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The Need for a Fully Online Community College

California needs skilled workers.

Economic insecurity is expected to increase over the next decade. By 2020, 65 percent of jobs in the U.S. will require a college credential, according to estimates by the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce. Artificial intelligence, the rise of the gig economy and automation are changing the future of work and the skillsets needed to succeed.

The economy is unforgiving to those without skills.

California’s workers need access to industry-valued skills.

Millions of Californians find themselves economically and educationally “stranded.” In California, there are 2.5 million adults in the prime working ages of 25 to 34 years old who have only a high school diploma or some college but no degree. Another 6.2 million adults between the ages of 35 to 65 years old have a high school diploma but no college degree.

Traditional higher education is not accessible for millions of Californians. Their schedules do not fit into traditional classroom-based settings due to work and family obligations. Transportation time and costs further make traditional options less attractive. In addition, 49 percent of these adults come from Spanish-speaking households.

Who are California's stranded workers?

California must address stranded workers’ need for social mobility as well as the needs of local employers and economies.

Economic Impacts of

A solution for making higher education accessible to more Californians: fully online community college

Governor Jerry Brown and the California Community Colleges are responding with an online community college to provide skills and credentials working learners need to improve their social and economic mobility and move our state forward. This new, competency-based online college will be unlike any other public online education platform and will focus predominately on sub-associate degree credentials of value tailored to the needs of these working learners.

Through partnerships with employers, industry sectors and organized labor, the online community college would offer the skills that match the jobs that employers are looking to fill. The college will create program pathways to include vocational training, upskilling and credentialing support for career education jobs in growing industries to ensure strong labor market outcomes and alignment with future educational and career pursuits.

The online community college strongly aligns with the California community colleges system’s Vision for Success goal of better serving working adults, and it will extend the California College Promise to these students.

Meet the Workgroup

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California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office