Report 2020-104 Recommendation 7 Responses
Report 2020-104: Calbright College: It Must Take Immediate Corrective Action to Accomplish Its Mission to Provide Underserved Californians With Access to Higher Education (Release Date: May 2021)
Recommendation #7 To: Calbright College
To effectively reach and enroll the students the Legislature intended it to serve, Calbright should, by November 2021, do the following:
1. Develop and implement a specific plan for conducting outreach to individuals within its target student population. The plan should reflect its current outreach strategies and long-term goals, including strategies for reaching each group within its target population.
2. Establish methods for measuring whether it has successfully enrolled its target student population. These methods should include collecting and reviewing the information necessary to ensure that it is reaching its target student population, including data on student income level, veteran status, employment status, incarceration history, and reasons for enrolling in Calbright instead of a traditional community college.
By July 2022, Calbright should demonstrate that its efforts have been effective at reaching the population the Legislature intended it to serve.
Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2022
Calbright's student body reflects the College's mission and legislative mandate and we continue to execute an outreach plan designed to engage with our target student population. As such, the College considers this recommendation fully implemented.
Calbright's founding legislation identifies our focus population as "working adults." In May 2021, the auditor's office further clarified our focus populations to include, among others: Californians who 25+ years old with no college degree, individuals who are unable to access traditional forms of education and job training, parents and caregivers, those who are unemployed, working adults, members of BIPOC communities, and Californians who are underrepresented in higher education and the workforce.
Calbright's outreach advances the dual charge of enrolling a statewide student body while also prioritizing key regions like the Central Valley, Inland Empire, and rural counties. An enrollment report that provides more context about our outreach endeavors, as well as details about our student body will be shared with the auditor's office. The following are some of the key statistics the College monitors when considering outreach effectiveness:
As of 10/31/22, enrollment stands at 1,422, a 194% increase from July 2021. As of 8/30/22, the time period for which most recent data is available, 92% of Calbright students are 25+ years old, more than double the CCC rate. 34% are parents/caregivers, more than triple the CCC rate, and 38% are unemployed. 54% of students are either unemployed or working part time and another 8.4% work more than 40 hours per week. Additionally, 88% of students cite the College's model as the reason their program was accessible. 33% of students identify as Latinx, 22% as Black, 13% as Asian, and 5% as Native American. In addition, enrollment spans the state and represents 44 of California's 58 counties, including 25 rural counties.
- Completion Date: July 2022
California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented
Calbright has established an outreach plan and demonstrated that it now has processes in place to collect and monitor data on whether it is reaching and enrolling the students in its target student population. It provided its periodic analysis of its enrollment, which shows that it has enrolled a diverse student body that is generally reflective of its target population, including students who are caregivers, who are unemployed, or who work part time.
1-Year Agency Response
Calbright has fully implemented Recommendation 7 and continues to enroll a student body that reflects the populations the Legislature intended it to serve. This includes: Californians who are at least 25 years old with no college degree, individuals who are unable to access traditional forms of education and job training, parents and caregivers, those who are unemployed, working adults, members of BIPOC communities, and Californians who are underrepresented in higher education and the workforce, to name only a few.
Calbright has developed and implemented an outreach plan, aligned with our 2021-2023 Strategic Vision, for conducting outreach to our target student populations. Since July 2021, Calbright's student body has increased by more than 110%, surpassing 1,000 students and coming from 40 counties across the state, including 22 rural counties. 92% are at least 25 years old, more than double the systemwide rate. 24% identify as Black, 33% as Latino, 19% as Asian, and 4% as Native American. In response to questions added to the supplemental section of the CCC system's application in October 2021, additional information about our students is also available: 90% of Calbright's students cite our unique model as the reason their program was accessible. 34% are parents/caregivers, which is triple the systemwide rate, 40% are currently unemployed, 18% work part-time, 8.4% work more than 40 hours per week, and 31% are displaced workers who recently lost their job or had a reduction in hours. The percentage of student immigrants, military veterans, and formerly incarcerated are 15.2%, 4.8%, and 2.7% respectively.
