School:Santa Monica College

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Promoting student innovation and entrepreneurship:

Santa Monica College is limited in innovation and entrepreneurship resources. Among the few are speaker series events, where Santa Monica College hosts speaker events related to the arts, sciences, business, and entrepreneurship. They are free for all to attend and held remotely over zoom. Aside from this, SMC holds weekly workshops centered on various topics ranging from personal development and finance. Therefore, providing a basic foundation of I&E skills for students. If interested, students may pursue one of the following special programs on I&E, Introduction to business (BUS 901) and introduction to business mindset (BUS 902). The courses previously outlined are available to anyone for non-credit, which allows for non-students/students in gaining knowledge in pursuing their own I&E ventures. There is only Design Thinking for the Entrepreneur (BUS 60) and Principles of Entrepreneurship (BUS 63) available for credit that is offered by the business department at SMC. In addition, students are encouraged to join clubs in their respective interests. The clubs that are currently available that promote I&E are: Investment and Entrepreneurship Club, Rotaract Business Club, Women in Business, and WiStem.

Although Santa Monica College is a community college, they offer a one-of-a-kind Interaction Design Bachelor's program. The students in the program have the opportunity to take the experimental upper-division courses that are available especially for the program. A few courses that encourage I&E are: Design For Community Change (IxD 370), Project Management (IxD 410), Design For the Future (IxD 480), and Service Design (IxD 430). Some of these courses facilitate industry partnerships for students.

Encouraging faculty innovation and entrepreneurship:

There are micro efforts to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship from faculty to Santa Monica College students. Previously there was an unofficial makerspace but they have not been recreated presently.

Actively supporting the university technology transfer function:

Santa Monica College does not currently have technology transfer functions available for students.

Facilitating university-industry collaboration:

Santa Monica College offers internships and mentorship programs with any industry partners interested in seeking students from the institution. Students have access to any internship resources available to them through the Career Services Center available in-person or online. With those resources students can get more hands-on experience in exploring possible I&E mindsets.

As mentioned earlier, the interaction design program at SMC works with industry partners in facilitating collaborative projects. Some previous partners are: Hulu, Activision, Bird, Red Bull, and IDEO. Students are encouraged to engage in the design process to think of innovative solutions, which they pitch to the industry partners for the possibility of furthering their exposure to entrepreneurship.

Engaging with regional and local economic development efforts:

Santa Monica College is proud to play an active part in our local community, and is committed to maintaining and building new public-private sector partnerships to address pressing economic development needs. By fostering increased collaboration between the private development sector, local and state governments and national and community-based not-for-profit organizations, Santa Monica College continually strives to expand its outreach to communities and clients that may be unfamiliar with the financial and technical assistance that is available to help local communities realize their vision and goals to secure the benefits of the new economy. SMC’s programs support sustainable economic development strategies that leverage investments from other public and private sources in order to ensure the long-term viability of local economic development efforts.

Offered at SMC are various programs including the Emeritus Program, that offers more than 120 free classes, ranging from art to literature to computer training and more, to older adults, and community education programs that offer short term, not-for-credit classes to community members who wish to explore personal interests or professional career enhancement courses. SMC Community Initiatives are:

  • Priority Enrollment for Residents & Local Graduates
  • STEM Teacher Prep Program with UCLA
  • Cradle to Career Initiative with SMMUSD
  • Malibu Campus and Sheriff Substation with City of Malibu & L.A. County
  • Santa Monica Early Childhood Lab School with The Growing Place

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