Santa Monica College (SMC) is one of eight higher education institutions in the U.S. to be picked for a new national program designed to help students establish successful careers in commercial photography.

The Advertising Photographers of America (APA) — a Los Angeles-based national professional organization for photographers — has developed the Successful Emerging Photographers program to help students transition into the profession.

“We picked a few schools we thought had a great reputation, and Santa Monica College is known to have a terrific photography program,” said APA education chair Bobbi Lane.

SMC graduates have gone into successful careers. Three are staff photographers for the Los Angeles Times and several have their own studios throughout the world, college officials said.

Student photographers have also won many awards in various competitions, most notably at the Los Angeles County Fair, said college officials.

The APA program involves an “intensive” one-day seminar Friday, November 12th, designed to give students an overview of the commercial photography industry and information about business plans, marketing, copyright and licensing, accounting and insurance.

SMC photopraghy professor Ford Lowcock said the seminar would be open to other students and college alumni.

“It’s absolutely one of the best things that has been offered to our students,” Lowcock said.