Skip to Main Content

orientation t4ss031016The California Community Colleges (CCC) Education Planning Initiative (EPI) hosted a webinar on Feb. 23 that provided an overview of the Online Orientation content which will be offered across the community college system.

Since the EPI launched its webinar series last fall with an overview of the initiative and a report from the pilot colleges utilizing Starfish by Hobsons software, the webinars have continued to provide valuable information to CCC administrators, staff and faculty. The recent Online Orientation session featured several important details regarding the Online Orientation content.

Online Orientation Webinar Overview

The Online Orientation Webinar featured several speakers representing the work group that has come together to design the content. Participants included:

  • Rick Snodgrass, Operations Manager for the CCC Technology Center
  • Angela Baucom, a Product Manager for the CCC Technology Center
  • Cynthia Rico, a counselor at San Diego Mesa College and Chair of the EPI Student Services Portal Steering Committee
  • Dave Dillon, a counselor at Grossmont College and EPI Online Orientation Work Group Lead
  • Stephanie Dumont, a counselor at Golden West College and Co-Chair of the EPI Student Services Portal Steering Committee
  • Ryen Hirata, Interim Dean of Students at Clovis Community College

Each speaker discussed a portion of the presentation, which began with an explanation of the purpose of creating the Online Orientation content. Cynthia Rico shared an image from EPI’s promotional handout, explaining how Online Orientation fit into the EPI’s goals of being student-focused and student-driven.

CCC Education Planning Initiative Student Services and Degree PlanningFollowing Rico, Angela Baucom provided a high-level overview of the product’s characteristics. For example, the Online Orientation content will be configurable by individual colleges and shareable across the CCC, which allows it to be a low-cost solution for institutions.

Dave Dillon then provided an explanation of why the work group decided to create its own content for distribution. He also provided further details about EPI’s purpose in offering orientation content, such as the content being required for Student Success and Support Program (SSSP) funding. Ryen Hirata and Stephanie Dumont followed Dillon with an in-depth look at the content provided by EPI. They offered a look at how the content was created, what would be included in Phase One, and showcased a sample of the content that was created.

Sample of Online Orientation Content, CCC Education Planning InitiativeBaucom returned to discuss the delivery of the Online Orientation tool. She highlighted that, in addition to the content being built according to the specifications of the work group, it was designed with expert input from multiple disciplines. Dillon provided some information regarding the local IT requirements, which are currently being refined as part of the pilot process with the participating colleges. He concluded the formal presentation with a look at the implementation timeline, encouraging interested individuals to check EPI’s website at for updates regarding the Online Orientation content.

Title IX Requirements

Once the formal presentation concluded, the floor was opened for participants to ask questions. Of particular interest was whether the Online Orientation content would include information supporting Title IX requirements. Title IX is a federal statute which prohibits “discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance,” according to the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights. Stephanie Dumont stated that content has been created to fulfill both the Title IX and Violence Against Women Act requirements. This is first phase content and will be available as part of the initial release.

Post-Presentation Activities

EPI has posted a recording of this webinar on its website. The 30-minute presentation is located in the EPI Webinars portion of the site.

For information regarding the importance of orientation, please visit the CCC Chancellor’s Office’s Step:Forward campaign at This website not only provides information and resources regarding orientation but also priority registration, assessment and education planning.

To learn more about the CCC Education Planning Initiative, including information about upcoming webinars, please visit the initiative website at

David Quintanilla is a project team member of the California Community Colleges Education Planning Initiative