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Santa Monica College Receives Innovation Award  

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By Lookout Staff

April 6, 2017 -- Santa Monica College will develop innovative technology tools that will help boost student completion rates and reduce costs thanks to a $2 million Award for Innovation in Higher Education, school officials announced Wednesday.

The new tools, which will be developed in partnership with Arizona State University (ASU), will help students navigate the community college environment by providing "online major maps, career advising applications, and other features to be personalized to each student’s goals," officials said.

The State of California Department of Finance granted a total of $25 million to SMC and 13 other California community colleges and community college districts, college officials said.

"We are extremely excited about developing streamlined academic pathways, ensuring that all students are provided clear ways to navigate toward their goals," said SMC Superintendent/President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery.

“Having had early success, we know this funding will help SMC institute pathways more widely to keep students moving forward -- from the moment they arrive at the college," Jeffery said.

The award will be used in collaboration with ASU to convert the award-winning educational planning tool MyEdPlan developed by SMC "into a highly-developed interface," officials said.

The new technology already has helped ASU -- recognized as one of the most innovative universities in the country -- to increase the number of students who reach their academic goals on schedule.

“This planning tool will produce more effective, personalized, and meaningful advising experiences for students and has the potential to serve as a model for other community colleges,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow.

This year's Awards for Innovation in Higher Education recognized California districts and colleges that "help reduce the time it takes students to complete degrees and credentials, reduce the total cost of attendance for students, or do both," SMC officials said.

For more information on the awards click here.

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