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SMC to Hold "Virtual" Graduation Ceremony
 

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By Lookout Staff

April 13, 2020 -- Santa Monica College (SMC) will hold its 90th graduation ceremony online on June 16 in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus, school officials announced last week.

The virtual ceremony, which is being planned with input from student leaders, “will help make the day as meaningful and special as possible,” said SMC Superintendent/President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery.

“Without a doubt, graduation day is the highlight of the year for us, but, most of all, for the students who have given so much to achieve their dreams,” Dr. Jeffery said.

“That walk across the stage, that diploma often represents not just the hard work and sacrifice of the graduates, but also of their family members and loved ones.

"The decision was not an easy one to make," Jeffery said. "We did so because the wellbeing of SMC graduates, employees, and guests is our highest priority.”

The college will still produce a graduation program booklet and mail diplomas to graduates’ homes, officials said.

SMC is inviting graduates of the class of 2020 who wish to participate in a traditional ceremony to attend next year’s graduation ceremony.

Last June, an estimated 8,000 people packed the stands at Corsair Field to celebrate the largest graduating class in SMC history ("Some 8,000 attend Commencement for Santa Monica College's Largest Graduating Class," June 14, 2019).

More than 750 of the graduates attended the school's 89th commencement ceremony, where 9,110 degrees and certificates were awarded to 5,905 students.

SMC will hold its summer session, which begins June 22, online, with classes and extensive student support services "provided in remotely accessible environments," officials said.

"Santa Monica College has rolled out a comprehensive student support network to ensure that students remain on track to achieve their academic and career goals," college officials said.

They noted that nearly 200 students and 191 faculty and staff have been loaned Chromebook laptop computers to access the needed technologies required from home.

"The college’s continuing free technology lending program," officials said, "is part of a safety net developed to ensure that those who enroll in the 800-plus classes this summer are able to meet their personal goals."

The services include "the most extensive one-on-one student support network in California," which boasts more than 170 career and academic counselors, as well as psychologists, school officials said.

For more information on SMC’s response to COVID-19, visit smc.edu/coronavirus.


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