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SMC Ranked Among Nation's Top Military Friendly Community Colleges

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By Lookout Staff

February 12, 2020 -- Santa Monica College (SMC) has been designated a Top 10 2020-2021 Military Friendly® School in the large community colleges category, school officials announced this week.

The designation is the highest "special award" in the category and places SMC at the top of a list that is considered the standard reference for military veterans and their families.

The list, which is in its 9th year, is compiled using data sources from federal agencies, veteran students and proprietary survey information from participating organizations, school officials said.

SMC -- which has enrolled nearly 1,000 student veterans each of the last five academic years -- was among the more than 1,000 colleges and universities nationwide that participated, with 695 earning a spot on the list.

The designation allows the college’s Veterans’ Resource Center to set benchmarks that will help the school better serve veterans, said
SMC Superintendent/President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery.

“Santa Monica College has been deeply committed over the years to providing the kind of intensive support that student veterans need to succeed,” Jeffery said.

“The credit goes to the staff and leadership of the Veterans’ Resource Center, both past and present.

"What is truly exemplary is the commitment they have poured into ensuring that veterans feel not just welcome here, but also find a community and support network.”

The Resource Center is a “one stop shop” where student veterans have access to academic tutoring and counseling, therapy and referrals to community resources and other veteran-serving programs in the West Los Angeles area, SMC officials said.

The center also offers a computer lab and a veteran lounge/study room, a popular spot where veterans can study and relax between classes.

The Military Friendly® School designation "is important and useful for prospective students as they look for colleges," said Kevin Benitez, a veteran and faculty leader for the center.

"Veterans, like all other students, want a college that will not only have their back but will also guide them to their goal, whether that be transferring to a four-year university, graduating from SMC, or beginning a career.”

The 2020-­ 2021 Military Friendly® Schools list will be published in the May issue of G.I. Jobs magazine and can be found at

For more information on the SMC Veterans’ Resource Center and all its services, visit or call (310) 434-8260.

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