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Tech Center by the Numbers: 24 Years of Systemwide Technology Innovation

April 29, 2021

California Community Colleges Technology Center on the Butte College campusIn the years since its initial grant award in fiscal year 1996-97, the California Community Colleges Technology Center has won numerous competitive, multi-year grants — many of which continue today. In our continuing look at systemwide services “by the numbers,” our focus this month is on the Tech Center and its myriad projects through the years.

The Tech Center is currently funded through three grant awards: The Core Applications Program, the Data Services Program, and the Shared Infrastructure Program. These programs are funded by the California Department of Finance for the centralized statewide technology projects of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.

This funding structure requires competition through a formal grant process administered by the Chancellor’s Office. For the Tech Center grants, this process is administered through the Digital Innovation and Infrastructure Division. Only CCC districts are eligible. Most awards are for five-year periods with an annual review process.

All work executed under these grant agreements represents a collaboration between the CCC Chancellor’s Office and the awardee. At the Tech Center, we are currently in our annual planning phase, which takes into account the needs of colleges statewide as well as the current priorities of the Chancellor’s Office.

The result of this planning phase will be a comprehensive set of work plans that establishes activities for each annual cycle. All activities are subject to the direction and review of the Chancellor’s Office on an ongoing basis.

Key Stats

13 Projects currently managed under Tech Center grants
 
24 Years of Tech Center operations at Butte College
 
$9.2 million Funding for CAP grant, FY 2020-21
 
$2.8 million Funding for DSP grant, FY 2020-21
 
$9.45 million Funding for SIP grant, FY 2020-21

 

Tech Center Origin

In FY 1996-97, language in the California Budget Act directed the CCC Chancellor’s Office to fund and coordinate the development of technologies and standards that could be leveraged systemwide to maximize investment.

A profusion of competitive technology grants soon followed — including a $2.5 million grant awarded to Butte College in 1997 to connect every community college to the California State University’s internet.

That award spurred the creation of the CCC Technology Center at Butte — and the project, known as 4CNet, was the forerunner of the Corporation for Educational Network Initiatives in California (CENIC), which remains a key project of the Tech Center.

Projects Through the Years

1997 California Virtual University launched as a $6 million effort to tie together the distance education (DE) offerings of all statewide higher education systems. In 1999 under the auspices of the Tech Center, the renamed California Virtual Campus published an online catalog of DE courses available at community colleges. In 2018, CVC merged with the Online Education Initiative grant and today operates as CVC.edu.
 
2001 4CNet expanded to form CENIC and create a high-speed, high-capacity network backbone known as CalREN to support California’s higher education academic and research communities.
 
2001 Tech Center led the effort to develop a common application for admission, known as CCCApply, now accepted by all 116 California community colleges.
 
2007 CCCTran (now eTranscript California) began transmitting electronic transcripts between community colleges, and from community colleges to California State University campuses.
 
2007-2013 In 2007, the national economy crumbled and the Great Recession began. In 2008, the economic collapse came to roost in California and all state-funded organizations endured significant budget cuts. This six-year period focused on sustaining the Tech Center through this challenging time.
 
2013 Tech Center was awarded three five-year systemwide technology grants: the Common Assessment Initiative, Education Planning Initiative, and Online Education Initiative. These later evolved into the Mulitple Measures Placement Service, CCC MyPath, and CVC.
 
2013 The Information Security Center launched at the Tech Center.
 
2015 The Accessibility Center launched at the Tech Center.
 
2018 Tech Center was awarded three five-year systemwide technology grants totalling more than $21 million annually:
  • The Core Applications Program includes CCCApply, CCC MyPath, Chancellor’s Office Curriculum Inventory (COCI), C-ID, eTranscript California, NOVA, and SuperGlue.
  • The Data Services Program includes CCC Data (composed of the CCC Data Lake, CCC Data Warehouse, and Data Warehouse Report Server) and Master Data Management.
  • The Shared Infrastructure Program is responsible for systemwide technology services including the CCC Accessibility Center, CCC Information Security Center, CENIC, and OpenCCC.

 

 

Photo by David Shippen, Director of Operations, CCC Technology Center