California Focuses on Enhancing Online Learning at Community Colleges with New Grant Initiative


Nearly 8.7 million Californians between the ages of 25-65 have a high school diploma but no additional postsecondary degree. As a result, these individuals are missing out on important career opportunities that could increase wages and social mobility.

To combat this issue, the California legislature passed a few bills to provide more access to online educational programs that focus on increasing employability and the achievement of industry-valued credentials. Out of these initiatives, the California Virtual Campus – Online Education Initiative (CVC-OEI) Improving Online CTE Pathways grant was created.

Providing funding to community colleges, the grant is designed to help develop online programs that support:

> The attainment of short-term, industry-valued credentials


> Students who want to continue their education in a career pathway at an existing community college

How much money can schools earn through this grant opportunity?

The size of the grant depends on the project it’s supporting. Grants will range from tens of thousands of dollars up to $500,000 per college or district. Individual colleges or groups of colleges in partnership can apply for this grant opportunity.

To qualify, the projects must be implemented within one year and lead to lasting institutional innovation. Foothill-De Anza Community College will serve as the fiscal agent for the CVC-OEI and administer all grants.

READ MORE: A comprehensive list of grants for STEM and technology instructors

What kinds of proposals are accepted for this grant opportunity?

The CVC-OEI Improving Online CTE Pathways grant accepts proposals that fall within one of the following approved objectives:

  1. Improve access to and quality of online programs. Track 1 focuses not just on creating new online programs but also on supporting the expansion of existing programs. The goal is to increase the ability of Californians to participate in online CTE-oriented programs and certifications. This grant supports schools’ ability to improve the quality, accessibility, and equity of their offerings.
  2. Increase the number of online programs that meet workforce needs. Track 2 seeks to close any gaps in existing programs, from filling in missing content to leveraging industry partnerships, expanding online programs, and encouraging collaboration between colleges.
  3. Help students, faculty, and staff by offering targeted support structures. Track 3 emphasizes the importance of creating and expanding online programs that support students who need them most. This can be accomplished by expanding programs through partnerships with other California Community Colleges or creating pilot tools that help students track their progress on academic pathways.

READ MORE: STEM and Tech grants for California teachers

How do you apply for the CVC-OEI Improving Online CTE Pathways grant?

The application process for the CVC-OEI Improving Online CTE Pathways grant is in two phases.

  1. February – June Phase One: Grant Planning and Preparation.
  2. July – June Phase Two: Grant Implementation.

If you missed these deadlines, continue checking in with the program for more information. Or, reach out to the primary contact: Justin Schultz, Director, Planning & Grants Administration, 650.949.7939,

Additional resources

For more information about this grant program, here are a few links to investigate:

Kelly Mantick
About the Author

SolidProfessor academic content writer and amateur hula hooper