Santa Monica College has received a $1.39 million community-based job training grant in health care from the U.S. Labor Department that will be used to develop an online program for nursing students.
SMC is one of three community colleges in California to receive money under this grant program.
Altogether, the Labor Department awarded $125 million to 70 community colleges in 40 states competing for President Bush’s community-based job training grants.
Development of online courses will enable SMC to admit more students into its nursing program, which is currently at capacity and has a long waiting list.
While nursing students will continue to receive their clinical training in hospitals, they can take a number of courses online.
“I’m thrilled we’ve received this grant,” said Ida Danzey, assistant dean of health sciences. “It’s quite an honor and will help make our program even better than it is.”
Danzey said the grant will also allow the college to purchase advanced new software for the online courses, such as the human patient simulator that allows students to perform a variety of functions, such as giving injections, on the computer.
Announced by President Bush in his 2004 State of the Union Address, the grants underwrite training at community and technical colleges for workers in such high growth fields as health care, construction, advanced manufacturing and energy.
This is the second grant within a month that the college has received for its nursing program. Last month, SMC received a $1.09 million state grant to help nursing students – particularly those at risk of failing – complete the college’s rigorous education program and pass the state licensing exam. The grant awards were made through Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Nurse Education initiative.”The state grant will improve retention of current students and the federal grant will expand access to new students,” said Laurel McQuay-Peninger, SMC’s director of grants. “The two grants will work together to significantly enhance our nursing program.”