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Matt Combs presents at the CCC Education Planning Initiative Steering Committee meeting in Sacramento.Steering committees of the California Community Colleges (CCC) Education Planning Initiative (EPI) recently met to discuss the release of a Request for Proposal (RFP) and the development of additional RFPs that fit within the initiative’s goals.


The current RFP outlines that sealed proposals will be received electronically at the office of the CCC Technology Center, Butte-Glenn Community College District, until 2 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time on Oct. 1. Its primary goal is to secure a contract that will enable the CCC Technology Center to purchase up to $3 million of analysis and software development services to support the development of a student services portal and portlets within the 2014 to 2017 time frame (Please see for more information).

The Importance of Portlets

Susan Carey creates a user story at the EPI's Student Services Portal Steering Committee meeting.Portlets are applications that are hosted within a portal, and the EPI has plans to develop a good number of these. While all the portlets have yet to be fully determined, some examples include portlets to help students find and take advantage of academic tutoring services, career planning services or scholarships, all of which are geared toward keeping students on a solid track toward success and completion. A partial list of planned portlets is posted on the EPI website at

Some of the EPI’s future RFPs will address the need for additional vendor products and services related to developing such portlets.

Project Management Specialist Coaches Work Groups

In the spirit of creating highly effective RFPs, the Sacramento gathering of the EPI’s Educational Planning Tool and Degree Audit System (EPT/DAS) and Student Services Portal steering committees hosted Chico-based David Shippen, MPA, PMP, Project Management Coach and IT Consultant, who gave a presentation on application-development and requirement-gathering techniques. Shippen’s expertise was well received as he assisted the EPI work groups in coached sessions that covered such areas as conducting meaningful discussions, facilitating user stories and use cases, and prioritizing application development for the further advancement of the EPI’s requirements and processes for additional RFPs.

“Our work groups did a phenomenal job and we are moving forward with additional meetings within both steering committees as they write more user stories and use cases to produce the requirements needed for solid RFPs,” said EPI Project Manager Robyn Tornay.

Sandoval Chagoya is the TechEDge Executive Editor, Director of Outreach and Communications for the Online Education Initiative, and a Project Manager for the
California Community Colleges Technology Center and the California Virtual Campus.