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CONTACT: Bruce Smith
Public Information Officer
(310) 434-4209
DATE: October 25, 2005

Funds to Be Used to Develop Innovative Online Program

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 innovative online program for nursing students.
SMC is one of just three community colleges in California to have received 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 help SMC admit more students into its widely praised nursing program, which is filled to capacity and always has a long waiting list. Nursing students will continue to receive their clinical training in hospitals, but many students will be able to complete many of their 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 sophisticated new software for the online courses, such as the human patient simulator that allows students to perform a variety of patient care functions, such as giving injections, on the computer.

First introduced by President Bush in his 2004 State of the Union Address, the grants support workforce training for high growth industries through the nation’s community and technical colleges. Projects receiving funding cover high growth industries including healthcare, 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 Gov. 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.”

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