While continued monitoring, data review, and expansion of partnerships is necessary as Calbright continues to progress through its start-up period, these figures indicate that the College is meeting its mission with regard to enrolling its focus student population.
- Completion Date: March 2022
- Response Date: May 2022
California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Partially Implemented
Although Calbright has a documented outreach plan, it has not yet demonstrated improved success at reaching its target population.
- Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
- Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation
6-Month Agency Response
Calbright has fully implemented the first two items under Recommendation 7, and will demonstrate that its efforts have been effective at reaching the population the Legislature intended it to serve by the stated deadline of July 2022.
Calbright has developed and implemented an outreach plan, aligned with our 2021-2023 Strategic Vision, for conducting outreach to our target student population. This plan includes both current and long-term goals and strategies for implementing, evaluating, and refining a multi-faceted approach consisting of digital/terrestrial ads and campaigns, in-person events, advancing current partnerships and developing new ones, media engagement, and expanding internal capacity. We will regularly update and revise strategies and goals as we continue to measure progress, determine needs, and refine planning. This plan is dynamic and will, at minimum, receive holistic review every six months and be revised as necessary.
Measuring Calbright's effectiveness at enrolling its focus student population is essential to the College's ability to deliver on our mission. We are constantly monitoring enrollment goals on our backend platform, and in October 2021 added two questions to the supplemental questions section of the CCC system's application (CCCApply). These questions join previously added questions regarding employment status, and will provide additional data to measure the effectiveness of the College's outreach strategies for reaching its target student population. The first new question asks applicants if they identify as an immigrant, individual who was formerly incarcerated, parent or caregiver, military veteran, and/or if they have recently experienced job loss or a reduction in hours/wages. The second asks why applicants are interested in Calbright.
- Estimated Completion Date: July 2022
- Response Date: November 2021
California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Partially Implemented
Calbright provided its new outreach plan, which describes recent outreach efforts and its plans for the coming year regarding how it will conduct outreach, including to students within its target student population. Calbright also provided evidence that it has added questions to its application to collect information critical to understanding whether applicants are members of its target population, such as whether the applicant is a parent or caregiver. Calbright still does not ask students about their income, which Calbright has stated it intends to collect from EDD data. Finally, the plan describes how Calbright will use the various data it now collects to evaluate its success at reaching students within its target population.
We will assess Calbright's ability to demonstrate that it has effectively enrolled students from its target population after it reports on its progress in July 2022.
60-Day Agency Response
Calbright has developed a draft outreach plan, aligned with our 2021-2023 Strategic Vision, that lays out a structure for expanding internal capacity and implementing, evaluating, and refining a multi-faceted outreach approach consisting of digital ads, partnerships, in-person events, and earned and paid media to reach prospective students in Calbright's focus population. Throughout the Strategic Vision period, we will refine our goals and evaluation periods to measure progress, determine needs, and refine planning. The draft outreach plan includes a detailed timeline of the steps to build awareness, expand strategic partnerships, and reach our target population over the Strategic Vision period.
Measuring Calbright's effectiveness in enrolling its targeted student population is essential to the college's ability to deliver on its mission. Calbright is constantly monitoring our enrollment goals on our backend platform, as well as administering a bi-annual student survey that measures factors such as: employment status, job history and future job expectations on role and salary. To reach our targeted student populations, Calbright is currently partnering with eight local Workforce Boards in targeted areas of California: SELACO (Southeast LA County), NOVA (Santa Clara and San Mateo counties), Fresno, San Bernardino, Merced, San Diego, and the Pacific Gateway (Long Beach). Additionally, we have worked and will continue to work, with organizations representing incumbent workers that would fall within our student population.
As we continue to pilot and evaluate our initial hypotheses regarding our student population, we aim to solidify our benchmarks by which we measure our effectiveness in enrolling our target population for each particular pathway.
- Estimated Completion Date: 07/2022
- Response Date: July 2021
California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending
Agency responses received are posted verbatim.