connected

Your instructors and counselors are learning new skills, software, and tools so that they can give you the best possible academic experience, although you are not physically in an SMC classroom or counseling office! When we say, “SMC is here for you,” we mean it; here is a quick recap of resources for enrolled SMC students:

  • The Center for Wellness & Wellbeing: Short-term counseling is available via phone or video-chat: call 310-434-4503 or email cww@smc.edu to set up an appointment. Let SMC help you deal with stress, anxiety, or anything else you are struggling with!

  • Free Emotional Support Hotline: Call the 24/7 emotional support hotline at 1-800-691-6003. For more resources, check out the Center for Wellness & Wellbeing’s webpage.

  • Free Chromebook Laptop Lending Program: SMC continues its free technology-lending program; more than 200 students have received loans of Chromebook laptops to help access SMC classes and services online. If you are in need of a laptop, please contact your instructor or an SMC counselor.

  • Weekly Drive-Thru Pop-up Pantry & The Meal Project: Every Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.—rain or shine—SMC is holding a drive-thru pop-up pantry to distribute bags of groceries and food. Go to the Food Security Program for more details and directions. The SMC Foundation also launched The Meal Project. Hundreds of SMC students who would not otherwise have access to freshly prepared, healthy meals are getting meals delivered at home! If you are part of a special program, and wonder if you might qualify for The Meal Project, reach out to your counselor.

  • The Largest Student Support Network in California: SMC has the most extensive one-on-one student support network of any California community college. We are especially grateful in this current moment for the 170+ career and academic counselors (including psychologists) who are supporting SMC instructors in ensuring that you get the support you deserve, and that you meet your personal goals. Connect with a counselor.

~

Thank you for your patience and flexibility during this time - Santa Monica College is committed to staying the course with you. And finally, here is a message from SMC to you.

Stay healthy, stay strong! I look forward to welcoming you back in person someday in the near future.

Wishing you all the best,

Kathryn E. Jeffery, Ph.D.
Superintendent/President