SMC’s High-Tech Teen Focus

news-hitechhi111116bIn 2014, Santa Monica College was awarded a $1.6 million grant from the work preparedness initiative LA HI-TECH in order to help develop dual-enrollment courses with a focus on aligning its students with career pathways in technological industries beginning at the high school level.

“SMC is one of the eight community colleges and close to 30 high schools that are partnered in a consortium to develop career pathways for students that begin in secondary school and align with pathways at the community colleges,” explained Frank Dawson, SMC’s Dean of Career and Technical Educatio

In 2014, Santa Monica College was awarded a $1.6 million grant from the work preparedness initiative LA HI-TECH in order to help develop dual-enrollment courses with a focus on aligning its students with career pathways in technological industries beginning at the high school level.

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“SMC is one of the eight community colleges and close to 30 high schools that are partnered in a consortium to develop career pathways for students that begin in secondary school and align with pathways at the community colleges,” explained Frank Dawson, SMC’s Dean of Career and Technical Education, about the impact of the grant.

This year, SMC anticipates offering over 25 dual enrollment classes through the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. Of those dual enrollment courses, 6-8 are LA HI-TECH, which means they’re taught on high school campuses, with the intent of cultivating skills applicable in the workplace.

This is the third year out of the five year-long grant during which SMC is partnered with LA HI-TECH. Its programs are broken down into design, media and visual arts (which includes film, photography, digital media and graphic design programs) and software and systems development (which is part of the computer science department). These programs are currently offered through six different schools: Malibu and Santa Monica Palisades Charter High Schools, Venice High School, Beverly Hills High School, and Crenshaw High School.

“In my own personal opinion, I really believe that all of education as we know it in the United States, as far as higher education is concerned, is becoming more focused not just for students in which they gain knowledge, but also in which they gain skills and abilities and the ability to demonstrate those skills and abilities. It’s what the California economy needs and what those companies need,” said Dawson.

SMC has partnered with local companies in order to further help secure careers for its students going through their dual-enrollment program. For example, local nonprofit marketing trade organization PromaxBDA, which represents major television, cable broadcast and online companies in advertising and promotions, has partnered with SMC to create a career pathway for students.

Additionally, SMC is dedicated to maintaining diversity in its student body, which later translates to a diversification of the workplace. By offering night classes, accelerated courses, an Interaction Design (IxD) Bachelor’s degree program and college credit for its dual enrollment classes (which help reduce the costs of a degree for those students down the line), the specific needs and work schedules of diverse groups of students can be accommodated for.

“In terms of the whole issue of equity and diversity, and particularly in an area of work that is pretty much devoid of diversity, this is something the industry is very much interested in. It’s gonna be a major game changer,” said Dawson.

For more information about the LA HI-TECH program through SMC and at other Los Angeles-area schools, visit smc.edu/LAHiTech. 

n, about the impact of the grant.

This year, SMC anticipates offering over 25 dual enrollment classes through the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. Of those dual enrollment courses, 6-8 are LA HI-TECH, which means they’re taught on high school campuses, with the intent of cultivating skills applicable in the workplace.

This is the third year out of the five year-long grant during which SMC is partnered with LA HI-TECH. Its programs are broken down into design, media and visual arts (which includes film, photography, digital media and graphic design programs) and software and systems development (which is part of the computer science department). These programs are currently offered through six different schools: Malibu and Santa Monica Palisades Charter High Schools, Venice High School, Beverly Hills High School, and Crenshaw High School.

“In my own personal opinion, I really believe that all of education as we know it in the United States, as far as higher education is concerned, is becoming more focused not just for students in which they gain knowledge, but also in which they gain skills and abilities and the ability to demonstrate those skills and abilities. It’s what the California economy needs and what those companies need,” said Dawson.

SMC has partnered with local companies in order to further help secure careers for its students going through their dual-enrollment program. For example, local nonprofit marketing trade organization PromaxBDA, which represents major television, cable broadcast and online companies in advertising and promotions, has partnered with SMC to create a career pathway for students.

Additionally, SMC is dedicated to maintaining diversity in its student body, which later translates to a diversification of the workplace. By offering night classes, accelerated courses, an Interaction Design (IxD) Bachelor’s degree program and college credit for its dual enrollment classes (which help reduce the costs of a degree for those students down the line), the specific needs and work schedules of diverse groups of students can be accommodated for.

“In terms of the whole issue of equity and diversity, and particularly in an area of work that is pretty much devoid of diversity, this is something the industry is very much interested in. It’s gonna be a major game changer,” said Dawson.

For more information about the LA HI-TECH program through SMC and at other Los Angeles-area schools, visit smc.edu/LAHiTech. 

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