Santa Monica, a Lifelong Learning Community





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Our Goal: A Master Action Plan (MAP) to realize Santa Monica’s potential as a Lifelong Learning Community

The city, the public and private schools and colleges, the healthcare institutions, the business community, faith community, non-profit organizations, education and childcare professionals, and community members will collaborate to design and implement a comprehensive, long-range planning blueprint (MAP) to guide us strategically in our approach to lifelong learning.

We recommend that MAP be designed to actualize the following principles:
  1. Promote an expanded definition of education -- one that encompasses a wide variety of subject matter, personal strengths, and career opportunities -- coupled with an expanded awareness of learning delivery systems including libraries, bookstores, the internet, and non-traditional learning experiences.
  2. Create an anti-bias climate of respect that actively expands inter-cultural and inter-generational interaction and embraces diversity as an integral aspect of all Lifelong Learning Community goals and objectives.
  3. Foster collaborative models between and among education institutions, healthcare institutions, the business community, non-profits, and city departments committed to expanding opportunities for lifelong learning.
  4. Include ?Opportunities for Lifelong Learning? in determining city policy regarding social services, the arts and recreation, public safety, transportation, sustainability, zoning, planning, and facility and land use issues.

To ensure that lifelong learning opportunities are seamless and well-supported, and that successes can be systematically and effectively built upon, we recommend that MAP include the following objectives:

  1. An institutionalized and continuous process of review, assessment, and evaluation to improve the state and status of lifelong learning in our community.
  2. A communication network for professionals and community members to promote the sharing of information, issues, and solutions across institutional barriers in a timely, consistent, and reliable fashion.
  3. Easy access and input to information for the public concerning learning opportunities.

Next Steps: To initiate the process of developing a Master Action Plan (MAP) to embed support for lifelong learning in our community, we will:

  1. Engage the public to obtain input and build consensus for a shared-vision and a strong commitment to lifelong learning.
    1. Workshops, forums, focus groups, and outreach mechanisms will be implemented to encourage the entire spectrum of the public to participate in the process of designing a lifelong learning community.
    2. Professionals, activists, and community members will come together to collectively analyze cross-sections of the lifelong learning continuum.
    3. Identify and utilize information pathways to increase public awareness of learning opportunities and the Lifelong Learning Community Project’s goal.
  2. Identify and analyze the conditions affecting access to lifelong learning in our community including:
    1. Age-appropriate learning needs.
    2. Resources that support learning.
    3. Barriers to learning.
    4. Gaps in our education delivery system.
    5. Potential remedies for identified barriers and gaps.
    6. Standards and benchmarks to assess progress in improving lifelong learning opportunities.
  3. Research and synthesize information on the following topics:
    1. Models of collaboration in Santa Monica and in other cities and states as references for designing our Master Action Plan.
    2. Existing city-approved plans that pertain to lifelong learning with renewed focus on as yet unmet goals.
  4. Secure funding to support our efforts.
  5. Encourage elected officials and community leaders to develop, support, and implement a Master Action Plan for Santa Monica as a Lifelong Learning Community