College Announces Updated Roadmap to Serve Adult Learners Across California
SACRAMENTO, Calif., January 23, 2024 – Today, Calbright College unveiled its Strategic Vision for the next four years, outlining a roadmap for the institution’s operations and goals through the end of 2027. The Vision builds on the College’s notable increases in enrollment and completion numbers, new program creation, and constant innovation. It sets Calbright’s overarching direction for the future and focuses on high-quality and intentional growth, evaluation, and optimization to advance adult learner success.
Since Calbright’s inception, the College has met or exceeded every milestone in its founding legislation, received accreditation, expanded student support and success initiatives, and launched new workforce training programs. In 2023, enrollment grew by more than 2,000 students, to 3,713 – an increase of 121%.
“Constant innovation to build better outcomes for adult learners is in Calbright’s DNA. As we prioritize the evolving needs of our students, it’s critical that we continue to meet them where they are and guide them toward accomplishing their goals. We are a different institution today than we were six months ago and will be a different institution again in six months, and we’re proud of that,” said Calbright College President and CEO Ajita Talwalker Menon. “Our new Strategic Vision builds on our monumental progress and continues to guide our work on behalf of adult learners, who are rarely the beneficiaries of data-driven innovations that support their specific needs and success. Our Vision focuses on driving student outcomes through deeper collaboration, optimizing the student experience, and streamlining internal processes and operations, while also sustainably advancing a strong model for skills-based education that is valued by employers and prioritizes the needs of current and prospective students–for the benefit of California and beyond.”
“California leads the way in equitable access to higher education for all Californians and it is critical that we continue to address equity gaps that limit economic opportunity. Calbright’s innovation expands opportunities to adult Californians who may not be able to access a traditional college or workforce training program,” said Amy Costa, president of the California Community Colleges (CCC) Board of Governors and Calbright College Board of Trustees. “Calbright is a catalyst for the California Community Colleges system’s Vision 2030 Roadmap, advancing solutions to pernicious and priority issues – equity, access, and student success. This new Strategic Vision sets the stage for the College’s continued success in reducing barriers to education and creating economic opportunity for all Californians.”
2024-2027 Strategic Vision Priorities
Calbright’s Strategic Vision includes three main priorities—or overarching themes—to guide our work as we move into the final four years of our start-up period.
- Serve Students and Employers
- At the end of 2023, the College had conferred 445 certificates since inception and expects to see these accelerated trends continue. Calbright student persistence rate from an initial term of enrollment to a second term hovers around 94% – compared to roughly 60% for adult learners across the CCC system. As the College continues to serve adult learners with its equitable, student-centered design, this new Strategic Vision will guide the way for multidimensional student opportunities that place student needs first and ensure a pathway to career success.
- Drive Institutional Excellence
- Calbright’s staff and faculty have grown alongside enrollment increases to ensure a supportive educational environment for California adult learners. The Strategic Vision will build on the College’s internal growth—now well over 100 employees—and focus on expanding operational capacity while ensuring a culture of equity, inclusion, and constant improvement. This includes collective bargaining agreements, developing a sustainable funding approach, and also implementing organizational health feedback loops.
- Amplify Our Innovative Approach
- Calbright is the leading edge of the learning curve for solving the complex equation of how to best nurture the success of adult learners. We continue to partner with mission-aligned organizations to advance adult learner success and amplify the need for student-centered educational design. Over the next three years, the College will continue to align with the CCC Vision 2030 Roadmap to close equity gaps in education, especially in service of adult learners.
Collaboration, evaluation, and improvement are part of Calbright’s DNA as a College that continues to build from the ground up. The College formed the 2024-2027 Strategic Vision through a series of workshops, focus groups, interviews, and supplementary surveys across the internal and external Calbright community to create a central understanding and narrative regarding the environment in which Calbright operates and future areas of opportunity. The Strategic Vision was unanimously approved by the Calbright College Board of Trustees at their meeting on January 23, 2024.