Report 2020-104 Recommendations

When an audit is completed and a report is issued, auditees must provide the State Auditor with information regarding their progress in implementing recommendations from our reports at three intervals from the release of the report: 60 days, six months, and one year. Additionally, Senate Bill 1452 (Chapter 452, Statutes of 2006), requires auditees who have not implemented recommendations after one year, to report to us and to the Legislature why they have not implemented them or to state when they intend to implement them. Below, is a listing of each recommendation the State Auditor made in the report referenced and a link to the most recent response from the auditee addressing their progress in implementing the recommendation and the State Auditor's assessment of auditee's response based on our review of the supporting documentation.

Recommendations in Report 2020-104: Calbright College: It Must Take Immediate Corrective Action to Accomplish Its Mission to Provide Underserved Californians With Access to Higher Education (Release Date: May 2021)

Recommendations to Calbright College
Number Recommendation Status

To provide greater accountability regarding its spending and to ensure that it effectively uses the public funds it receives to accomplish the goals for which it was created, Calbright should do the following:

1. By November 2021, incorporate into its implementation plan a spending plan that details how and when it expects to spend the funds the Legislature allocates to it. At a minimum, the spending plan should identify the estimated costs to accomplish the tasks set forth in its implementation plan and a timeline for when it expects to incur those costs. The spending plan should also describe Calbright's strategy for staying within its budget while completing necessary start-up activities and achieving its milestones.

2. Calbright should annually review the spending plan and make adjustments as necessary. It should also annually report to the Board of Governors on its spending to date and explain how its spending has furthered its progress in achieving its mission.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that its hiring process is fair and results in the hiring of well-qualified staff, Calbright should, by November 2021, finalize its development of human resources policies and procedures for recruitment and hiring that comply with state law and regulation.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that it uses state resources responsibly, Calbright should do the following:

1. Immediately commence the process of hiring a procurement director with significant experience in public sector procurement.

2. By July 2021, complete the development of a fully functioning procurement process that aligns with state law, regulations, and to the extent practicable, the State Contracting Manual. That process should include policies and procedures that ensure that all of Calbright's contracts provide clear expectations of the work that contractors will perform. It should further include strong contract management processes for ensuring that contractors perform that work satisfactorily before receiving payment.

3. By August 2021, provide training on relevant laws, policies, and procedures related to procurement to all staff involved in approving or managing contracts.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that the compensation it provides its employees is reasonable, Calbright should establish a pay schedule for all employees by November 2021 that does the following:

1. Includes salary, benefits, and all other forms of compensation.

2. Establishes compensation packages that are comparable to those for similar positions within the community college system.

Fully Implemented

To adequately address its foundational purpose for existing, Calbright should immediately develop a robust implementation plan that aligns with best practices and translates its mission into actionable goals and strategies. It should complete that plan and begin implementing it by November 2021. At a minimum, Calbright should include in its implementation plan all of the following:

1. Its goals, which should include both its goals for completing the setup of the college and its student outcome goals. It should develop its student outcome goals based, at a minimum, on a comparison of the student outcomes for multiple other reasonably comparable educational programs.

2. The major steps necessary to achieve its goals.

3. The estimated resources and specific deliverables that each step will require.

4. The due dates and assigned staff for each deliverable or major step.

5. The criteria it will use for measuring its success and monitoring its progress.

6. A strategy and timeline for ending its reliance on the Foundation.

After completing its implementation plan, Calbright should review the plan at least every six months, and revise and update it as needed to account for major changes relevant to the college's implementation. By July 2022, Calbright should demonstrate that it has made consistent progress in implementing its plan.

To improve its accountability for its actions toward fulfilling its mission, Calbright should annually report to the Legislature its progress related to each step in its implementation plan.

Partially Implemented

To effectively reach and enroll the students the Legislature intended it to serve, Calbright should, by November 2021, do the following:

1. Develop and implement a specific plan for conducting outreach to individuals within its target student population. The plan should reflect its current outreach strategies and long-term goals, including strategies for reaching each group within its target population.

2. Establish methods for measuring whether it has successfully enrolled its target student population. These methods should include collecting and reviewing the information necessary to ensure that it is reaching its target student population, including data on student income level, veteran status, employment status, incarceration history, and reasons for enrolling in Calbright instead of a traditional community college.

By July 2022, Calbright should demonstrate that its efforts have been effective at reaching the population the Legislature intended it to serve.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that it adequately prepares its target student population to obtain positive employment outcomes after graduation, Calbright should, by November 2021, develop and implement a process for selecting and expanding educational programs that will provide value to that population; that process should include the following:

1. Collaboration with employers and industry groups to inform the content of the programs.

2. Consideration of market demand for graduates of such programs.

3. Determination of whether the programs can help its target student population obtain positive employment outcomes including jobs, earning gains, and upward mobility.

4. Available resources for program implementation.

5. An evaluation of student demand for the programs.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that it is fulfilling its mission to help students obtain positive employment outcomes, including jobs in their field of study, earning gains, and upward mobility, Calbright should do the following:

1. By November 2021, develop and implement a specific plan that describes how it will assist its students in acquiring jobs, earning more income, or being upwardly mobile after graduation; the plan should include a path toward securing job placements for its students.

2. By the same date, also establish a method to collect and review data on student use of its career services, employment outcomes following graduation, and employer satisfaction with Calbright's preparation of its students.

3. By July 2022, Calbright should begin demonstrating that it has been successful at assisting its graduates in obtaining positive employment outcomes, including jobs in their field of study, earning gains, and upward mobility.

Fully Implemented

To ensure that it is providing students with the assistance they need to graduate, Calbright should, by November 2021, establish systems to monitor the effectiveness of its student support efforts. Specifically, it should take the following actions:

1. Establish a monitoring system to ensure that it provides each student with the supports it has identified in its student support plan.

2. Conduct an annual survey of enrolled students to assess their satisfaction with its support services and instruction and with their own progress toward their educational goals.

3. Every six months, evaluate the effectiveness of the student support plan, including reviewing data on its provision of support to its students, student progress, and its annual student survey. Following its review, it should adjust the plan as necessary.

4. Include in its annual report to the Board of Governors and the public the results of its annual student survey and the steps it has taken to address student feedback.

Fully Implemented

To assist its students in completing its programs, Calbright should immediately establish an efficient process to recognize previous training and experience and allow students to bypass areas of curriculum in which they have demonstrated competence.

Recommendations to Legislature
Number Recommendation Status

To ensure that Calbright provides educational and economic opportunities to Californians and is accountable for its performance, the Legislature should do the following:

1. Require Calbright to demonstrate substantive compliance with our audit recommendations.

2. Require the California State Auditor (State Auditor) to provide an update to the Legislature by no later than December 2022 about Calbright's progress in implementing those recommendations.

3. Adopt a sunset provision that would eliminate Calbright as an independent community college district if the State Auditor determines that Calbright has not demonstrated substantive compliance with those recommendations by December 2022.

4. If it eliminates Calbright, the Legislature should explore other options for providing competency-based education for California adults who face barriers to traditional postsecondary education.

Legislation Introduced

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