Last week, California's Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 66 into law. The bill will improve California’s career and technical education by sharing licensing data to allow for better program evaluation and by streamlining reporting requirements for workforce training programs.
Once California Community College (CCC) students graduate career and technical education programs, it’s difficult to determine if they go on to obtain a license awarded by a third-party. SB 66 would remedy this by requiring the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to share licensing data for career and technical education students with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) for program evaluation. Data to be shared with the CCCCO includes the recipient’s identifying information (such as social security number or taxpayer identification number), the type of license, and the effective date of the license. This data will help CCCCO gauge the success of its programs by seeing whether graduates are prepared to pass licensure exams, and if obtaining the licensure makes a difference in students' employment and earnings. Ultimatly, this information can serve as the basis for program improvements.
In addition, SB 66 reduces reporting burdens for institutions by replacing existing accountability metrics for one workforce development program with the metrics from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).
This bill was created to implement two of the recommendations to close the skills gap made by the CCCCO’s Taskforce on Workforce, Job Creation, and the Economy. The task forces’ recommendations were based on input from over 1,200 stakeholders, including community college staff, employers, labor organizations, and workforce training entities.
SB 66 received near unanimous support, outlining the importance of data to improving our nation’s education and training programs. The bill will take effect January 1, 2017.