Systemwide Technology Support Site Debuts

CCCTechnology.infoThe California Community Colleges (CCC) Technology Center has launched, a self-service help site it hopes will become a technical support “community” for college staff using systemwide technology products.


Aimed at CCC staff and administrators, is meant to provide a central place to get information and immediate answers to commonly asked questions, reducing reliance on the Listserv email system for help-related communications.

More Efficient Communication

CCCApply recently established a support community on the new site and, as of June 1, is no longer using Listserv for communicating with users, according to a post on the CCCApply Project Center support page. The email system had become overburdened and inefficient for handling support issues, said CCCApply Project Manager Patricia Donohue.

“We realize we took a risk by discontinuing the Listserv for communicating with the CCCApply users, but as more colleges came on board it just wasn't working anymore from a support perspective,” she said. “It had become too hard to discern between actual support requests and users wanting to discuss implementation and workflow issues.

“With the site, we feel we have provided the best of both worlds: a venue for staff interaction, and two-way communication between colleges needing technical support and the Technology Center.”

Modeled On Student-Facing Site

The idea for grew out of the success of, a self-service support hub aimed at students. That site launched in 2012 when the OpenCCC student account system first went live, and has been well received by students. has proven effective for providing information on demand to tech-savvy students, and CCCApply believes college staff will have a similarly positive experience using, Donohue said. She noted that many students who come to ultimately do not post a new question because they are able to quickly find the answer they need from the FAQs or through Q&A interactions with other users.

“This is what we are hoping will happen with the staff site,” she said. “I think once they see how quickly they can get information and answers to their questions without calling or emailing someone, they'll start using the site more regularly–which adds to the knowledgebase, which is our goal.”

Currently, the site is monitored by a full-time OpenCCCApply support technician, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., PST, and the CCC Help Desk provides 24/7 back-up coverage as well.

“Announcements and system alerts are being posted via the CCCApply System Alerts page and we strongly encourage college staff and administration personnel to 'follow' that category page to receive automatic email notifications for each post and replies,” Donohue noted.

All Systemwide Technologies

In addition to CCCApply, currently has category pages for BOG Fee Waiver, the Common Assessment Initiative’s CCCAssess, California Virtual Campus (CVC), and the Education Planning Initiative’s student portal and education planning tools, among several others. Eventually, is expected to become an on-demand information and technical support hub for all systemwide technology products.

To join, sign up at Users can follow categories of interest to receive email alerts when someone posts a question or a reply, search for specific topics, and submit a request for support by starting a “conversation.” Posts are monitored by Technology Center staff and replies are added directly to the post.

Crista Souza is a TechEDge Contributing Editor


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