SANTA MONICA—Santa Monica College (SMC) has won a $2 million award for Innovation in Higher Education, to develop a planning tool that will help increase completion rates and reduce tuition, officials announced on Wednesday, April 5.

“Santa Monica College is a forward-thinking, student-centered community of learners and innovators, so we are extremely excited about developing streamlined academic pathways—ensuring that all students are provided clear ways to navigate toward their goals, whether that be career or transfer to a four-year university,” said SMC President and Superintendent Dr. Katheryn E. Jeffrey. “Having had early success—we know this funding will help SMC institute pathways more widely to keep students moving forward—from the moment they arrive at the college.”

”This award from the California Department of Finance will make a tremendous difference for so many students and for SMC faculty, too,” Dr. Jeffrey added.

SMC, in partnership with Arizona State University, will use the $2 million award to redesign SMC’s educational planning tool, MyEdPlan, and convert it into a “highly-developed interface that will help students navigate their way to academic success.”

The new technology has shown to be a success for ASU in increasing the number of students who achieve their academic goals successfully and in a timely manner.

“This planning tool will produce more effective, personalized, and meaningful advising experiences for students and has the potential to serve as a model for other community colleges,” said Arizona State University President Michal M. Crow.

ASU will help SMC develop technology tools such as career advising applications, online major maps, and other personalized features for students.

SMC was one of the 14 community colleges and community college districts in California that won the awards, which totaled $25 million. The other winning campuses of the Award for Innovation in Higher Education include Cuesta College, Evergreen Valley College, Sierra College, Shasta College, Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, Los Rios Community College District, Palomar Community College District, South Orange Community College District, Riverside Community College District, Los Angeles Valley College, West Hills Community College District, and Laney College.