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Event Planning Career Training in Santa Monica with School Info

The Santa Monica area has four schools that offer event planning programs. To find out which one is right for you, learn about the degree options and program requirements at three of these colleges located within 40 miles of the city's center.

Santa Monica Event Planning Schools

Several schools in in Santa Monica offer training in event planning, often as part of the institution's hotel and tourism or hospitality management program. Read about the program options and required coursework at three colleges to find out which one appeals to your educational needs and goals. There's also a table of stats on the schools, in addition to info on a fourth university offering relevant training in the field.

  • Cypress College, located in Cypress, CA, roughly 39 miles from central Santa Monica, offers a 12-month special event management certificate program through the school's hotel, restaurant and culinary arts division.
  • About 25 miles from downtown Santa Monica is Glendale Community College, a public school that offers an associate's degree program in hospitality and tourism management that include training in event planning.
  • Culver City's West Los Angeles College has an event and convention planning certificate program. The campus is located just eight miles from Santa Monica's downtown area.

Comparison of Schools

The tuition rates are similar for the profiled colleges and they all have open admission policies. To compare some of their differences in areas like campus setting, student retention and graduation rates, review the table below.

Cypress College Glendale Community College West Los Angeles College
School Type Two-year; public Two-year; public Two-year; public
Total Enrollment (2014) 15,816* 15,112* 10,641*
Campus Setting Large suburb Midsized city Large suburb
Tuition & Fees (2015-2016) $1,138 in-state; $6,154 out-of-state* $1,175 in-state; $5,855 out-of-state* $1,220 in-state; $7,016 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2013-2014) 55%* 66%* 76%*
Acceptance Rate (2016) N/A - Open admission N/A - Open admission N/A - Open admission
Retention Rate (2014) 75% for full-time students* 72% for full-time students* 59% for full-time students*
Graduation Rate (for Students Beginning in 2011) 36%* 18%* 16%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

Cypress College

Hospitality students at Cypress College are taught by industry professionals. The college features small classes, internship opportunities and local career opportunities.

Special Event Management Certificate

Courses include an introduction to hospitality careers, catering and event management, marketing and small business management. Once they've completed the program, individuals may want to consider earning a bachelor's degree in hospitality management where they can minor in event planning and management.

Glendale Community College

The hospitality and tourism management program at Glendale includes event and meeting planning courses in its training. The college's programs were created so that the standards of performance match up to what an employer expects from employees, which could strengthen a student's level of employability.

Associate in Science in Hotel and Tourism Management

The associate's degree program includes courses in multiple areas of hospitality management, including beverages and wine service, management of hospitality personnel, operations, hospitality law, dining room services and restaurant operations. This program includes an event planning and meeting management course that covers the organization of various events and how to prepare for job opportunities.

West Los Angeles College

West Los Angeles College offers several certificates and degree programs for students interested in a hospitality career. Besides a certificate in event and convention planning, the school also offers certificates in hospitality and hotel sales and marketing and an associate's degree in hospitality.

Certificate of Achievement in Hospitality - Event and Convention Planning

Required courses for the certificate include event management, meeting/convention and incentive planning and introduction to personal food service. Students can either earn their certificate on a full-time or part-time basis. Graduates of the certificate program may be ready for immediate employment.

Other School Options

Students can find a meeting and event planning certificate program at California State University at Long Beach, which is 33 miles from downtown Santa Monica. At California State University at Dominguez Hills, 25 miles from Santa Monica, students can complete a minor in event planning and management.

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