“Significant number” of classes to be taught on campus this fall, SMC says
By Sam Catanzaro
Santa Monica College (SMC) has announced that in-person classes will return in a limited capacity this fall.
On Monday, SMC announced it will offer an array of course offerings for the Fall 2021 semester, which begins August 30. According to the college, while most of the 2,900-plus classes will be online, a “significant number” of in-person offerings will also be made available. This coincides with Los Angeles County moving into the red tier Monday allowing institutes of higher education like SMC to provide lecture classes at a reduced room capacity.
“This week marks a year since SMC made a swift pivot to an online environment in the wake of COVID-19’s rapid spread back in March 2020,” wrote SMC Superintendent/President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery in an email to students “Looking back, I am even more appreciative of and inspired by the resilience and creativity demonstrated by Santa Monica College’s students and employees. With LA County moving into the red tier, and President Biden’s announcement that by May 1, all adults in the U.S. will be eligible for a vaccination, we look forward to the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. We will continue to follow the science and keep the college community’s wellbeing paramount.”
The exact number of in-person classes has not been set, SMC said, as its Academic Affairs and instructional departments are in the process of finalizing the schedule. In addition, Jeffery noted “in-person offerings may pivot back to an online, remote environment should it become necessary. This is a dynamic situation; Santa Monica College retains a flexible, nimble approach.”
The college will release the schedule of classes for Fall 2021 on Monday, April 12 at smc.edu/classes. Students will have the ability by then to search for online or on-ground class types. Counseling, faculty office hours and other support services that require face-to-face contact with students will continue to be accessible online.
The college’s main campus at 1900 Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica and its five satellite campuses remain closed to the general public. Under LA County’s reopening protocols for higher education, campus activities are limited to essential functions strictly related to college activities.
The college will continue to offer most classes, counseling and support services online for the remainder of the Spring 2021 semester and the Summer 2021 intersession. The only exceptions are limited practicum lab tools for disciplines deemed essential by the State of California (like nursing and respiratory therapy) and low-contact intercollegiate sports beginning this week.