The California Community Colleges (CCC) statewide application suite, known as CCCApply, will mark its fifth anniversary this spring, with nearly 6 million online applications processed since it first went live in 2012.
Near-systemwide adoption of the CCCApply Standard admission application – geared toward U.S.-based applicants – doesn’t mean CCCApply is ready to settle into maintenance mode. In fact, some big developments are in the works, including an upgrade of the administrator tool and a migration to Amazon Web Services that, together, will increase administrative capabilities and reduce the need for support calls.
Additionally, an annual update is being prepared for release on March 31 that will, among other things, add features to identify homeless youth. A comprehensive look at the CCCApply roadmap will be presented at the annual CCCApply Workshop on April 12 at Sacramento City College.
CCCApply is free to colleges and districts through a grant from the CCC Chancellor’s Office. Though the Standard application has been the main thrust, CCCApply is actually a suite of applications which includes an International admission application – released in March 2016 – and the Board of Governor's Fee Waiver (BOG) application, which is a CCC enrollment-fee exemption.
Currently, 107 colleges have adopted the Standard application; two more will go live within 60 days, and commitments are in place from the rest, said Patricia Donohue, CCCApply Product Manager. Promoting online adoption of the BOG and International application are going to be a big push for the coming year: Today, 34 colleges are live with the online BOG, and three colleges offer the online International application, with many more committed to implement.
One of the reasons adoption has been slower across the BOG and International application is due to over-burdened IT departments, Donohue said. However, once the Standard application is implemented, setting up the BOG and International application is much easier than people think because much of the heavy lifting is already done.
“A big chunk of the work involved in setting up the Standard application was the implementation of an identity provider (IdP) to authenticate staff into the Administrator and CCC Report Center for the security of students’ personal information,” Donohue explained. “Also, with single sign-on authentication, if a college staff member with access to CCCApply leaves the college for any reason their account is immediately deleted through the college.”
With the IdP implementation work done, setting up the BOG and International applications just involves building out new data download files for each application – if the college chooses to, Donohue noted. They don’t have to because they can access and export the data through the CCC Report Center.
Project Scope Not Too Big
"For example, once the Standard application is live, the BOG is technically live as well. A college can publish the URL and start accepting applications immediately," she said. "Data from submitted applications – whether Standard, BOG or International – can be viewed and exported from the CCC Report Center right away. If the college wants to set up the data download files, there's a little bit more work involved on the back end, but the entire BOG project only requires about one-third of the effort of implementing the Standard application, so colleges shouldn't think it's too big of a project to take on."
“We do want to meet with the colleges for a kick-off call first, so they know where to find implementation documentation, who to contact for technical assistance, and also to give us a two-week heads up before they do go live so that the Help Desk can prepare to begin supporting this new influx of students," Donohue added.
For the International application, again, much of the initial setup work is done, however, there’s a bit more work required on the back end compared to the BOG – primarily around setting up Supplemental Questions that will allow colleges to create custom questions and data fields that are unique to their International student admission process, she further explained.
“The support team has been working with colleges to streamline the migration of shared settings from the Standard application to the International in the Administrator, such as terms, majors, college and district information. The areas that colleges may want to focus on are creating custom rules and adding any questions and data fields they require based on their workflow requirements,” Donohue said.
“All in all, the implementation project should be much quicker, easier, and the learning curve much less steep, because you’ll be using the same Administrator, Download Client, and Report Center,” she said.
Value For Students & Colleges
The ability to aggregate that data in the system helps colleges make better administrative decisions to help support student success, and enables applications like the CCC MyPath student portal, which will provide targeted resources and tools in sequence to help students stay on track to reach their educational goals.
“CCCApply is such a valuable tool for students, and it’s free for all the colleges to implement through a Chancellor’s Office grant,” noted Keith Franco, Statewide Services Representative for the CCC Technology Center, which oversees the CCCApply project. “Adopting the electronic applications ensures colleges are automatically compliant with any changes, and upgrades are as simple a process as upgrading your browser software.”
For support, please visit CCCTechnology.info and navigate to the CCCApply category page.
Crista Souza is the TechEDge News Editor