Monday, 12 April 2021

California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office issues $27.5 million in grants aimed at building online career education offerings

SACRAMENTO – Seventy grants of up to $500,000 each are being awarded to California community colleges and college districts to develop and strengthen career education programs that can be completed online.

Awards were made through the Improving Online CTE Pathways grant program developed by the California Community Colleges’ California Virtual Campus – Online Education Initiative. One-time funding for the program, $35 million in all, came via the 2018-2019 state budget.

“These grants will help improve the online education ecosystem in the California Community Colleges,” said California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley. “This holistic approach includes strengthening traditional college offerings and opening of Calbright, the new online college that will serve low-wage working adults who can quickly gain short-term credentials.”

A total of $27.5 million in grants to the 70 community colleges were awarded earlier this month. Grants are administered by the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, which serves as the fiscal agent for the California Virtual Campus – Online Education Initiative.

The California Virtual Campus – Online Education Initiative’s primary focus is to increase the number of transfer degrees awarded by the state’s community colleges and its mission is to provide access to and success in high-quality, online programs and student support services.

It is complemented by the new Calbright College, which is tailored to provide working adults with access to the short-term education and career training they need to move ahead in today’s economy.

Both efforts align with the California Community Colleges’ ambitious Vision for Success by expanding access to degrees and credentials leading to good-paying, in-demand jobs.

Improving Online CTE Pathways grants are aimed at helping community colleges develop online programs that either lead to short-term, industry-valued credentials, or enable a student in a career pathway developed by the new California online community college – formally known as Calbright College – to continue his or her education in a career pathway offered by a traditional community college.

One-third of students in the California Community Colleges system now take at least one class online.

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 115 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year.

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