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SMC Training Programs Win Exemplary Award

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By Lookout Staff

March 14, 2023 -- Two certified healthcare training programs at Santa Monica College (SMC) have been recognized as nationwide models by the National Council for Continuing Education and Training (NCCET).

The Certified Nursing Assistant and Home Health Aide noncredit certificates -- which have no tuition fees associated -- were among seven 2022 Exemplary Program awardees.

“This latest recognition is an affirmation of how SMC is fulfilling the community college mission of meeting local workforce needs and creating life-changing opportunities for our students and their families," said SMC Superintendent/President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery.

Of the first cohort to finish this past fall semester, 14 out of 20 students are already employed, Jeffery noted.

The Certified Nurse Assistant program, which takes 180 hours to complete, "teaches students the knowledge, skills and abilities essential to work as an entry-level nurse assistant."

Students who complete the certificate are eligible to take the California Nurse Assistant Competency exam to become a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) "caring for patients in hospitals, assisted living and long-term care settings," School officials said.

There are fewer than 100,000 CNAs in California, a state with six million senior citizens, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Home Health Aide certificate takes 54 hours to complete and "prepares students for careers as an entry-level home health aide," officials said.

These aides administer in-home health and hospice care and services and focus on "essential aspects of patient care, such as the medical and social needs of those served in a non-clinical setting."

Students fulfill clinical hours at various facilities in the community including Mary Crest Manor, Brentwood Health Care Center and Santa Monica Rehabilitation Center.

In addition to these two noncredit certificates, SMC has launched a noncredit Working with Older Adults certificate and offers for-credit Associate degrees in Nursing and in Respiratory Therapy.

For more information on all of SMC’s noncredit programs and classes visit To learn more about NCCET and its mission, visit

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