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By Lookout Staff

October 17, 2016 -- Santa Monica College (SMC) was the only California college to receive a U.S. Department of Education grant to expand its programs in foreign languages and cultures, SMC officials announced this week.

The grant from the Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Languages Program (UISFL) will provide SMC with $200,000 over two years "to give students the knowledge and skills they need for 21st-century careers and a competitive edge in the global marketplace," officials said.

“Santa Monica College prides itself on a legacy of preparing students to thrive in the global community," said SMC Superintendent/President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery. "This includes not just making sure that they are globally competitive in an economic context, but -- even more importantly -- that they understand the privilege and opportunity of living in an interconnected world.

“This grant will help extend that legacy and open up exciting new avenues for so many of our students.”

The grant will help SMC develop programs that integrate learning a new language with career development and provide hands-on experiences inside and outside of the classroom, college officials said.

The Department of Modern Languages and Cultures plans to partner with the Career Technical Education (CTE) programs in Early Childhood Education, Business, Communication/Media Studies and Nursing. It also will collaborate with SMC’s Career Services Center to create opportunities for students studying Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, or Korean.

The students will "participate in work-based or service learning projects where they can use their language skills," officials said.

“The benefits of acquiring another language and a global perspective are invaluable when it comes to developing a career, competing for a job, or interacting with and contributing to the global community," said Dr. Toni Trives, who chairs the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures.

The UISFL grants were awarded to two dozen educational institutions nationwide, Department of Education officials said.

“Employers from a cross-section of education, business, and government are expecting our graduates to be able to communicate and collaborate with peers in a global context,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr.

The grants, he said, will “help to achieve exactly that, by providing teachers, students, and our communities with the opportunities and resources for ensuring our nation’s capacity for global competitiveness.”

For more information, call the SMC Department of Modern Languages and Cultures at (310) 434-4248.

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