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cai impgrants t4ss031016To facilitate systemwide implementation of the California Community Colleges (CCC) Common Assessment Initiative (CAI), grants will soon be available to all 113 colleges, announced Jennifer Coleman, Statewide Director of the CAI.

“The Common Assessment Implementation Grant is flexible and the application is easy to complete,” Coleman said. “Colleges know what they need at the local level to prepare their campuses to rollout CCCAssess, so the funding can be used in a variety of ways.”

Application Process

The details of the application and grant award process are being finalized. More information will be available soon.

The application process is straightforward, according to Coleman. “Just download and complete the voucher and application, that will soon be available on the CAI website at,” she said. “To expedite the process, an electronic-signature system will be used. Then a check will be issued within three to six weeks.”

Reporting requirements are minimal. Within 90 days of receiving the check, the local CAI Implementation Team will complete a brief form indicating in which budget categories it expects to use the funds, and the college implementation timeline.

Julie Lampson, CAI Implementation Grant Project ManagerPersonalized Assistance

CAI has hired a new project team member, Julie Lampson, Implementation Grant Project Manager. Lampson will be available to help local college implementation teams apply for funding as well as track applications and payments. Lampson has extensive project management experience, primarily in the construction industry.

“My job is to make getting grants as easy as possible for the college implementation teams,” said Lampson. “I’m here to answer questions, assist with using the electronic-signature system and help colleges through every step.” Lampson can be reached by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 530-212-0134.

Use Of Funds

The CAI Implementation Grant can support colleges to:

  • Provide a stipend for faculty who will be establishing local placement models
  • Pay for additional non-salary instructional support
  • Upgrade technology in the assessment center
  • Arrange training sessions
  • Communicate with students
  • Purchase supplies required for alternative testing processes
  • Support anything else that is required to develop an implementation plan and put it into action

Grant Objective

Coleman believes that the CAI Implementation Grant program will enable campuses to enhance their internal assessment processes.

“The goal of the CAI Implementation Grant is to provide resources to ease the common assessment implementation process for colleges,” Coleman said. “With the planning that is being done now, CCCAssess will be in place throughout our community college system for the benefit of students by 2018.”

The CAI is expected to increase student success with the new assessment system that has been custom designed for the CCC and is currently being piloted by 12 colleges.

“Portability, consistency, ease of use and data-rich reports will help students move faster through college,” Coleman said. “By eliminating duplicative efforts, because retesting won’t be necessary when a student attends more than one college, CCCAssess will cut administrative time as well. Working with the Academic Senate for CCC, faculty representatives and industry experts, CCCAssess has been designed to be a beneficial part of students’ educational experience.”

Professional Development

In addition to offering implementation grants, the CAI is arranging regional professional development sessions. All members of college implementation teams are encouraged to attend—including English, ESL, math, reading and counseling faculty, researchers, Assessment Center staff and coordinators, IT personnel and administrators.

Upcoming sessions include:

  • Friday, April 15 – Sheraton San Jose Hotel, Milpitas (Register here)
  • June – San Diego
  • July – Location to be determined

Other resources and information are available on the Common Assessment Initiative website at

Karen Fraser-Middleton is a marketing consultant with the California Community Colleges Common Assessment Initiative