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Practices with Promise Success Story

Submitted By: Corlei  Prieto, Santa Barbara AEBG Consortium

SBCC launches Career Skills Institute to Address Local Workforce Needs

  • Type of Practice: Professional Development
  • Targeted Population: Adult Basic Education Students, Adult Secondary Education Students, Adults with Disabilities, Apprenticeship Program Participants, Associate Degree Students, CTE Student, English Language Learners, First-time Students, High School Diploma Students, High School Equivalency Students, Returning Students, Teachers, Faculty and Staff, 4 Year College Transfer Students, Citizenship Students, Vocational Certificate Students, K12 to CC Transitioning Students, State &/or Industry Certification Students
  • Program Area(s): Adult Basic & Secondary Education, Adults with Disabilities, Apprenticeship, English as a Second Language & Citizenship , Career Technical Education
  • Consortia Involved:
    Santa Barbara AEBG Consortium: Carpinteria Unified School District, Santa Barbara Community College District, Santa Barbara Unified School District

The Challenge

The Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) Career Skills Institute courses were developed to address the needs of local employers. With the collaboration of educators, local business owners, and legislative support, representatives from each sector considered the growing skills gap in the workplace and identified key skill sets needed, particularly in the areas of business, design, and technology.

“The College takes its role as a partner in this community very seriously,” said Melissa Moreno, SBCC Dean of Educational Programs. “This curriculum has been specifically developed with local business input to meet the needs of our local workforce. We are the first in the State to develop a program solely focused on employability skill development.”

The Solution

The solution is the SBCC Career Skills Institute, a multidisciplinary noncredit certificate program partnered with 11 academic and CTE departments, to provide students with focused training and to develop employability skills demanded by employers. More than 40 noncredit short courses and 20 certificates are offered in a variety of distinct topics, such as Business Writing in the Technology Age and Responsive Web Design. As a result, students earn a certificate and accompanying digital badge. Santa Barbara City College is the first community college in the state to issue digital badges. Phases II and III of the CSI program will include badge endorsements from industry partners, outcome assessments, and internship opportunities.


A certificate for these courses appear on students’ transcripts, and are accompanied by the issuance of digital badges which students post to their online profiles, including LinkedIn and Facebook. Badges are a key inclusion for program completers as transcripts and certificates don’t often tell the whole story. When highlighted on a job application or online resume, these digital badges can give prospective employers a more complete picture of a student’s skills, competencies, and accomplishments. The outcomes of this program mutually benefits both the student and employer.

The Data

The first round of courses were piloted in Fall 2015, and Spring 2016. Outcomes will include the issuance of certificates and badges over the course of the next 3 years.

Supporting Information

SBCC Career Skills Institute

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