Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, CA 

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Temporary Assistance to Needy Families Santa Monica Case Study




Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, CA

Nick Mata, Director of Special Programs (

Program Name: CalWORKS
Funding: Department Budget
Curricula used: Love Notes
Curricula benefits: Addresses current issues and challenges in students’ lives that prevent them from successfully completing college program.
Population: Community college students who are part of CalWORKS (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families – TANF), EOPS/CARE, and Guardian Scholars (foster youth)
Audience  Demographics: Primarily female head of households, unemployed, needing additional education to enter the workforce, ages 17-29

Foster Youth

Class size: Average 15-20 per class
Location of instruction: In the a campus classroom or large conference room
Length of instruction (number of sessions and hours per session): Hour long workshop series held during the school day during a free period. Three sessions per series.

Also did a 6-hour retreat covering 9 lessons.

Instructor Training Protocol: Instructors attended a two-day Love Notes training.
Utilization of Teacher and Student Materials: Each instructor has a Love Notes binder. Workbook pages are not used.
Program Recruitment Process: Promoted the workshops and retreats via paper flyers, email invitations, and word of mouth during counseling appointments and visits to the CalWORKs office.


  1. Engaged students outside of the classroom and the normal counseling/ advising scenario.
  2. Participants learned and discussed vital aspects of relationship and relationship building, which they indicated they rarely get to do.
  1. The one-hour workshop series was not enough time to cover everything in a lesson, but the day-long retreat may have been a little overwhelming for the participants.
  2. Getting more men to attend.
  1. Offer food or snacks.
  2. Create a safe and confidential space for discussion.
  3. Vary the presenters, presentation styles and/or modalities.