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By Lookout Staff

November 2, 2016 -- Santa Monica College (SMC) is expanding its non-credit continuing education programs for underserved adult students thanks to new legislation and $386,508 in funding, school officials announced this week.

SMC was awarded the Adult Education Block Grant (AEBG) as a partner with the local School District in the Santa Monica Regional Consortium for Adult Education, which was established in 2014 to "respond to the education and training needs of the region’s adult workforce," officials said.

The funds will be used to "help develop and establish seamless transitions" to a credit-based college education or into the workforce for adult students who are 18 and older, officials said.

The funding will help expand programs in the areas of basic and secondary education, including English as a Second Language (ESL), short-term vocational training (including Career Technical Education programs), workforce preparation, programs and activities for older adults, and programs and services for students with disabilities, officials said.

A variety of short-term noncredit CTE courses developed by Dione Carter, SMC’s Dean of Noncredit and External Programs, and Laura Manyweather, the Interim Project Manager of Adult Education Programs, are expected to be offered in late Spring or Fall 2017.

They include CTE courses in the areas of Business, Chemistry, Computer Science and Information Systems, Early Childhood Education, Health, and Kinesiology, officials said.

Carter, who has served in the California community college system for nearly 25 years, said she "saw the potential to grow the College’s noncredit education programs and benefit our community by providing the resources and opportunities to address the academic and career needs of our underserved adult students.”

The noncredit courses -- which range from Older Adults programs at SMC’s Emeritus campus to noncredit ESL courses -- are offered free or at a low cost and "aim to prepare students who need a helping hand to succeed in credit courses and seek gainful employment," officials said.

"All of the noncredit programs at SMC undergo the same curriculum course approval and program processes as the credit courses do," officials said.

SMC counselors are developing a noncredit course to help students make the transition from noncredit education to for-credit college courses.

To learn more about SMC’s noncredit programs for adults, please call Dr. Dione Carter at (310) 434-4858 or Laura Manyweather at (310) 434-3421.

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