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California Community Colleges Common Assessment InitiativeYou can contribute to the design and functionality of the CCCAssess platform that will be rolled out this fall by the California Community Colleges (CCC) Common Assessment Initiative (CAI) by volunteering to be part of a focus group.

Online focus groups will be held for three weeks in February and March. Those who are interested in participating should apply immediately using the CAI Focus Group Volunteer Form. Focus groups will begin on Feb 16.

CCCAssess is destined to be one of the most widely used college assessment systems in the United States, so CAI is seeking input and feedback from all stakeholders who will use the system, according to John Hadad, CAI Product Manager.

“The expected outcome from the focus groups is clear direction to the platform development team,” Hadad said. “CAI needs to know what is important to system users so that we can develop a fully performing local placement tool that is rich in useful analytics and offers a great user experience.”

Focus Group Information

What: Virtual CAI Focus Group

When: Feb. 16 to March 4

Time: 2-4 hours/week for 3 weeks

Online groups: Held in the afternoon, time slots vary. You can indicate availability on the application.

What’s needed: Internet access and ability to solicit information from your college.

Who: Instructional faculty, administrators, students and IT, research, counseling and assessment center staff.

Disclaimer: To ensure broad representation from across the CCC, as well as keep groups small, participation is not guaranteed.

Apply Now: Click here to apply 

The CAI pilot colleges are currently administering the bare bones—or “Minimal Viable Product”—assessment with students for purposes of gathering enough data to validate the assessment tests. Information gleaned from the virtual focus groups will guide the next step in the process of developing the new assessment system by giving specific feedback on how the whole platform should operate when it is deployed in Fall 2016.

John Hadad, Product Manager, California Community Colleges Common Assessment InitiativeFocus Group Week One

During the first week, participants will review their own college’s current system of assessment, relevant to their role at the college. This might include:

  • Review current workflow relative to assessment and placement
  • Consider how you use the current assessment and placement tools
  • Identify what you like and dislike about your assessment and placement tools
  • Create a list of things you want the new CCCAssess tool to do
  • Submit your responses by Feb. 19, 2016

Focus Group Week Two

In the second week, you will participate online with other college representatives who have roles similar to yours. With the other focus group members, you’ll provide feedback to:

  • Prioritize the most important functions
  • Select the most critical challenges to overcome
  • Rate desired features

The platform team will take this information and develop possible solutions to address the group’s comments and suggestions.

Focus Group Week Three

Through an online focus group, you’ll be asked to observe a presentation about the recommended CCCAssess platform functionality and features. This will be developed in response to the work done in week two. Through a facilitated session, you’ll again provide your impressions on:

  • Functionality
  • Priorities
  • General observations

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact John Hadad at 530-413-8583 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you are interested in participating in the focus groups, please apply using the CAI Focus Group Volunteer Form or

CAI Professional Development

To assist colleges in preparing for implementing CCCAssess at their campuses, CAI is offering several professional development events as well as downloadable materials.

Information that can help your college get ready for CCCAssess is available on the CAI website’s Professional Development Documents and Resources page.

Upcoming regional training will be held in Sacramento on Friday, March 11. Reserve your spot today. Additional sessions will be held in San Jose on Friday, April 15, in San Diego in June, and another location yet to be determined in July.

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