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Tech Center Product Highlights, Q2 2020-21

December 17, 2020

artificial intelligence conceptFall has been a busy season for product development at the California Community Colleges Technology Center. Even as internally approved FY 2020-21 roadmaps are awaiting feedback from executive sponsors at the Chancellor’s Office, a number of significant releases have recently taken place or are imminent.

Detailed Q3 plans were presented internally on Dec. 15, too late to be included in this publication. However, activities during Q2 largely set the stage for things to come.

Listserv by the Numbers

December 17, 2020

email conceptContinuing our look at the products and services of the California Community Colleges Technology Center “by the numbers,” our December focus is on the Tech Center Listserv server.

The Tech Center has administered a Listserv server on behalf of the California Community Colleges (CCC) since 2004 and the service has seen substantial growth in the last four years.

CISOA Summit Goes Virtual for 2021

December 17, 2020

Glue Update session from CISOA 2019 conferenceFor the first time in the 20-year history of the California Community Colleges Chief Information Systems Officers Association, the annual CISOA conference will go completely virtual in 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2021 CISOA Virtual Technology Summit will take place over four full days from Feb. 8 through Feb. 11. The event is the premier, annual gathering of information technology professionals systemwide, and the best opportunity each year for the CCC Technology Center to meet face-to-face with its primary audience of IT leadership, IT staff, and college administrators from community colleges and districts throughout the state.

Winter and Holiday Fun at the Tech Center

December 17, 2020

Back to the Future memeUsually around this time of year we are celebrating being with our families, carrying on generations-old traditions (or starting new ones!), looking forward to a well-deserved break, and ringing in the new year. While much of that is true this December, we are still dealing with the pandemic and many will not be spending time with their loved ones or partaking in traditional activities as in years past.

Remembering the 2018 Camp Fire

November 19, 2020

Butte Strong Tree plaqueIt hardly seems like two years have passed since the Camp Fire raged through the foothills of Butte County, leveling the towns of Paradise and Concow and burning parts of several other communities.

Everyone within the Butte College community was in some way affected by the devastating wildfire that broke out on Nov. 8, 2018 — some far more than others. By the time the Camp Fire was extinguished by a soaking rain that arrived on Thanksgiving, the blaze had burned almost 240 sq. miles, destroyed 18,804 structures, and killed 85 people.

Student Success Suite by the Numbers

November 19, 2020

College students walk to classAs we go about our daily work for the California Community Colleges Technology Center, it can be challenging to remember the impact that our work is having on college students throughout our state.

This story introduces some of the student usage numbers being tracked for the Student Success Suite. The Student Success Suite is a collection of application, onboarding, and engagement tools designed to support students as they begin their academic pathways within the California Community Colleges (CCC).

CCC Data Warehouse Report Server in Use at 95 Colleges

November 19, 2020

Statistical analysis conceptSince releasing the Data Warehouse Report Server to College Researchers, 95 California community colleges have been provided access.

The Enabling Services team of the California Community Colleges Technology Center is continuing to reach out to the remaining colleges to provide credentials.

Winter IT Workshops Go Online in January

November 19, 2020

College professional working online at homeAs 2020 winds down, preparations are well underway for the 2021 Winter Workshops, being presented in January by the CCC Information Security Center and CCC Accessibility Center.

Registration is open for the two-day event taking place on Monday, January 11, and Tuesday, January 12. With roughly eight weeks left to promote the workshops, interest is strong statewide and registration numbers have already surpassed previous Winter Workshop totals.

CENIC Offers Protection from DDoS Attacks

November 19, 2020

Distributed denial of service attack concept illustrationA shift toward remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic has created greater opportunities for cybercriminals to exploit weaknesses in information security defenses. The education sector, with its diverse group of users, is especially vulnerable, and is already experiencing a dramatic increase in ransomware and phishing attacks.

All Things Autumn

November 19, 2020

Autumn slide showWhen does it finally feel like autumn to you? The chill in the air on a crisp, cool night; the smell of homemade soup simmering on the stove; or the vibrant colors of leaves covering the trees?

