SBCC School of Extended Learning Launches the Career Recovery Initiative for Recently Unemployed Amid COVID-19

California approved certificates offered in healthcare, construction and landscaping vocations, and essential skill-building certificates in business and computers

On the central coast, employees in many of the region’s industries are at risk of, or already losing, their jobs or small businesses. SBCC School of Extended Learning is partnering with the Workforce Development Board to help drive our region’s recovery. Extended Learning’s new Career Recovery Initiative includes expansion of six key pathways for career training and skills classes available immediately and during the upcoming Summer and Fall Semesters.

“The current COVID-19 health emergency is having immediate effects on our local economy and workforce,” said Dr. Utpal K. Goswami, Superintendent/President of Santa Barbara City College. “Community Colleges, and Santa Barbara City College, are uniquely positioned and ready to collaborate with regional partners to meet emerging needs.”

“Our community can depend on the entire Extended Learning team,” said Dr. Melissa V. Moreno, Vice President, School of Extended Learning. “We are committed to each student’s success as we create opportunities and use new live online instructional tools to navigate this unprecedented time together.”

“The Workforce Development Board is pleased to partner with SBCC School of Extended Learning to bring these valuable courses to the public during this time of crisis when many of us are working from home or staying at home,” said Raymond McDonald, Executive Director of the Santa Barbara County Workforce Development Board. “As we look to the future, we will be using online training  more and more as a way to continuously learn and improve our skills on the job and also our job seeking and keeping tools.”

Extended Learning is expanding with an immediate ramping up of tuition-free courses scheduled for the Summer and Fall Semesters in these areas:

  1. Green Gardener Program: This regional program trains gardeners in resource-efficient landscaping practices within Santa Barbara County, including a listing on the County of Santa Barbara’s website. Accelerated badge offered Summer I with new badge scheduled for Summer II.
  2. Construction Technology Program: Introduction to residential construction includes courses in framing, finish carpentry, electrical and plumbing, leading to Certificate and preparation for credit Construction Technology program. The construction badge can be completed with three courses offered in Summer I and a fourth course offered in Summer II, including additional course sections to expand capacity.
  3. Personal Care Attendant (PCA) Program: Personal Care Attendants are in demand and may serve as an entry point into the growing Healthcare field. A PCA is a key member of a patient’s home personal care and health care team. Both courses required for the PCA certificate will be offered in Fall.
  4. Computer Skills Certificates: All four of Career Skills Institute’s Basic Office Software Skills classes will be offered this summer and will prepare students for intermediate and advanced classes in the fall. During Summer I and II session, two other popular technology badges will be offered: Social Media and Digital Design Basics.
  5. Professional Development (“Employability Skills”) Certificates: This summer 12 certificates will be offered including: Customer Relations (Summer I), Career Strategist (Summer I and II), Project Management (Summer I), Thrive and Survive (Summer II), Workplace Essentials (Summer I and II).
  6. Elementary and Secondary Basic Skills: For community members facing layoffs, there is no better time to finally complete a minimum job requirement: their high school diploma or equivalency. Or, learn survival English for the workplace. Extended Learning’s tuition-free Adult High School/GED program and English as Second Language programs provide a welcoming and safe environment for basic skills learners.

These certificates align with the sustainable local career pathways identified in Extended Learning’s 2019 Economic and Workforce Gap Analysis for Adult Education Students*. Needs identified in the SBCC region include sales and customer support, project management and supervision, healthcare, and construction. The School of Extended Learning is well-poised to provide these valuable educational opportunities for new or transitioning job seekers in our area.

*BW Research Inc. report contracted by the Santa Barbara City College, School of Extended Learning (SEL) and the local Strong Workforce Program.

Summer registration opens April 20. It is strongly recommended to complete the application process in advance, online at

“With new online instruction, everyone stays connected during the social-distancing order. We will continue to serve as the hub of education for our diverse adult community – uninterrupted – as we have for over a hundred years,” said Moreno. “At a time when our close-knit community is feeling isolated, we have adopted easy-to-use online tools to enable continuity of instruction in career skills and personal learning. We are enabling much-needed social connecting through live videoconferencing”.

This year, Extended Learning is serving over 6,500 local adults with career skills and life enrichment classes in Adult High School/GED, Bilingual GED, Bilingual Computer Skills, Career Skills, Noncredit ESL, Health and Safety, Home Economics, Older Adults, and Parenting.

The Career Recovery Initiative includes programs supported in part by The Santa Barbara Adult Education Consortium (SBAEC). Through funding, the Consortium supports Extended Learning educational programs and community partner programs that meet the goals of California Adult Education Programs.

COVID-19 Information

Santa Barbara City College is coordinating with the County Department of Public Health to provide ongoing information and guidance. At this time, all credit and noncredit instruction has been moved online. For the latest campus updates, visit

About the SBCC School of Extended Learning

The School of Extended Learning responds to the diverse learning needs of the adult population in the Santa Barbara community by advancing career and life skills, and building bridges to credit. For more information, visit

Leave a Reply