Calbright College president Heather Hiles unveils the school's new logo. The target audience is adults seeking to improve job skills. (Photo by Derek Gordon/Calbright)

Calbright College, California’s new community college aimed at improving the job skills of adults, has formally unveiled its name, logo and website as it starts recruiting students for the first three classes this fall.

The partly online community college in May quietly chose the new name Calbright to evoke brighter futures in California for its students. Its logo, first shown publicly at the launch event, turns the letter “i” in Calbright into a golden map of California with a bright red star above, similar to the red Lone Star on the state flag.

“We spent a lot of time searching and gathering input for a name and logo that provides a sense of aspiration and place, something that Californians could be proud of,” the college’s president and CEO Heather Hiles said at the unveiling in Oakland. She was referring to the brainstorming and polling, with the help of branding company Barretto-Co., that winnowed down the selection from about 100 starting options.

Partnering with industry, the state-funded school is scheduled on Oct. 1 to offer workplace-based training in three tracks at first: cybersecurity, general information technology and medical coding. Officials have not announced yet which companies will participate and where the classes will be held. Instruction will combine online learning and face-to-face training, tailored mainly for adults between the ages of 25 and 34 seeking to improve their skills and earning potential. Students likely won’t be charged tuition in most cases, officials said.

The new website emphasizes that Calbright College wants to work with private firms. A section aimed at hiring managers says that companies can shape training programs for their needs and then spend less time recruiting new employees. “With this model, Calbright learners are mastering the skills they need for the specific job they’re training for and hiring managers are confident that when the hiring process begins, their new employees can hit the ground running,” the website says.

The school also began its campaign to attract students, explaining that it offers nontraditional education.

“Unlike other community colleges, rather than working toward an associate’s degree, our adult learners work toward a job. While many community colleges offer online classes, they are still structured like traditional college courses, with specific requirements and timelines. Calbright is different. Each adult learner can start their program at any time and work around their own schedule, at their own pace,” the website says.

The online community college began as a pet project of former Gov. Jerry Brown and was funded by the Legislature last year in an effort to improve the workforce prospects of 8 million Californians who are underemployed, working multiple part-time jobs or stuck in jobs that don’t pay living wages. The state is giving the new college $100 million for startup costs to be spent over seven years plus $20 million for this year’s operating costs, expected to be renewed annually. Additionally, extra money will be based on enrollment.

Story originally published by EdSource.