Whatever gives you the sense that the seasons are finally changing, one thing is for certain during these uncertain times: There is no shortage of (safe) fall activities and beauty if you know where to look.

White Paper Seeks to Demystify Project SuperGlue

October 23, 2020

Cloud computing conceptSuperGlue is one of the most important but least understood projects of the California Community Colleges Technology Center. Known as an “integration architecture,” SuperGlue runs behind the scenes to support the many different systems our colleges use to serve their students. Yet what this involves, exactly, is not easily described in a few words.

Webinar Tackles Ransomware Dangers, Defenses

October 23, 2020

Digital warning symbolThe California Community Colleges (CCC) Information Security Center is playing a central role in how the system deals with an increasingly common form of cyber attack known as ransomware.

In a collaboration with the Chancellor’s Office, the Information Security Center team — led by Aamir Khan, Chief Information Security Office for the CCC Technology Center — will host a ransomware-defense webinar on Wednesday, October 28, starting at noon. The webinar will feature a review of the current methods of ransomware attack and the best practices that can be used by colleges to defend against such attacks.

FY 2020-21 Project Initiation Processes Underway

October 23, 2020

Runner jumps off the starting blockProject initiation processes for the 2020-21 fiscal year are underway at the California Community Colleges (CCC) Technology Center.

All FY 2020-21 Work Plans have now been agreed to by the Tech Center and Chancellor’s Office, covering projects under the Shared Infrastructure Program (SIP), Core Applications Project (CAP), and Data Systems Platform (DSP) grants. This year's work plans focus largely on maintenance, stability, and quality of Tech Center products.

CCC Launches Finish Line Scholars Program

October 23, 2020

College graduates throw caps in the airA philanthropic gift of $100 million dollars to the Foundation for California Community Colleges (CCC) will provide scholarships and emergency assistance to students struggling to stay enrolled during the current health and economic crisis, the CCC Chancellor’s Office announced.

COVID Keeps Colleges in Virtual Mode Through Spring 2021

October 23, 2020

College student wears mask on campusSeven months after Governor Gavin Newsom issued a stay-at-home order for Californians in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, public higher education systems statewide continue to operate under a mostly remote model through the fall term and beyond.

What I Did Over the Summer

October 23, 2020

stay-cation memeDuring this unprecedented year we have had to make changes — A LOT of changes — to our everyday lives. While annual summer vacations have essentially been put on hold for the time being, many of us have found a way to take a mini-vacation to break up the monotony. Others have taken on small projects that kept them from going insane (anyone else “Marie Kondo” their home?)

CCC Data Wins Best of California Award

September 25, 2020

Best of California Awards 2020, image courtesy of Government Technology MagazineA big round of applause goes to the California Community Colleges (CCC) Data project, winner of the 2020 Best of California Award for “Best Application Serving an Agency’s Business Needs.”

Tech Center Product Adoptions Continue at a Steady Pace

September 25, 2020

MyPath adoption 09.21Systemwide products developed by the California Community Colleges Technology Center are notching strong adoption numbers as colleges throughout the state seek to improve student outcomes and institutional performance through shared applications and data.

Tech Center Student Success Suite Q2 2020-21 Project Roadmap

September 25, 2020

Open road leading to blue skyAs September winds down and we prepare to head into the second quarter, development of project roadmaps and release plans is in full swing at the California Community Colleges (CCC) Technology Center.

We wanted to share a glimpse of this process by focusing on the current roadmap and planning status for the Tech Center’s Student Success Suite.

Document Accessibility Tool Available Through CCC Accessibility Center

September 25, 2020

CCC Document Converter, a tool provided by the California Community Colleges Accessibility CenterWhen creating or sharing digital files in the course of our daily work, accessibility isn’t always top of mind. But if the materials are intended to be accessed publicly — whether committee documents, product documentation, presentation slides, videos, or other media — it is our legal obligation to ensure the information meets state and federal requirements related to accessibility for individuals with disabilities.

Chancellor’s Office Webinars Highlight Tools for Colleges

September 25, 2020

College students on campus wearing masks during COVID-19 pandemicThe California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office is continuing its System Webinars series on a new bi-weekly schedule, and has announced dates and times through the end of the year.

