At the end of April, Calbright College awarded its 100th Certificate of Competency, a milestone for the new College, which opened for enrollment shortly before the pandemic began.
The College is growing and making progress quickly. The 100th certificate was also the 20th awarded in Calbright’s newest program, Customer Relationship Management (Salesforce) Administration, which launched to the public in August 2021. It’s a clear signal that completion numbers are accelerating under new leadership – between March and April 2022, 20 certificates were awarded, compared to 13 from November 2021 through February 2022.
Students who are able to dedicate 5-10 hours per week to their coursework can complete one of Calbright’s programs in less than 12 months, and the College anticipates completion numbers will continue to expand this spring and summer following enrollment growth this fiscal year. In March, Calbright’s student body surpassed 1,000 students (a 110% increase since July) for the first time in the school’s short history. This is especially noteworthy when considering who Calbright students are and the College’s focus on serving non-traditional learners across California:
- 92% are 25+ years old (compared to approx. 42% across the CCC system); median age is late 30s
- 24% identify as Black, 33% as Latinx, and 19% as API
- 34% are parents or caregivers (approx. 10% across the CCC system)
- 40% of students are unemployed, an additional 18% work part-time, 8.4% work more than 40 hours per week, and 31% are displaced workers who recently experienced job loss or a reduction in hours
“Our students are at the center of our design,” said Ted Lai, Calbright’s Vice President for Student Services and Success. “We’ve had the opportunity to implement new student support systems and improve upon practices already in place, and we’re seeing early results now – students are diving into their coursework and moving ahead as quickly as they want, while taking the time they need. Our faculty, counselors, tutors, and everyone across Calbright is focused on how we can collectively and collaboratively serve our students and empower them in the next chapter of their life.”
The College’s flexible, competency-based approach allows students like Alana, who completed Calbright’s IT program and is now working in the field, to move ahead when they master content, and to balance working or raising a family with being a student. When asked why they enrolled, 90% of students shared that Calbright’s unique model made their program accessible.
“The dedication of our students is inspiring, and it’s an honor to help them build a better life for themselves and their families,” said Michael Stewart, an IT faculty member and president of the Calbright Academic Senate. “They bring incredible personal stories and experience with them and fit studying into small gaps in their schedules – between shifts or after they’ve put their kids to bed. We are just getting started and I’m excited to continue to celebrate their success in the months and years ahead.”
Certificates Awarded by Program (as of April 30, 2022):
- Customer Relationship Management (Salesforce) Administration: 20
- Medical Coding: 8
- Introduction to Cybersecurity: 24
- Introduction to IT Support: 48
Please note: Calbright’s CRM program launched to the public in August 2021 and Medical Coding, which is the College’s longest program, is not currently accepting new students.
Calbright College is California’s only fully online community college, and offers competency-based workforce training programs. Though open to all adult Californians, it is designed specifically to support non-traditional students who can’t access traditional institutions of higher education. Instead of degrees, Calbright prepares students to earn industry-valued certificates so that they can transition to a new industry, move up within their current organization, re-skill after time away from the workplace, and/or keep up with today’s rapidly evolving economy.