REEDLEY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — Reedley College was awarded a $500,000 grant aimed at building online career education classes.

Reedley College says they were awarded the grant to develop and strengthen career education programs that can be completed online.

Awards were made through the Improving Online CTE (Career Technical Education) Pathways grant program developed by the California Community Colleges’ California Virtual Campus – Online Education Initiative (CVC-OEI).

The one-time funding for the grants, $35 million, came via the 2018-2019 state budget, according to Reedley College.

“This project will help to develop online CTE certificates in Agriculture Business, Information Systems, Animal Science, and Criminology,” said Reedley College CTE Pathways Coordinator Darnell Harris.

The CVC-OEI’S says their primary focus is to increase the number of transfer degrees awarded by the state’s community colleges and to increase access to and success in high-quality, online programs and student support services.

“This grant is a huge boost for our campus,” said Reedley College President Dr. Jerry Buckley, “To be able to offer online CTE courses with zero textbook costs is a win-win for our students. It gives them more options with their schedules and allows us to improve our online resources as they enter the workforce.”

One-third of students in the California Community Colleges system now take at least one class online, according to Reedley College.

A total of $27.5 million in grants were awarded to 70 community colleges.