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EPI team presents at Student Senate for CCC Fall 2014 General Assembly.What happened to November? Since our last update, there have been a number of positive developments in the California Community Colleges (CCC) Education Planning Initiative (EPI).

 

We’ve had two IdeaScale campaigns simultaneously running—one for faculty and staff members and one for students; we presented our project at six workshop/conference venues; we held meetings for our steering committees; brought our software developer Unicon up to speed with where we are right now; and have begun writing another Request for Proposal (RFP).

It seems like the entire month just flew by. Now we are heading into December with a flurry of activity, and 2015 is approaching rapidly. Time definitely doesn’t stand still.

At our most recent Education Planning Initiative Steering Committee (EPISC) meeting, discussion was centered on three main reasons why we do what we do within EPI.

1. Respond To Legislation - SB1456 calls for students to complete orientation, assessment and to develop student education plans. In response to the legislation, EPI is looking to provide technology to help students gain access to information and get a head start on goal planning prior to meeting with a counselor on campus. This technology will not only enable students to better prepare for individualized meetings, but will also increase counselors’ ability to identify and track students who may be at risk or may be least likely to persist. By providing technological tools for students, staff and faculty, EPI will be able to increase the number of students being reached by addressing some of the underlying concerns ahead of time.

Education planning is only the tip of the iceberg. California legislation has outlined that technology also needs to leverage transcripts and matriculation-based tools. EPI is assisting the system further with a degree audit system, student portal and eTranscripts California. The planning and processing of these systems are moving forward, and with the procurement of the Unicon software development contract for a systemwide student services portal (SSSP), we look to make some strides in the near future.

2. Student Focused, First And Foremost - The EPI has set out to tie more resources together for students in a comprehensive, structured environment. The SSSP will be presented as a user-friendly, student-oriented tool. It will be designed for students with services and resources to help them achieve their educational goals. Some activities our project is looking to emphasize are:

  • Career exploration tools
  • Financial aid information
  • Transcript ordering

This is only a sample of the many project areas we are developing and looking into expanding for students. For further information on services and resources we are looking at bringing together via the portal, go to http://cccedplan.org/structured-pathways.

3. Low/No-Cost Solution For Colleges - We’ve been asked why we are doing these projects, with SSSP funding being used by colleges for similar projects. Our answer is simple: We care about our students as much as you do. We want them to have a customized experience that will meet their needs and proactively follow up with them through completion of activities to keep them on track toward their goals. We value our student’s growth and want them to succeed in our colleges, and we are creating these products not only for the students but also for the colleges as a low cost/no cost solution.

Ideas, Ideas And More Ideas

We want to thank everyone who has participated in our Faculty and Staff IdeaScale campaign. Your ideas and comments are important and will help us with future RFPs and current requirement development activities. Again, thank you for all you do at your colleges, and for your well-thought-out participation in our campaign.


Robyn Tornay is a project manager for Education Planning and Student Services at the
California Community Colleges Technology Center.