Pro: "The tuition for classes at Santa Monica College is $47 per unit. Most courses are 3 units, so the cost of tuition for a course is $141 for a 3 unit credit course. Tuition in the California community colleges is among the lowest in the nation. In addition, at Santa Monica College, we have been encouraging our students to apply for state and federal financial aid, and the number of students receiving financial aid has increased dramatically to over the last several years. Currently over 21,500 students receive some sort of financial aid, including federal and state grants, for a total annual disbursement of over $50 million. Students should have to pay some tuition for their classes because it creates an incentive for them to complete their classes. There is a high demand for courses at the community colleges and we want to make sure that students who are enrolled are committed to their education. Students face other more significant financial pressures, such as the price of books and the cost of housing."
Pro: "The State of California lacks a trained workforce necessary to perform the jobs of the 21st century. In addition, due to the changes in our economy from a manufacturing to a service and high tech economy we need a much more highly educated workforce. Right now, the higher education system in the state of California lacks the capacity to train the necessary workers. To this end, a bill was just signed by the Governors to allow community colleges to offer 4 year degrees in specific areas where there is a documented demand for credentialed students. The process of getting a bill signed into law was several years in the making and necessitated a broad consensus both in the higher education community and in the legislature."
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "Santa Monica offers over 70 career and technical education degrees. This is a robust offering. We have been continuously creating new degrees in the last 8 years in areas such as public policy, solar installation, film, and recycling management, thus expanding our career and technical education degree offerings. In addition, we have improved the success rate in these programs by linking basic skills support to these programs and by creating clear pathways, so that students know exactly what they need to take, and when. This creates a much more streamlined process so that students get though their programs at higher completion rates. Also, we have been building up our advisory boards so that our current programs are up to date and relevant to the current job market. Further, we are working on establishing financial support from industry so that these programs are not subject to the instability in state funding. In addition, we are constantly assessing the job market for emerging areas to develop new programs."
Pro: "We already give preference to local students because Santa Monica College has special programs and outreach to the local middle and high schools so that those students have a strong connection to Santa Monica College when they graduate. For example, we offer the Young Collegians program which provides college classes and a summer bridge program to first generation college students. We also offer concurrent enrollment which allows high school students to take courses at the college. We also have the Pico Promise program which offers additional support to students from the Pico neighborhood, for example day care, additional tutoring and counseling as well as priority enrollment. We also need to maintain our commitment to open access to ensuring that we have stable funding from the state so that all students have the opportunity to take courses at Santa Monica College."
Pro: "We have a rigorous high quality college education at Santa Monica College. Over the last 8 years we have consistently hired faculty from some of the top schools in the country, many of them Ph.D.'s. We offer over 1000 course offering in our fall catalogue. We have a wide range of courses for different populations, including the offerings through Emeritus College for seniors. We have top notch programs in business, public policy, the arts and entertainment, photography, and solar power. We are continuing to innovate in the delivery of our basic skills courses, so that the college’s completion rates continue to improve. For example, we need to combine courses so that students can get though the basic skills sequence faster, which we have done with our lower level English writing courses. We need to offer more accelerated courses so that again students can get though their basic skills courses more quickly. We also need to continuously be innovative with our teaching so that it remains fresh, participatory and engaging for the students."
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "We need to plan our development carefully to address the concerns of our neighbors and the residents of Santa Monica. On the main campus, we are not adding buildings but simply replacing older facilities. Any expansion will take place on our satellite campuses, and only in very limited ways. We are building a new small campus in Malibu in conjunction with the city of Malibu and the county. We are expanding the Arts and Entertainment Academy on Stewart Street. And we are adding a new wing to the Madison campus, but it is a very limited development."
As a Santa Monica Community College Trustee for the past eight years and College Professor for the past 24 years, I have the knowledge and experience necessary to guide our college forward.
I was the student success coordinator on my campus, ensuring that students successfully complete their degrees, and the Associated Students "Teacher of the Year."
Under my leadership, Santa Monica College has maintained its standing as the #1 transfer college to the University of California.
We support our local economy with our Small Business Development Center, offering counseling to more than 750 clients annually.
We offer more than 70 degrees or certificates in Career Technical Education and we provide our local students special opportunities to bridge the gap between high school and college.
I have the knowledge and experience to bring common sense solutions to the College Board. As a Trustee, I voted to implement the "Any Line, Any Time" bus program which provides free bus passes to students. Currently, over 7,500 students use the bus daily, thus helping to alleviate traffic congestion in our neighborhoods.
I look forward to putting my knowledge and experience to work for you on the Santa Monica College Board of Trustees.