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California Community Colleges Research & Planning GroupThe text of this article was originally published in the September 2014 issue of Perspectives, a monthly enewsletter of the Research & Planning Group for California Community Colleges.


Three California Community Colleges (CCC) projects funded through competitive grants approved in Fall 2013 are moving toward a collective goal of providing sophisticated technology-oriented course access, support and services for student success and completion.

The Online Education Initiative (OEI), Education Planning Initiative (EPI), and Common Assessment Initiative (CAI) have established their respective management teams, stakeholder steering committees and work groups, and are moving forward on work plans outlined in their five-year awards.

Online Education Initiative (OEI) Milestones

The OEI is a $57 million grant to build a comprehensive infrastructure to support online instruction and student services across a five-year time span. The focus is on creating access for high quality online education across the state. The initial focus is on high-demand Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) courses. Major milestones, among many reached to date, include:

  • Transitioned from an initial launch team to hiring of a permanent executive director and several other executive and program-management positions.

  • Selected 24 pilot colleges, from a list of 58 applicants, that have agreed to participate in the first phase, divided into three groups of eight: common course management system launch, student readiness solutions, and tutoring solutions.

  • Created a professional development roadmap, and approved high-quality course design standards and a process for reviewing courses for the pilot.

  • Launched an IdeaScale campaign that provides CCC faculty and staff the opportunity to participate in the development of a Common Course Management System (CCMS) Request for Proposal (RFP).

Education Planning Initiative (EPI) Milestones

The EPI is a $32 million grant to deliver a systemwide portal for student services and education planning that customizes information and activities for individual student needs. Also among numerous achievements, the EPI has thus far reached the following major milestones:

  • Selected 11 pilot colleges from a list of 13 applicants.

  • Created a Student Services Portal Steering Committee and an Educational Planning Tool and Degree Audit System (EPT/DAS) Steering Committee.

  • Published the first of several anticipated RFPs, with the current RFP allocated for purchasing up to $3 million of analysis and software development services to support the development of a student services portal and portlets.

Common Assessment Initiative (CAI) Milestones

The CAI is a $32 million grant to create a unique system for test preparation, test delivery, test administration, data collection and course placement guidance. CAI major milestones, among many to date, include:


  • Selected 12 pilot colleges from a list of 37 applicants.

  • Published a Request for Information (RFI); currently analyzing results for the publication of an RFP.

  • Created three subject-matter work groups in English, Math and ESL to develop recommendations for the assessment competencies that will inform the RFP.

  • Created a fourth work group for Multiple Measures. The RP Group recently presented a white paper, Non-Cognitive Measures in the Assessment of Students' College Readiness and Course Placement, to the Multiple Measures work group. Cal-PASS Plus is able to leverage the CAI Multiple Measures work group with its existing Multiple Measures Assessment Project. The existing Multiple Measures Assessment Project is a joint effort with RP and Cal-PASS Plus and is an expansion of the STEPs Project.

  • Created a new work group for the Test Development Process. This group will provide guidance on alignment to current practice and future requirements as statewide assessment standards are revised.

More information about each initiative is available and regularly updated at their respective websites:

Initiative news is published at CCC TechEDge. Additionally, an electronic newsletter, CCC Technology for Student Success News, features monthly updates on all three initiatives. To subscribe, please click here.

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.