OpenCCC System Issues 10-Millionth CCCID

August 21, 2020

Over 10 million CCCIDs have been issued to California Community Colleges students.In August, the OpenCCC system reached a major milestone, having issued more than 10 million CCCIDs since the account creation process was established.

CCCID is a systemwide unique identifier giving California Community Colleges students single sign-on access to cloud applications like Canvas and CCC MyPath, while enabling colleges to track student data across systems and colleges.

Data Warehouse Report Server Expansion Supports Systemwide Strategic Vision

August 21, 2020

Tracking metrics against the systemwide strategic visionA pending, major upgrade to the Data Warehouse Report Server will add multi-factor authentication and a host of new data sources for analysis and reporting by institutional researchers and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.

Tech Center Improves Online Support Communities for Students and Staff

August 21,2020

HelpdeskOn August 1, the California Community Colleges Technology Center migrated its long-time CCCHelp and CCCTechnology online support communities to a new software platform. The new interactive community forum offers features and add-ons to engage students and staff, while significantly decreasing support costs for the community college system.

Tech Center Webinars Resume Monthly Schedule

August 21, 2020

CCC Technology Center monthly webinarsWith the new academic year getting underway, the California Community Colleges Technology Center is gearing up to resume its monthly webinar series presenting Tech Center technology resources to CCC staff.

Webinars will typically be held at noon on the first Wednesday of each month — kicking off on September 2 with an overview of systemwide technology resources.

Pet Superstars of the CCC Technology Center: The ‘Others’

August 21, 2020

Unusual pets of the CCC Technology CenterAs we have reached the end of our Pets of the CCC Technology Center series, I would like to take a moment to thank all of you who shared your pets with us. While 2020 has not been the greatest year so far, seeing the variety of animals that you all love and care for was the perfect distraction.

CCC Technology Center Products and Services Serve Students Statewide

May 26, 2020

Community college signThe California Community Colleges Technology Center is a large organization with many moving parts. It can be difficult to understand the impact and importance of our work as a whole. In Tech Central, we will continue to expose data that can help with this understanding.

Reflecting on the Positive Impacts of Systemwide Tech

April 23, 2020

Systemwide technology supports social distancing amid health crisisWelcome to the second issue of Tech Central, a newsletter for personnel of the California Community Colleges Technology Center.

As we make our way through April, the public health response to COVID-19 remains paramount. Sweeping steps have been taken by the state of California and our nation to minimize loss of life.

MyPath Keeps Students Engaged During Mandated Closures

April 23, 2020

Example of using CCC MyPath advisor card to communicate COVID-19 informationAmid the COVID-19-related transition to online-only communication, the CCC MyPath student onboarding platform is providing colleges a way to keep students informed and on track while campuses are closed. In addition, as colleges look to the fall semester and begin to predict the challenges they will face, MyPath has many features that colleges can use to facilitate enrollment and engagement.

LSP Ensures Equitable Library Access as Distancing Continues

April 23, 2020

Accessing digital library using laptopThe January launch of a statewide Library Services Platform (LSP) proved timely, as it positioned 110 participating California community college libraries to immediately adapt to remote work and learning practices amid the coronavirus outbreak and a stay-home order in place throughout the state.

Accessibility Center Assists Faculty Transitioning to Online Teaching

April 23, 2020

Isolation, online learning conceptAs the entire California Community Colleges (CCC) moves to delivery of classes at a distance, the need to ensure instructional materials are accessible for all students has come into sharp focus. To assist colleges as they make the transition to online classrooms, the CCC Accessibility Center, with support from the Chancellor’s Office, has increased its communication of accessibility best practices.

CENIC, Tech Center Address Broadband Needs Statewide

April 23, 2020

California broadband mapWith students, faculty, and staff now working from off-campus locations due to COVID-19, access to cloud-based systemwide student applications such as Canvas and CCC MyPath may be hampered in some rural areas of California that are poorly served by broadband internet service. Students in these areas are at a disadvantage in this crisis.

