Pro: "The U.S. Department of Education website listings for public community colleges note that the cost for White Mountain College in New Hampshire is $7,664 (third highest nationally); the national average is $3,023 and Santa Monica is $1,140. Support to reduce this annual cost is available in a number of forms. The State of California offers a Board of Governors (BOG) Waiver, which pays the enrollment fees for the academic year for California residents who are eligible for need-based financial aid. Approximately, 50 % of the SMC students have this fee waiver. We have provided additional resources substantially increasing both the amount and the timeliness of processing grants. The active and responsive financial aid staff assists students with maximizing the available grants and programs including Federal Pell grants, CAL grants, financial aid for veterans and work study programs, and help students navigate the tricky world of loans.
While the fees can be waived and reduced, for some students, the costs for books, living expenses and other needs may create a financial burden. This is an area that remains a challenge requiring continued efforts."
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "Four year degree programs at community colleges with a focus on technical education for in-demand careers, such as nursing have value. SB 850, which was just signed by the governor, authorizes pilot programs for four year degrees for technical fields not offered at public universities, such as health information management, radiological, auto and veterinary technology. Compared to the (approximate) $52,000 price tag at UC, $22,000 at CSU, the $10,000 for a four year degree at a community college will enable students to quickly find jobs, received commensurate compensation with less or no debt and likely complete their education more expediently then in a traditional programs. It has become more challenging to be admitted to CSU and UCs – these institutions can no longer meet the demands of California’s 21st century economy.
According to a study by Rand, community colleges have the most success when they supplement efforts, not compete against the four year schools. Our goal should not be to appropriate the roles of UC and CSU, but to complement them with additional opportunities for student education and success."
Con: "Santa Monica offers over 70 certificates in Career and Technical Education leading to a variety of career opportunities for students. Even so, we cannot settle for the status quo. We must stay current with the job markets. Over the years we added degrees and certificates in Website Design, Logistics/supply chain Management, Broadcast Programming, Database Application Development, 3D Rendering, Game Design, Digital Media and green jobs, such as Recycling and Resource Management and Solar Photovoltaic.
As we move forward new career paths will evolve and we must be responsive and prepared to work with those in the field, develop new course offerings and send prepared students into the job market."
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "The state has prioritized preference criteria for community colleges. Within this context we have developed a number of programs providing a smooth pathway for local students to attend SMC, such as Duel Enrollment - enabling students to begin their college career while in high school. Young Collegians is a partnership with the SMMSUD targeting under-represented freshmen students from Santa Monica and Olympic High Schools, who typically have a C average and will be the first in their family to attend college. The Pico Promise Transfer Academy (PPTA) is a partnership between SMC and the City of Santa Monica designed to meet the needs of the underserved youth living in close proximity to the College. Other programs that local student can avail themselves of are: First Year Experience - participants receive guaranteed classes for the year and early course enrollment dates and Summer Jams - helps first time college students with their transition from high school into college. All these programs encourage retention and provide support.
SMC benefits from the students, who attend from throughout our region. These students, reflecting the diversity of Los Angeles, come to SMC for a first-class education and the promise of a better tomorrow."
Pro: "Using both qualitative and quantitative data, it is clear that SMC offers a quality education. SMC remains the #1 transfer school to the UC. The excellent faculty and staff work together to develop initiatives and programs adding value to the students’ experience. The 2014 Institutional Effectiveness Update provides a 'systematic process of assessing institutional effectiveness.' It provides 'analyses of longitudinal data related to the fundamental areas.' Though the data supports the provision of a quality education, it also highlights areas needing attention. Studies have shown that engagement and support are important to success and retention. SMC's counselor to student ratio is 1 in 373 as compared to the average of 1 in 719. Programs such as Adelante, Black Collegians and Veterans Resource Center help to increase retention. In 2012-13, 74% of the prepared students completed their goals. Our alumni include authors, Nobel Prize winners, musicians, actors, astronauts, presidential advisers, Olympic medalists and the many, whose quality of live is made better due to their experiences at SMC. Dreams become reality at SMC and there are committed staff and faculty to help students achieve their goals."
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "There are a number of capital programs at SMC; they are not focused on 'expansion'. We are still replacing buildings that were rendered unsafe due to the earthquake (multipurpose room at the Performing Arts center) and adding value to the community – Broad Stage. We have completed a number of adaptive reuses (Bundy and the library are great examples). We continue to replace temporary buildings and those beyond their usefulness. We will be redoing the frontage of Dresher Hall to be more neighborhood focused. We are building a chiller facility on campus that reduces electric bills and is more environmentally friendly. We insured that Emeritus has a home. KCRW is getting a new home on the AET site and finally moving out of the basement that they describe during the membership drives. While expansion is not an agenda of mine, there are situations where expansion is critical to the educational mission of the college. One such example and a project that I have been working on, as a member of the Malibu Santa Monica Joint Powers Authority, for a number of years is the Malibu Center – Malibu deserves a unique location to better serve its community."
I am dedicated to upholding Santa Monica College's tradition of excellence – its outstanding teachers, valuable community programs and its mission of student success.
As a Santa Monica College Trustee, I have provided successful leadership by:
Advocating for equitable community college State funding
Continuing high-quality education and workforce development
Recruiting and retaining excellent faculty
Providing strong fiscal management
Promoting programs responsive to the local community and environment
Encouraging effective community collaboration especially with SMMUSD, local cities and organizations
Advocating for continued statewide funding for Emeritus College.
I have a lifelong commitment to education, community service and human rights. Currently, I manage campus community-oriented safety programs at UCLA focusing on ensuring a safe academic environment for students and staff. I received the prestigious national Jeanne Clery award for my work and was named a California Assembly, Woman of the Year in 2010.
My extensive community experience includes serving on the boards of the Malibu/SMC Joint Powers Authority, City of Santa Monica Charter Review Commission and Pier Restoration Corporation; Santa Monica/UCLA Medical Center Board of Advisors, Broad Stage, Social Justice Learning Institute and as the City of Santa Monica Representative to the West Los Angeles Vector Control District.
I will maintain Santa Monica College's commitment to education while strengthening its partnerships with neighbors and the community it serves.