UCOP Awards $2.9 Million to UCLA Extension to Fund Career Bridge for Professional Training Outreach to Diverse Communities

  • Grant Provides Access to Certificates by Removing Financial Barriers for Tuition and Fees

UCLA Extension, a national leader in comprehensive continuing and professional education programs, announced the “UCLAxCareerBridge” Initiative to provide adults from underrepresented and underserved communities with low- or no-cost access to professional certificates.

The grant provides access to university approved programs at UCLA Extension in three areas of high-need and career growth: Substance Abuse Counseling, Data Science, and Early Childhood Education. The $2.9 million grant to UCLA Extension by the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) is part of the State Budget Act of 2019, appropriating $15 million in one-time funding for the University to “develop or expand degree and certificate completion programs at the University of California (UC) extension centers.”

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“UCLA Extension’s mission and 100-year history are about providing opportunities for advancement and empowering individuals. Now, through UCLAxCareerBridge, our open enrollment program can further support adults seeking a rewarding career but who lack the financial resources to do so,” said Eric A. Bullard, Dean of Continuing Education and UCLA Extension. “Working in concert with our important community partners, we will welcome the first group of deserving adults into UCLA Extension through our new initiative this fall.” The five-year grant supports more than 300 students who can earn a certificate in one year. In addition, the program covers fees, books, graduation ceremony, and job readiness and career services.

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UCLAxCareerBridge at UCLA Extension is among the latest efforts to further expand diversity, equity, and inclusion. To foster and serve a more diverse student body from under-represented communities, UCLA Extension is partnering with community-based organizations to help recruit and identify students who are interested in pursuing an identified professional certificate, meet the minimum criteria, and have demonstrated financial need. Our partner organizations include: Child360, Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic (LIJC), PUENTE Learning Center, South Bay Workforce Investment Board (SBWIB), United American Indian Involvement, Inc. (UAII) and Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation (VSEDC), among other community nonprofit groups.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the projected job growth for substance abuse counselors is 23 percent from 2020 to 2030. The number of data scientist jobs is expected to grow by 28 percent through 2026, according to the BLS. Early childhood assistant teacher jobs are expected to grow by 18 percent through 2030.

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