Listserv Breaks Usage Records in March

April 23, 2020

Communication and collaboration conceptsMarch recorded the widest-ever use of the Listserv email distribution service by California community colleges, as communication related to COVID-19 response reached its peak, and college personnel sought electronic means of collaboration with work teams, committees, and colleagues around the state.

COVID-19 Pandemic Deals a Blow to Key CCC Events

April 23, 2020

Conference audience watches a presentation.As stay-at-home orders in California and other states stretched into April with no set end-date, higher education conference organizers scrambled to respond to the rapidly evolving situation. A few events were able to quickly transition to a virtual format, but many highly anticipated annual conferences were called off.

Enabling Services Helps LACCD Launch CCC MyPath

May 26, 2020

Los Angeles Valley College MyPath home screen, May 2020On May 4, Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) went live with CCC MyPath at all nine of its college campuses, which collectively serve more than 11 percent of California’s community college students.

CCC Technology Center Project Management Office Update

May 26, 2020

budget planningIt's that time of year again. The 2020-21 fiscal year, which begins July 1, is rapidly approaching, and the California Community Colleges project teams are wrapping up 2019-20 project work and beginning to organize for 2020-21. Here is a roundup of current activities:

Tech Center Projects Reorganized

July 10, 2020

With the recent reorganization of the California Community Colleges Technology Center, all development schedules were paused, impacting planned releases and other activities during Q4 2019-20 and Q1 2020-21.

Summer IT Workshops Draw Record Registration

May 26, 2020

Working from home in pajamasIn a few short weeks, the CCC Information Security Center and CCC Accessibility Center will host the 2020 Summer IT Workshops, which will, for the first time, be held entirely online. In light of statewide distancing requirements to minimize the spread of COVID-19, organizers decided early on to move the June 15-16 workshops to a virtual format rather than cancel.

Enabling Services Unifies Customer-Facing Services

July 10, 2020

Enabling Services team alignment effective July 2020As a result of state budget reductions, the California Community Colleges Technology Center recently underwent cuts to contract staff in June, which in turn necessitated a realignment of team structures throughout the organization.

Tech Center Presentations Impacted by COVID-19

May 26, 2020

Online presentationCCC Technology Center projects that were slated to participate at upcoming statewide conferences have had their participation significantly scaled back or put on hold due to the transition to virtual venues in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Custom Pathways Coming to CCC MyPath, Courtesy of SuperGlue

July 10, 2020

College students walk on pathway to campusSince as far back as 2008, the California Community Colleges Technology Center has sought to develop a system for delivering ordered tasks and resources for matriculating students to help them stay on track to their unique educational goals. From 2013 to 2018, under the Education Planning Initiative grant, the concept of a guided pathways student services portal with a task-based interface and notification system began to take shape and gain widespread support from colleges.

Pet Superstars of the CCC Technology Center

May 26, 2020

Image of Thoughts of a Dog memeEver since the stay-at-home order was issued in response to the COVID-19 virus pandemic back in March, we have been seeking ways to pass the time while maintaining our sanity. This hasn’t been easy but luckily for many of us we have special family members we rely on for additional love and emotional support.

No, I am not talking about parents, kids or significant others, I am referring to our pets.

CCCApply, OpenCCC Update Fulfills Mobile, Spanish, Accessibility Goals

July 10, 2020

CCCApply Spanish-language translation mobile viewThe Spring 2020 update to the CCCApply suite of online applications was released in May, delivering a mobile-friendly, accessible, English-Spanish application that supports more students than ever before.

Though the release was twice delayed — due to COVID-19 and issues discovered during the pilot phase — the entire CCCApply team deserves kudos for executing a major software update chock-full of changes that should have a positive impact on the student experience for years to come.

As the primary focus of the release, full Spanish-language translation was rolled out across all CCCApply applications — which include the Standard (US), International, Noncredit, and California College Promise Grant — and the OpenCCC student account system. Additionally, OpenCCC underwent a redesign that enables a true mobile experience from account creation to application.

