The East Bay Career Advancement Academies (EBCAA) is a regional workforce development initiative led jointly by the Contra Costa County and Peralta Community College Districts. Together, the seven Contra Costa and Peralta Colleges have created a regional academy system with over 20 short term career training programs that target low income young adults, 18 to 30 years old, who face academic and personal barriers to employment and training. EBCAA intentionally targets students that the community college system has struggled to serve, including individuals 2 to 3 levels below college readiness in math and English, who may not have a GED or diploma, and who come from the East Bay's hardest hit communities.
EBCAA is a central component of the college's efforts to bring more low income residents into career path employment to bridge the achievement gap facing our educational system and help low income students access careers in growing regional industries such as energy efficiency and production, health care, information technology, trade and logistics, and advanced manufacturing. EBCAA couples contextualized basic skills with technical training and expanded support systems to increase completion, ongoing enrollment, and employment among student groups who typically struggle to access and succeed in higher education.
EBCAA career pathway training programs include two goals:
- That the student can earn a certificate in 4 to 9 months that makes them employable
within a recognized industry with real and current jobs; and
- That every EBCAA program is aligned with more advanced certifications and degrees that allow the student to continue their education and advance along a career path.
EBCAA Programs include support systems and instructional best practices that help students succeed who otherwise would be statistically unlikely to to attend college or likely to leave early without certification or a degree. Key features of this dynamic and evolving system include:
- Partnerships and Leveraged Resources: EBCAA pathway training programs include expanded partnerships with community resources and the workforce system that leverages Department of Labor, Workforce Investment Act, Community College FTES reimbursements, State Chancellor's Office funding and the expertise of other public and non-profit stakeholders in our communities.
- Contextualized Teaching and Learning (CTL): EBCAA programs all feature contextualized basic skills as part of their foundation. CTL focuses on the development of basic math, English, and digital literacy skills that students need to succeed in their training programs and on the job, with the added bonus of helping them progress towards completion of college level STEM subjects in college.
- Learning Communities and Support Systems: EBCAA programs bring students into learning communities that include regular support and contact with academic counselors, tutoring, and access to additional supportive services that help them stay in college, complete their certificate programs, and persist in education beyond their certificate.
Each of the seven Peralta/CCCCD colleges has created one or more unique training pathways based on their existing CTE programs in industries such as Healthcare, Warehouse Operations, Automotive Repair, Green Construction and Bio-Manufacturing. Collectively, the colleges intend to enroll 700 students per year and they have committed to an open source program development and governance process to improve services every year, institutionalize successful pathways, and build a regional alliances with WIBs, industry, economic development agencies, and local communities to support the broader academy structure beyond the end of grant funding.