California’s newest two-year institution — the online-only Calbright College — opens on Tuesday and for the first time, and students will be able to register and enroll in programs that are intended to serve an entirely new adult and underemployed population.

The new college was created to enroll so-called “stranded” Californians who are underemployed, working multiple part-time jobs or stuck in jobs that don’t pay living wages. The California Community Colleges system estimates about 8 million adults, between 25 and 34, fall into this category.

Expectations are high for the new college. But Eloy Ortiz Oakley, chancellor of the state’s 115 community colleges, said the institution should be given ample time to get underway and to fully understand the students it will serve.

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