Degrees & Certificates
Associate in Arts
Areas of Specialization
Founding Director Sheila Kuehl
Dr. Richard Tahvildran-Jesswein, Co-Director, Founding Associate Director
Shari Davis, MPP
engaging voices, changing lives
The Santa Monica College Public Policy Institute
Inspires Students to Make a Real Difference in Their Communities and in the World
From socioeconomics to education, healthcare to housing, and energy to the environment, the decisions of policymakers affect all our lives. Understanding the role we can play collectively and individually in shaping public policy is essential to our participatory democracy.
The interdisciplinary, innovative Public Policy Institute at Santa Monica College educates and empowers a diverse student body with the academic grounding and hands-on experience they need to become agents of change – whether they choose a career in public policy or simply want to improve their community and the world we share. Through an annual symposium and frequent public forums with civic leaders, the Public Policy Institute also serves as a powerful force for engaging the community in dialogue on some of the most pressing public policy issues of the day.
Santa Monica College is the only community college in California and among the first in the country to offer an associate degree and certificate of achievement in public policy. This pioneering program has quickly become one of the most successful and popular academic offerings at SMC.
Read more about the Public Policy Institute and its impact.