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California Community Colleges Education Planning InitiativeOn Jan. 23, the California Community Colleges (CCC) Education Planning Initiative (EPI) hosted a webinar focused on the CCC MyPath student services portal and the Career Coach tool being offered as a component of the portal.

One of the most pressing decisions CCC students face is determining the next steps after their college experience. Multiple options are available, from continuing on to a four-year institution to using their degree or certification to begin a career. As part of its goal to help students make informed choices, clarify goals and plan for success, the EPI has developed resources and tools to provide students with the information necessary to make those decisions. One of those resources is the Career Coach tool.

Provided by EPI and its vendor Emsi, Career Coach provides CCC students, at no cost, the ability to take a simple interest assessment test, explore careers available in California and match those to programs of study in community colleges.

Webinar Overview

The webinar was presented as part of an ongoing series designed to provide additional information on specific aspects of the EPI project. The CCC MyPath Career Coach Overview Webinar featured representatives from the EPI Career Exploration work group overseeing the development of the Career Coach product, including:

  • Brook Oliver, Lead Counselor, Career & Transfer for Sierra College
  • Angela Baucom, Product Manager, California Community Colleges Technology Center
  • Mike Caruso, CCC MyPath Product Manager, California Community Colleges Technology Center
  • Rick Snodgrass, EPI Project Operations Manager, California Community Colleges Technology Center
  • Ralph Plaza, Account Representative, Emsi

The New College Decision-Making ParadigmRick Snodgrass kicked off the webinar with background on the EPI. Snodgrass stated that “EPI was developed to respond to and implement key recommendations of Student Success,” with a focus on strengthening support and guidance to students. He reiterated the project’s vision of designing tools that provide structured pathways that support planning and progress.

He then introduced Brook Oliver, who described the shift in the college decision-making paradigm from “College-Major-Career” to “Career-Major-College.” Oliver then discussed EPI’s program outcomes, including:

  • Promoting and supporting coordination between CCC and University of California and California State University systems
  • Reducing the time it takes students to complete their goals

CCC MyPath Demo

The focus shifted to Mike Caruso, who introduced CCC MyPath, a tool designed to aid students during the matriculation process and beyond. Caruso showcased MyPath’s role as a hub for multiple EPI products. He discussed the different personas, which represent the diverse student population of the CCC, and were used to help shape MyPath. Caruso concluded with a demonstration of MyPath and an overview of its features.

Career Coach Background & Demo

Angela Baucom followed the MyPath demonstration with an explanation of how Career Coach fits within EPI’s Self-Assessment and Career Exploration component. Baucom provided background information on the Career Explorer Work Group, including its priority to ensure that any tool meets four requirements:

  • The tool provides a short assessment
  • The tool is accessible
  • The tool is secure
  • The tool is mobile-friendly

Brook Oliver then returned to describe how Career Coach answers several student questions, and three specific ways it can help. She then provided a demonstration of Career Coach and how it assists students in determining which programs would lead to a career that matches their assessment. Oliver then introduced Ralph Plaza, who provided background information on Emsi. Plaza also discussed Emsi’s data, including its sources and how frequently it is updated. Baucom concluded the webinar with information on Career Coach’s user support community.

The webinar, including both tool demonstrations, has been posted on the Education Planning Initiative’s website,, on the "Webinars" page located under the “Resource Kit” tab. In addition to the webinar, the website contains vital background information regarding the initiative as well as status updates.

To join Career Coach’s user support community, visit Visit EPI’s website to stay informed about future webinars.

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