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Calbright College partners with UC Irvine to study how students engage with the college

Calbright College’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously Tuesday to a $4.1 million, five-year partnership with the University of California, Irvine School of Education to study  how students interact with Calbright from application to completion.

UCI data scientists and Calbright staff will study how students navigate Calbright’s systems to see how they interact with the college. They’ll also use intervention techniques like nudges and success coaches to improve how students engage in the courses, professors and advisers.  The partnership plans to collect information about the students to help them get to the right career.

The college needs to figure out what adult learners need so it can help them, explained Calbright President Ajita Menon.

“The great lie is that we have the answers to ‘how to'”, successfully engage with adult learners, she said. “And the true fact is that we don’t for these communities of learners.”

Menon said the partnership positions Calbright to figure out the most effective solutions to engaging and encouraging adult learners to reach their career goals.

The goal is that the partnership will help Calbright reach an enrollment of 5,000 students by the end of 2023 with 1,200 of those students earning a certificate.

The college reports more than 500 active students. Since October, 2019, 68 certificates have been awarded.

Calbright  receives $15 million per year in state funding and received $100 million over 7 years starting in 2019 to launch a new college aimed at helping low-income working adults over 25 gain skills and credentials to advance in their jobs or to move to higher-paying jobs.