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Career Coach student support tool available from the California Community Colleges Education Planning InitiativeFor some potential California Community Colleges (CCC) students, the first step in their educational pathway is determining which career they would pursue after graduation from college.

Perhaps they have found that — as recent analysis shows — “students who complete an associate degree more than double their annual pre-degree earnings after two years in the workforce and nearly triple their pre-degree earnings after five years in the workforce.” Or, perhaps they are simply looking to receive their certification or training in a much more direct manner.

Regardless of the reason, students are seeking resources to assist them in their exploration.

As part of its goal to help students make informed choices, clarify goals and plan for success, the CCC Education Planning Initiative (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 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.

Why Career Coach?

The EPI was developed to respond to and implement key recommendations of the Student Success Task Force with a focus on strengthening support and guidance to students. EPI’s primary vision is of designing tools that provide structured pathways that support planning and progress. Currently, there is a shift in the College Decision Making Paradigm from “College-Major-Career” to “Career-Major-College.” With this in mind, EPI’s program outcomes include:

  • 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

Exceeding Requirements

Career Coach falls within EPI’s Self-Assessment and Career Exploration component. In order to ensure that the tool would meet this component, a Career Explorer Work Group was formed composed of CCC faculty and staff, EPI and vendor representatives and CCC Chancellor’s office representatives. Its priority was 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

Career Coach meets these requirements and more.

Career Coach assists students by providing a Career Assessment, which can be completed in as quickly as six questions. Once completed, students are shown careers, ranked by how closely their responses match the career in question. Students are able to view a variety of statistics, from salary scales to potential job openings, broken down by either state or region. In addition, students have the ability to take the next step, as Career Coach provides a list of programs of study offered by California community colleges in the recommended career field.

Career Coach & CCC MyPath

Career Coach is offered as part of the CCC MyPath Student Services Portal (SSP). CCC MyPath was developed by the EPI in response to California State Senate Bill 1456, and is a component of the initiative’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 CCC MyPath portal is an important part of the EPI’s 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, Career Coach, and the Starfish Early Alert system are just a few of the important tools that students can launch from the SSP.
  • Facilitating communication between institutions and students.
  • Providing access to content, when that content is relevant.

Mike Caruso, EPI’s Product Manager for CCC MyPath, has a vision of the multiple benefits CCC MyPath will provide to California community 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.”

For More Information

For more information about Career Coach and CCC MyPath, visit the EPI website at Along with other resources, an informational webinar on both Career Coach and CCC MyPath is available for viewing. The webinar will be found under the “Resources” tab on the “Webinars” page.

In addition to the webinar, the website contains vital background information regarding the initiative as well as status updates. To join the Career Coach user support community, visit Visit EPI’s website to stay informed about Career Coach and CCC MyPath.

David Quintanilla is a project team member of
the California Community Colleges Technology Center



CCC TechEDge News and CCC Technology for Student Success News ceased publication in 2018.

Produced by the CCC Technology Center under a grant from the CCC Chancellor's Office, both publications are archived on this website.