SBCC Career Skills Institute Partners with Local Industry to Provide Free Career Advancement Training to Employees and Job Seekers


The growing need for competitive skills in the local and global economy has placed mounting pressure on job seekers, business owners, and employees. The Career Skills Institute at Santa Barbara City College, launched in Fall 2015, is offering over 40 new short courses (8-16 hours each) and over 25 Certificates and “Digital Badges” in the areas of business, design, and technology. As part of an innovative “flipped classroom” model, access to any associated playlist for each course is included in the tuition-free program. Fall courses are still available for enrollment, and Spring Semester registration begins December 13.

“The college takes its role as a training partner in this community very seriously,” said Shelly Dixon, Director of the SBCC Career Skills Institute. “This curriculum has been specifically developed with local business input to meet the needs of our local workforce.”

During its inaugural 2015-2016 academic year, SBCC Career Skills Institute served over 1,800 participants and 20 local employers.

The goal of the Career Skills Institute is to address the growing gap between the skills employers want and need, versus current workplace skills. The classes are provided free of charge to participants, and offer an excellent opportunity for employers to provide professional development to their employees.

“Personal and professional development for our employees is critical in a restricted job market. The Career Skills Institute provides an array of blended learning that help our employees develop new skills to stay engaged and happy,” said Marlana Murdock, Training Manager – Residential Properties, for The Towbes Group, one of the inaugural Career Skills Institute employer partners. “The Badges are a symbol of achievement and celebrated by our company. This builds morale and pride in our employees bringing quality to their work.”

Career Skills Institute Digital Badges are a high-visibility program component: participants earn a Digital Badge upon completion of each Certificate program, which may include from two to four courses taken during a single SBCC semester or over multiple semesters.  Digital Badges can be posted on online profiles such as LinkedIn, websites and resumes, to easily showcase competitive skills to employers. Digital badges can be earned in High Performance Teams, Managing to Maximize Performance, Digital Design Basics, Blogging for Business, and many more.  

Due to the short course schedules, the program easily accommodates employers that would like to train their employees with minimal cost and maximum return on investment.  These courses are meant to be very practical, easily integrated, and to quickly increase an employee’s effectiveness and overall performance.

Most courses feature a flipped classroom concept powered by Students gain access to video playlists carefully selected by their instructors so that class time can be spent solving real-world industry problems using the concepts learned. Students can then draw upon these practical exercises as they interview for jobs and can apply them in their current workplace.

The immersive approach teaches communication, team building, management, innovation, critical thinking, writing, and conflict resolution that can be readily applied to the workplace and that positions the student for greater success and job advancement.


Courses are still open for enrollment through Fall Semester, and registration for Spring Semester begins December 13 for courses available throughout January to May.


Career Skills Institute at Santa Barbara City College

The SBCC Career Skills Institute launched in 2015 to address the growing gap between the skills employers need and want and current workforce skills. The innovative program serves job-seekers, employers and employees with a tuition–free noncredit certificate programs to provide career training for employees and job seekers. Participants can earn certificates and digital badges demonstrating knowledge and skills in over 25 areas of business, design and technology. For more information, visit or call 683-8282.


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