With college cancelled, Santa Monica Malibu Unified school district (SMMUSD) will no doubt soon follow suit.
If you're planning to be a Freshman next year at SMC, you'll have to do it online. Santa Monica College has cancelled its fall semester due to Covid-19.
"Can you believe this? It's not easy for many kids to learn online," said one local mom. "This probably means the middle school next door (John Adams Middle School) will also be closed. The moms are all going crazy now. It's not easy for parents to become teachers. I didn't use to think that this coronavirus lockdown had gone too far, but now I do," she added.
"A limited number of courses that are not easily offered in a fully online environment might be offered via a hybrid option, if health and safety requirements permit," says SMC's press release, which is below.
SANTA MONICA, CA - Santa Monica College (SMC) will be offering nearly 3,000 classes and its extensive student support services online for the Fall 2020 semester, SMC Superintendent/President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery announced in an email to students and the college community today. This follows an April 8 announcement that the summer session-as well as SMC's graduation ceremony on June 16-will also be held in a virtual environment, to keep the college community safe during the COVID-19 public health crisis.
Enrollment for the Fall 2020 semester (which starts August 31) and for the summer intersession (beginning June 22) began on Monday, April 27. The nearly 3,000 Fall 2020 classes and 840-plus summer classes may be viewed at smc.edu/classes. Based on the scheduled enrollment date students receive, continuing students can begin to register in late April, and new students can sign up for classes in early May. A limited number of courses that are not easily offered in a fully online environment might be offered via a hybrid option, if health and safety requirements permit.
SMC's main campus at 1900 Pico Blvd. and five satellite campuses also remain closed to the public until further notice. Classes at SMC Emeritus-the college's program for older adults-and those delivered through Community Education and the noncredit program will also take place online, wherever possible.
This decision was announced by Superintendent/President Jeffery following a recommendation made by the SMC Emergency Operations Team, which has been monitoring developments related to COVID-19, based mainly on two factors: a vaccine for the novel coronavirus will likely not be widely available until 2021; and it will be nearly impossible for SMC-the college's campuses are all "open-access"-to identify, monitor, and distinguish between possible COVID-19 and typical flu cases in the fall.
"Your instructors and counselors are learning new skills, software, and tools so that they can give you the best possible academic experience," Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery wrote in her email to SMC students. Jeffery gave a quick recap of the extensive resources available to enrolled students: mental/physical health counseling and 24/7 emotional support through The SMC Center for Wellness and Wellbeing; a free, ongoing Chromebook laptop lending program (over 200 students have received laptops); a weekly, drive-thru pop-up food pantry and a home-delivery Meal Project through the SMC Foundation for vulnerable students who otherwise have limited or no access to freshly prepared, healthy meals; and the most extensive one-on-one student support network available at a 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 [students] get the support [they] deserve," Jeffery wrote.
SMC students can choose from more than 90 fields of study ranging from the liberal arts to STEM; the college also offers over 180 career education degrees and certificates - in emerging and traditional areas like Accounting, Film Production, Journalism, Cloud Computing, Early Childhood Education, and many more - that prepare students for a competitive entry into the workforce.
Santa Monica College's Nursing and Respiratory Therapy programs have donated ventilators and respirators to hospitals fighting the coronavirus, through the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). The college-through curriculum review, online professional development, and more-is seeking to maintain high standards of quality and equity in the online environment. For past and current information on SMC's response to COVID-19, visit smc.edu/coronavirus.