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CONTACT: Bruce Smith
Public Information Officer
(310) 434-4209
DATE: June 1, 2006


In an historic action, the Santa Monica College Board of Trustees voted unanimously Wednesday (May 31) to approve an agreement to operate summer school at troubled Compton College.

The move allows Compton College to continue to serve students for two sessions from June 13 through Aug. 22. Compton faces possible closure if an appeal hearing upholds an accrediting commission’s decision to terminate the college’s accreditation. SMC’s action also gives Compton time to find a long-term community college partner to provide classes starting this fall.

“It is tremendously fulfilling for us to partner with this historic college, at this critical time, so that it can continue to provide education to its community,” said SMC President Dr. Chui L. Tsang.

“Here we have a community college that is going to die if we don’t help them,” said Trustee Herb Roney.

The board’s decision came after several weeks of intense review and discussions by the faculty and administration at both colleges. It also came after several Compton College students and professors made an emotional plea to SMC trustees Wednesday to allow their campus to remain open.

“We really need the help,” said Hilda Gaytan, president of the Compton College Associated Student Body. “W e want to keep the college open. I’m almost 50 and I got my second chance there (at Compton).”

Compton’s accreditation was revoked last year by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges after it found the college had been plagued for years by dysfunctional management.
Provisions of the SMC agreement with Compton include:

• SMC will be responsible for all aspects of Compton’s instructional program, while Compton will continue to provide admissions, registration, financial aid and other support services.
• SMC will issue offers of employment to Compton professors teaching in the summer session, but the Compton faculty members will not become employees of SMC and will be compensated according to the current Compton College pay schedule.
• SMC will receive the state funding allocation – made on a fulltime-student-equivalent basis – generated by the two summer sessions’ enrollments.
• SMC will compensate Compton College for the cost of summer session faculty salaries, for instructional support expenses, and for the license for the use of facilities at Compton.

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