Virtual Workshops Draw Record Attendance

July 10, 2020

Woman attends virtual workshop at homeRegistration and attendance for the Online 2020 Summer IT Workshops exceeded expectations, more than doubling typical participation for the two-day event, held June 15 and June 16.

More than 500 college staff and faculty registered for one or both workshops, and as many as 470 attendees logged in to the event over the course of two days.

Pet Superstars of the Technology Center: Cat Edition

July 10, 2020

Cat memeWe hope you enjoyed the last article featuring dogs of the California Community Colleges Technology Center, so let’s take a look at the second-most favorite pets — cats!

As those of you who have been working from home already know, cats can make the perfect office pet — they sleep 95 percent of time, don’t need to be let out for walks, and rarely bark at the slightest noise. They can also make the worst office pet if they insist on meowing incessantly for no apparent reason (looking right at you, Purrl!) or decide to sleep on your nice, warm keyboard while you are trying to type up an important report.

Introducing Tech Central

March 20, 2020

CCC nursing studentsWelcome to the inaugural issue of Tech Central, a newsletter for the personnel of the California Community Colleges Technology Center.

A week ago I began to write a very different version of this welcome note. In that time, California declared a State of Emergency, Governor Gavin Newsom has issued a stay at home order for the entire state, and all segments of the public education system, including the community colleges, are transitioning to a school-from-home model.

Library Services, MyPath Projects Win Statewide Tech Awards

March 20, 2020

Library Services, MyPath win 2020 tech awardsTwo high-profile projects of the California Community Colleges (CCC) Technology Center - the Library Services Platform (LSP) and CCC MyPath student onboarding tool - have recently been named as recipients of prestigious awards that recognize achievements in technology used to enhance higher education in California.

Tech Center Q3 2019-20 Project Roadmap & Progress

March 20, 2020

Technology Center Q3 2020 high-level roadmapHere at the California Community Colleges Technology Center, there is much more going on under the hood than the high-level roadmap shows, with numerous infrastructure efforts and product releases planning for new capabilities.

The image at right captures a few highlights around pilot releases that will bring new capabilities to key initiatives being developed. Click on the image to see a larger version. Stay tuned and watch as future roadmaps evolve to be even more inclusive and provide direct access to even more Tech Center innovation.

Tech Center Initiatives Featured at Annual CISOA Summit

March 20, 2020

Cannery Row, Monterey, California

The California Community Colleges Technology Center was well represented at the recent 2020 CISOA Technology Summit, with 13 presentations focused on systemwide technology developments, information security, and IT accessibility.

More than 500 college IT professionals and vendors gathered for this year’s conference, held in Monterey, Calif., March 1-4. The conference offered a full agenda of sessions of interest to those who are part of the information technology arena in the CCC.

Product Adoption: March 2020

March 20, 2020

At the CCC Technology Center, we are lucky to have an Enabling Services department, headed by Chief ES Officer, Andy Newman. The good work of the Enabling Services department includes full implementation and deployment services for colleges that adopt Tech Center products and an important single-point-of-contact, the College Relationship Manager (CRM). The CRMs serve as consultants for colleges that are considering adopting Tech Center products and services and they are responsible for increasing use of our services statewide.

Bringing Systemwide Technology Success Stories to Light

March 20, 2020

Tech Center Webinar screenshot of students using mobile CCCApply interfaceAcross the California Community Colleges, awareness of CCC Technology Center solutions is quickly spreading as implementation success stories demonstrate the real benefits for students, staff, and colleges of adopting systemwide technologies.

Unlimited SSL Certificates Free to California Community CollegesCalifornia’s community colleges can obtain an unlimited number of Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates – free of charge – as a service of the California Community Colleges (CCC) Information Security Center.

CCC Tech Center Receives CENIC 2017 Innovations in Networking AwardThe California Community Colleges (CCC) Technology Center has been selected to receive the CENIC 2017 Innovations in Networking Award for Educational Applications, to be presented during CENIC’s annual conference in March.

EdExchange Open Data StandardA group of higher education organizations has begun piloting EdExchange, an open standards-based way to securely exchange real-time data—such as electronic transcripts—between academic institutions and their service providers.