Dec. 12 marked a major milestone for the California Community Colleges (CCC) Education Planning Initiative (EPI) as Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) became the first institution to launch CCC MyPath, the new student services portal.
This marked the completion of an implementation process that combined the efforts of all stakeholders and students, including the Student Services Portal Steering Committee, SRJC and staff of the CCC Technology Center at Butte College. The launch of CCC MyPath was conducted during enrollment for SRJC’s Spring 2017 semester.
On average, more than 20,000 students participate in the SRJC enrollment process. By launching CCC MyPath, SRJC is giving students a “good resource – one that [they] will be hitting all the time,” said Mitch Leahy, Coordinator of Admissions and Records. As the first college to launch CCC MyPath, SRJC will be on the cutting edge of offerings from EPI and the CCC Chancellor’s Office.
SRJC’s Focus On Innovation
SRJC is a leader in student-focused technology. As Superintendent and President Frank Chong writes in his welcome page on the college website, “We are paying close attention to new ideas and technologies, and are adapting our programs to serve evolving workplace needs.” This is evident as SRJC is one of California’s community colleges with its own internally-developed student portal.
Although the homegrown SRJC portal provided an exemplary student experience, there were some aspects it did not contain. Don Webb, IT Manager for Systems and Programming, said that, in addition to being compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, CCC MyPath’s optional ability to provide text alerts was an attractive feature.
Freyja Pereira, Dean of Admissions, Records and Enrollment Development, agreed. “Texting is the way of the future,” she said. “Students respond better to texting.”
CCC MyPath Background
CCC MyPath was developed by the EPI in response to California State Senate Bill 1456. CCC MyPath is a component of the EPI’s mission to establish statewide online systems for CCC students as an expansion of the Service Oriented Architecture platform (OpenCCC) for education planning and degree audit services via a single sign-on student portal.
The portal is an important part of the planned suite of student-facing tools. It is designed to aid students during the matriculation process and beyond. CCC MyPath aids students by:
- Acting as a hub for important tools. The portal will serve as the jumping-off point for various important student functions, and will collect them in a central location so the student always knows where to find them. CCCApply, a student career exploration tool called Career Coach, and the Starfish Early Alert system are just a few of the important tools that students can launch from the CCC MyPath portal.
- Facilitating communication between institutions and students.
- Providing access to content, when that content is relevant.
Mike Caruso, CCC MyPath Product Manager, has a vision of the multiple benefits the student portal will provide to the colleges. According to Caruso, CCC MyPath will provide a “centralized workflow tool that connects various components that a student will find useful, and can be customized to [a college’s] branding and workflow needs.”
In addition to the features mentioned above, SRJC staff said one of the benefits of CCC MyPath was its integration with Career Coach. Provided by the EPI and its vendor, Emsi, Career Coach will provide CCC students with the ability to take a simple interest assessment test, explore careers available in California and match those to programs of study in community colleges at no cost.
Pereira, in discussing CCC MyPath, said Career Coach integration was a “pleasant surprise.” Webb concurred, sharing that a career assessment tool helped to direct him to his current career field and was excited to provide SRJC students with that opportunity as well.
With the implementation of CCC MyPath, SRJC is well positioned for any future products developed by the CCC Chancellor’s Office. As Rick Snodgrass, EPI Project Operations Manager, said, “MyPath is one of the simplest products to implement and the center of the universe of upcoming Chancellor’s Office products.” He pointed out that, as a pilot school, SRJC has and will be able to shape future iterations of CCC MyPath for other institutions that choose to adopt the portal.
Webb supported this view. “Bottom line is we are here to serve students. [CCC MyPath is] the glue for all these initiatives,” he said.
When asked what he would tell an institution interested in implementing CCC MyPath on their campus, Caruso said, “What are you waiting for? We can’t wait to show you how this will improve the experience for your entire student body.”
For more information regarding Santa Rosa Junior College, please visit the college’s website at www.SantaRosa.edu. To learn more CCC MyPath, please visit www.CCCEdPlan.org. The website contains vital background information concerning the Initiative as well as status updates. Resources include contact information and webinars regarding tools such as Career Coach.
David Quintanilla is a project team member of
the California Community Colleges Education Planning Initiative