SANTA MONICA—On April 30, Santa Monica College (SMC) announced that it would offer almost 3,000 classes and its student support services for the Fall 2020 semester entirely online.
This comes weeks after SMC announced on April 8 that it would hold a virtual graduation ceremony on June 16, but graduates would be able to participate in the 2021 traditional graduation ceremony too. The announcement also mentioned that Summer 2020 classes would continue virtually.
Enrolment for the Fall 2020 semester and Summer intersession began on April 27. The former will start on August 31 and the latter on June 22.
The decision to host the Fall semester online was announced by Superintendent/ President Kathryn E. Jeffery, after a recommendation to do so by the SMC Emergency Operations Team. The Team has been tracking COVID-19-related developments, and the choice was made due to the fact that a vaccine for the virus will probably only be widely accessible in 2021, and it would be almost impossible for SMC to identify potential COVID-19 cases on the college’s open-access campuses.
In an email to SMC students, Jeffery noted that “instructors and counselors are learning new skills, software, and tools so that they can give you the best possible academic experience.”
“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 (students) get the support (they) deserve.”
SMC students can select from over 90 fields of study, and the college also offers more than 180 career education degrees and certificates. The array of resources available for students include: counseling, 24/7 emotional support, a free Chromebook laptop lending program, and a home-delivery Meal Project for those who have limited access to fresh and healthy food.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, SMC’s Nursing and Respiratory Programs have donated ventilators and respirators to hospitals fighting the outbreak. 5 SMC students have tested positive for the virus, of which just 1 was off-campus. Updates on the COVID-19 situation at SMC can be found at smc.edu/coronavirus.
The official announcement by SMC regarding the online Fall 2020 session can be viewed here.