Calbright Monthly Update: Our Strategic Vision


Portrait of Ajita Menon.

Good morning, 

Last week our Board of Trustees approved the roadmap for Calbright’s future, an ambitious yet achievable three-year Strategic Vision that outlines how we will measure the college’s success as we mature. This was an all-hands-on-deck process that involved many stakeholders and meetings both internal and external, and we’re proud to have completed it as it gave us an opportunity to recognize just how far we’ve come.

We were given a seven year start-up window in our enabling legislation to build and scale, and we’re two years in. Already, we’ve met every milestone: hired talented faculty; welcomed the California Teachers Association and our local — the Calbright Faculty Association — as Calbright's official faculty union; and are ahead of schedule for accreditation. We are on track for every key milestone on this runway, and our strategic vision goes further to set additional goals for Calbright’s trajectory that take us beyond legislation and launch to high-quality growth and scale.

Part of that vision is our goal to have 10 programs up and running by the end of the three-year vision period. Right now we are in the midst of a college-wide team effort to enroll students into the new pilot program announced last month, designed to help students transition into new technology careers. We’ve already launched tailored outreach and marketing campaigns in collaboration with workforce boards across the state, with radio ads launching in Fresno and webinars with local America's Job Center of California (AJCCs).

We’re also excited to announce the anticipated launch of another program pathway later this year, designed around the needs of the healthcare industry in California. Our front-line healthcare workers experience challenging conditions that often lead to workforce burnout and attrition. A study by NSI Nursing Solutions in a 2019 survey of over 420,000 health care workers found that 27% of all new hires left within the first year. Our new program pathway series, Upskilling for Equitable Health Impacts, will introduce several new courses built to be responsive to the changing realities facing healthcare workers.

We look forward to continuing the important work of building a better future for California, and sharing our progress along the way.
All my best,

Ajita Talwalker Menon
President & CEO,
Calbright College


If you know someone looking to gain new skills and start a career in information technology (IT), send them this application link! We’re currently enrolling adult students in the IT pathway, where they will learn to apply a wide variety of skills in customer support and troubleshooting, ranging from installation and configuration to networking, operating systems, mobile devices, and security.


Did you get the chance to read our latest blog? It highlights President Menon presenting the Frank Rhodes lecture at Arizona State University, where the need for innovation in higher education to better serve marginalized populations was well understood.  

“There’s nothing fair about or equitable about the way that higher education works in the United States,” ASU President Michael Crow said in his introduction of Menon. “Half the people that enter the higher education system in the United States never graduate. They have no degree or no diploma. Half the people that have received Pell grants since 1980 have no degree and no diploma. People that were raised in the lower coretile of family incomes in the last 50 years, less than 10% of them have attained college degrees. And that’s only minimally changed in the last 50 years. And so clearly whatever we’ve been doing is necessary, but insufficient. Whatever we’ve been doing has been useful, but not useful enough. Whatever we’ve been doing has been innovative but not innovative enough.”



On March 19th, Calbright’s Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives Tamika Connor and Chief Technology Officer Ari Bader-Natal presented to the Community College system on how to run a successful Strategic Enrollment Management program. Their presentations focused on the marketing, outreach, and onboarding practices that relate to specific enrollment groups, as well as the data needed to implement these practices. Thank you Tamika and Ari for sharing with the system! 

Watch the March 19th session on the web here.