The Calbright Model
Calbright College is designed to focus on careers, not credentials. Unlike other community colleges, rather than working toward an associate’s degree, our adult learners work toward a job. While many community colleges offer online classes, they are still structured like traditional college courses, with specific requirements and timelines. Calbright is different. Each adult learner can start their program at any time, and work around their own schedule, at their own pace.
In every way, we meet you where you are. As a competency-based institution, adult learners have a fast, focused and free or very low cost way to learn the skills they need for a specific job. What sets us apart from the rest?
- Adult learners move through their training at their own pace and from their own homes, or even on the go.
- Through a combination of online classes, mobile apps and apprenticeships, Calbright is designed so you can set up your learning schedule around your life schedule–which sets you up for success from the start.
- There are no set classes to attend or specific deadlines to meet, so you move through your program at your own pace.
- If you have prior experience with your subject matter, you can speed up and complete your requirements more quickly; if the subject matter is all new to you, you can take your time to master your skills.
We want you to succeed and we will give you the tools you need to make your own success.
Statewide Programs Developed with Working Adults, Unions, and Employers:
Calbright College will be online, mobile-first, and designed with both working adults and their future employers in mind. We are building our programs in partnership with our instructional teams, working adults, labor unions, and employers to ensure that our programs are structured in a manner that leads to success—for everyone involved.
While our primary focus is on supporting our adult learners in becoming successful and resilient, we begin and end our process with employers. Our instructional teams connect with real employers and get to know exactly what skills are needed for the jobs that are available. Classes are made to teach adult learners only the skills they need, and nothing they don’t, so by the time they have completed their program, they will be ready for full-time employment in a well paying job with a future.
Accountability for Employment and Wage Gain:
There are many career colleges and vocational schools that offer job training and certifications, but they often charge high fees and with no guarantee of employment upon completion. Calbright is different. We have the opportunity to do something no other college has been held accountable to do: to demonstrate wage and employment gain for our graduates.
We partner directly with organizations and set up paid apprenticeships prior to employment, so that by the time adult learners have completed their program, they will have a clear understanding of exactly what they’ll be doing in their new role.
The State was very clear in setting our unique accountability standards and we intend to hold ourselves accountable. Every Californian and our legislators have the ability to hold us accountable, too. It is with these standards in mind that we intend to offer a full range of supportive and learning services to our adult learners, from pre-enrollment to post-employment, to ensure they get and keep the better-paying, upwardly-mobile jobs for which they have been prepared.
We are grateful for the opportunity to help make upward mobility a reality for all Californians and are committed to our adult learners’ success even after they leave our programs.
What does it mean to be deeply user-centered and equity-centered?
At Calbright, we meet people where they’re at and tailor educational experiences to work for each person’s specific needs. We’re teaching people how to learn new skills, and to learn how to always be learning. We’re designing Calbright College as fully centered around the needs of real adult learners and hiring managers, creating programs that will have a measurable and positive impact on their lives. Our model is one built on a foundation of empathy and equity.
Calbright’s focus on equity means we’re building outward from within a community to creatively solve problems. It starts with Equity Advisors — those who identify with a specific social group like working mothers or formerly incarcerated men — who lead feedback sessions with other people like them on our behalf. For example, a working mother would lead a group with other working mothers, or a formerly incarcerated man would have conversations with other formerly incarcerated men. We want to create our programs alongside the people we aim to serve, with open and honest communication so we can set accessible, attainable goals.