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CCCApply.orgAs of July 2010, development is underway on the next generation of online student application to the California Community Colleges (CCC) with a goal of delivering a new system by summer 2012.


The CCC Technology Center at Butte College is leading the project with input from the OpenCCCApply Steering Committee and funding from the CCC Chancellor's Office. The completed project will be hosted and supported by the CCC Technology Center, and it will provide a new CCC-owned application service for the colleges.


The completed OpenCCCApply project will consist of the following elements:

  • An open source Web 2.0 Student Application To College governed by the CCCApply Steering Committee.
  • A Web-based College Administrative Interface where colleges can download student applications and print reports.
  • Smiling GradsAn underlying, secure Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) that incorporates a common shared data storage, data validation and residency determination for student applications.
  • Functional SOA services that interface to Web-based applications from institutions and commercial providers to help students fill in applications to California Community Colleges, California State University (CSU) and the University of California (UC), as well as scholarship and job applications.
  • A Federated Single Sign On that will facilitate students accessing systemwide applications and aid in moving identity and account information in transferring to CSU, UC and other four-year institutions.
  • Student accessible interfaces that will operate within college or systemwide portals.
  • A technical infrastructure for a full range of open source support services for students to explore careers and colleges, apply to college and financial aid and create an academic plan toward degree or transfer.

The completed OpenCCCApply project is expected to bring the following benefits to participating institutions:

  • Choice: By building a governed open source alternative built on a foundation of common storage and functional services, the colleges may choose to keep their existing CCCApply through their institution agreement with Xap. Xap can keep up to date with the application by implementing the updates outlined by the open source project governed by the steering committee. Or a college may choose to move to a hosted instance of OpenCCCApply or have more choices as commercial SIS vendors may make available the governed open-source application in their college student Web portals.
  • A Streamlined Transition: If a college chooses to move to OpenCCCApply, the goal will be to minimize any affect on information technology resources by providing the same download file interface to the college's Student Information System as currently exists.
  • Chemistry students.An Improved Student Experience: By incorporating new Web 2.0 interface technologies, OpenCCCApply will be far easier for student's to use. Validation feedback can occur as students answer each question and features such as Spanish-language help will be included at no additional cost to the colleges.
  • Cost Savings And Better Service: Competing alternatives based on governed open source and a common architecture will drive lower costs and better service. The project intends to offer a hosted instance of OpenCCCApply through the CCC Technology Center that will lower current costs to the colleges and increase responsiveness. Vendors are welcome to offer the colleges competing offerings based on the governed open-source application and common SOA architecture.
  • Support For Students: OpenCCCApply will be offered with a 24/7 centralized helpdesk solution. Planned additional concierge support may be made available to colleges for an additional fee that can answer student common questions in financial aid, matriculation and the like without needing to call the college. If a student's question cannot be answered by helpdesk support, the student will be directed to the appropriate resource at the college.
  • Systemwide Standardization: By maintaining a steering committee of community college Admissions and Records and IT professionals who review updates and provide governance, the project can ensure that colleges or vendors who license the code maintain the integrity of the application while allowing for customization.
  • Reliability And Security: The underlying architecture is planned to reside on an elastic cloud infrastructure. This is the same technology that Google, Amazon, and many high-reliability, performance Internet applications use. All data will be transmitted and stored in encrypted format and the project will adhere to the high standards of Payment Card Industry Data Security.

With governance from the CCCApply Steering Committee, the California Community Colleges Technology Center at Butte College will operate OpenCCCApply and provide direct support and training for the colleges. Students will receive support through a contracted helpdesk vendor overseen by CCCTC.

As OpenCCCApply is in the early stages of development, colleges that use CCCApply should continue their institutional agreement with Xap at this time. The OpenCCCApply project team will keep the colleges updated as to progress and work with them on transition planning when the time comes.

The following presentation from the 2010 CCCApply workshop at Pasadena City College provides an overview of the future of student service technology and how the OpenCCCApply project will benefit colleges and students:

To find out more about OpenCCCApply, go to <>

Tim Calhoon is the Director of the CCC Technology Center
and project director for CCCApply, OpenCCCApply and eTranscript California.



Tech Central is an internal newsletter for the personnel of the California Community Colleges (CCC) Technology Center.