Millions of Californians are experiencing disruption in their daily lives, including their pursuit of higher education.

COVID-19 has prompted 40% of employers to shut down certain aspects of the business and 83% of employers to adjust their business practices (SHRM, 2020).

For many employees, this means obtaining a certificate, credential so they can remain in, or re-enter the workforce.

Millions of Californians have some college credits, but have not completed a degree, and are not currently enrolled in a higher education institution. Providing additional options for those seeking to complete a degree or certificate will provide further opportunities to improve their long-term economic and social mobility. Expanding and developing degree and certificate programs through CSU Professional and Continuing Education (CPaCE) with a focus on the development of online programs is essential.

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the urgent educational and employment needs, the Commission priorities – degree completion, credit for prior learning and consortia regional masters programs – has expanded to include the following three priorities:

Short-Term Courses, Modules and Programs

Develop online and blended non-degree and degree courses and programs focusing on short-term learning opportunities (programs ranging from a few weeks to less than a year) especially certificates, stackable modules in partnership with employers and workforce partners. Equipping students with knowledge and skills needed in a globally connected and competitive 21st Century employment market. 

Employee Professional and Program Development

Share resources, information, and provide professional development opportunities for faculty teaching online courses, seeking external funding for program development, and employer engagement. This also includes shared resources, information and providing professional development opportunities for staff serving and supporting students, related services, and operations. Encourage and incentivize program development using data-driven and evidenced-based models and metrics to address local, regional, and statewide workforce needs in partnership with employers. 

Centers of Excellence and High-Quality Shared Services

Develop centers of excellence, expand and leverage shared services models to include master enabling and consortia agreements. This includes creating new industry sector centers, identifying existing and expanding agreements and services in support of local, regional, and statewide shared services efforts. Identifying and eliminating operational practices and processes that perpetuate duplication of effort and inefficiencies, increase costs or decrease the quality of services to students. Collaborative teams working across disciplines, campuses, regions, and statewide to identify and leverage innovative and efficient ways that establish centers of excellence and high-quality shared services in support of students. ​