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Skyline College, photo courtesy of CCC Chancellor's OfficeThough the school year is ending, the California Community Colleges (CCC) Education Planning Initiative (EPI) is not slowing down. With many projects moving into new development phases, communication with stakeholders remains a priority.

Each new phase brings new challenges as well as exciting developments. In order to provide as much information as possible on these updates, the EPI has undergone a revamp of its primary source of communication, the EPI website. The site, CCCEdPlan.org, contains several enhancements, which will allow visitors to learn more about EPI’s tools and services.

EPI Areas Of Need

One of the EPI’s primary goals is the effective management of solutions. This includes several areas of need, which are:

Governance
To ensure that stakeholders have ownership, rather than the project team, it is essential that governance committees with diverse membership be established and well run, with meetings and decisions documented for the sake of transparency.

Expertise
When appropriate, experts should be consulted so as to not flounder or “reinvent the wheel” when approaching problems.

Collaboration
Collaboration is essential as many of the systemwide grant projects may be working on similar problems and that work may be shared to reduce the burden and expense for all.

Standards
Standards, especially in the technology domain, allow systems to interoperate and produce uniform results, which is an essential need of this project.

Processes
Tried and true processes, such as a formal Request For Proposal (RFP) and the Agile software development methodology, ensure quality throughout the program and should be used whenever possible.

Metrics
"You can't manage what you can't measure" is an old axiom, but very true. It is essential that measurable outcomes and metrics be “baked in” throughout the EPI program, its projects and systems. Metrics are also essential to guiding future improvement of the solutions.

Continuous Improvement
Given that change is constant, it is important to continuously analyze the program and adjust or pivot when necessary to retain value and remain relevant.

Transparency
In order to be effective in operating within our system, share research and new concepts, and be receptive to feedback, it is necessary to make available and publish all materials and findings associated with the program.

Transparency As A Goal

It is this last area of need—transparency—that prompted the redesign of the EPI website. According to Jon Fanucchi, EPI Project Manager, who oversaw the redesign, the prior website “was looking long in the tooth and difficult to navigate as the complexity of the overall initiative grew. In order to maintain clarity and provide information to the public, we thought it was essential to revamp the entire website with a much more modern feel and navigation.” This revamp has streamlined CCCEdPlan.org in order to make EPI information more accessible to stakeholders and other interested parties.

New Features, Upcoming Enhancements

Several features have been added to the website, which will allow visitors to find their desired content more easily. For example, a carousel was added to the homepage, which now scrolls through the most recent and important updates. Drop-down menus have been added to each page overview.

According to Fanucchi, “the drop-down menus finally give us some flexibility in showcasing the sheer number of things we are currently working on.”

Finally, embedded maps have been added to the Governance and Steering Committee pages found under the "About" section. The maps show geographic locations of the colleges involved in the initiative, which visually represent the far reach of EPI.

Upcoming Changes

As the EPI continues to grow and move toward its goals, CCCEdPlan.org will also continue to grow and expand. For example, all EPI Webinars are now housed on their own page, located under “Resource Kit”. In addition, as professional development resources are made available, these will also have their own page.

When asked about any additional enhancements, Fanucchi responded: “There are several important enhancements on the horizon. While I am hesitant to share exactly what we have brewing, let's just say that we will be continually making important improvements and everyone should be checking back frequently to see what's new!”

We strongly encourage everyone to visit the new CCCEdPlan.org.


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