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California Community Colleges Education Planning InitiativeAs California’s community colleges seek ways to improve learning experiences for their students, solutions that allow those students to engage in learning from any location or device are becoming more valuable.

The mission of California Community Colleges (CCC) Education Planning Initiative (EPI) includes helping college counselors leverage technology to reach more students. In order to fulfill this very important goal, the EPI, in conjunction with faculty and administration from across the state, has been developing content to provide at no-cost to community colleges.

This content, in the form of Online Orientation material, will be available very soon. In order to alert institutions about this upcoming release, EPI will be hosting a brief webinar to discuss the material.

The Importance Of Orientation

Orientation is an important component of a student’s college experience. It provides several valuable benefits, beginning with information regarding financial aid, registration, tutoring services, important locations on campus, and important dates on the school’s academic calendar. Orientation gives the student their first look at the vital components that will allow them to be successful in their studies.

In addition, orientation is required by many institutions for all first-year and transfer students. Finally, in order to be eligible for priority registration, a student may also be required to attend orientation.

Due to the multiple benefits of orientation, EPI has created a package of no-cost Online Orientation content for the CCC and will be discussing it during its next webinar.

Recent EPI Webinars

The EPI’s webinar series, which began in November 2015, has been successful in providing community college students, staff, administration and faculty with important information regarding its initiatives. The series began with an overview of the EPI program, with a presentation titled “EPI 101.” With more than 700 views, the presentation and its follow-up informational video is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in learning more about the EPI.

“EPI 101” was followed by another presentation on Jan. 27, “EPI Pilot Colleges,” which featured a roundtable discussion with EPI staff and representatives from the pilot colleges using the education planning software provided by EPI and Hobsons. Roundtable participants included:

  • Pedro Avila, Associate Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Management, Admissions and Records, Information Systems, State Center Community College District
  • Doris Griffin, Dean of Student Services, Clovis Community College, State Center Community College District
  • Jay Field, Chief Technology Officer, City College of San Francisco
  • Sabra Sabio, Counselor, El Camino College

Multiple points of interest were discussed, with these representatives sharing their experiences implementing the Starfish Enterprise Success Platform at their respective colleges. In addition, the group responded to questions received from webinar attendees.

Upcoming Events

Due to the important nature of the EPI’s Online Orientation content, the next webinar in this series will be another roundtable discussion. It will be hosted by EPI team members and will feature insight from the faculty and staff involved in the content creation process.

The webinar will take place on Feb. 23 at 11:30 a.m. The meeting will be conducted through CCC Confer, so it is recommended that participants log in 20 minutes prior to the presentation to allow time for proper configuration of the CCC Confer auto-player. Registration is free and is available on EPI’s website, To sign up, click on the “EPI Webinars” link, located on the right-hand side of the page. In addition to registration information, the page contains all previous webinars and informational videos as resources regarding the EPI and its projects.

For more information about the importance of Orientation, please visit the CCC Chancellor’s Office’s Step:Forward campaign at This website not only provides information and resources regarding orientation but also priority registration, assessment and education planning. Finally, for more details about the EPI and its projects, please visit the initiative website at

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