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After careful review of 37 pilot-college applications for the Common Assessment Initiative, the CAI leadership team recommended 12 colleges to participate in the pilot, which begins with work group meetings during the second week of July.


The selected pilot colleges have been formally notified. They are:

  • Bakersfield College
  • Butte College
  • Chaffey College
  • De Anza College
  • San Joaquin Delta College
  • Diablo Valley College
  • Fresno City College
  • Rio Hondo College
  • Sacramento City College
  • Saddleback College
  • Santa Monica College
  • West Los Angeles College

The reason for capping the pilot at 12 colleges comes from past experience showing that eight to 12 colleges is the upper limit for a development of this scope. More than that can make management of the project unwieldy and daunting.

The pilot selection criteria included:

  • Size and diversity of student population
  • Rural, urban, suburban
  • Northern California, Southern California, Central Valley
  • Current student information system
  • Current assessment test
  • Academic senate and president approval
  • Application that offered a full list of staff and faculty willing to serve on work groups
  • Multiple measure and partner schools given priority

Vendors Sought For CCCAssess

In addition, a Request for Information (RFI) was released on June 2 and sent to 35 prospective vendors as possible partners with the CAI to create a Common Assessment for California Community Colleges, called CCCAssess.

Responses to the RFI are due by June 27. The RFI will explore prospective vendor capabilities and best practices and will inform the creation of a Request for Proposal (RFP), estimated to be released by Oct. 13, with responses to the RFP due by mid-November.

The RFI process will provide information on a wide range of solutions to satisfy a broad system design for maintaining a common assessment system that has the capacity to administer 2.1 million tests annually. Particular attention will be paid to innovative and flexible, yet feasible, solutions that can be integrated into and leveraged with a variety of CCC initiatives and programs.

CCCAssess is being developed by Butte-Glenn Community College District in partnership with San Joaquin Delta College, Saddleback College, Cal-PASS Plus and the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges. It will be a comprehensive, common assessment system for the CCC that utilizes multiple measures for placement and contains informational, test, preparation, test delivery, test administration, data collection, placement guidance and research.

Overall, CCCAssess aims to reduce remediation rates and provide statewide efficiencies for the placement process, as well as effectively serve a diverse range of students with skills ranging from pre-collegiate to collegiate.

Comprehensive Platform Envisioned

CCCAssess will be a comprehensive assessment and placement platform comprised of the following:

  • A general purpose testing platform capable of delivering a wide variety of tests in addition to placement tests
  • One common test in each of three curricular areas: English, Math and ESL
  • Test administration, including test preparation, delivery, proctoring, validation scoring, reporting and data exports
  • Integration of multiple measures including questions that address non-cognitive elements to inform placement
  • Placement guidance and research that utilizes multiple measures of placement
  • Appropriate security measures to authenticate and allow access to authorized users in the CCC system, while maintaining the integrity of confidential information
  • Professional development support for faculty, staff and administrators
  • Ongoing help desk and technical support for faculty, staff and students
  • Ongoing evaluation of the CCCAssess system

Taken as a whole, the CAI is a movement toward change that strongly emphasizes the benefits of a common assessment system. As with the Education Planning and Online Education initiatives, it will operate through the collaborative efforts of all 112 community colleges that choose to participate as every phase of this worthwhile initiative is implemented and expanded systemwide.

More information about the CAI can be found at

Sandoval Chagoya is the TechEDge Executive Editor, Director of Outreach and Communications for the Online Education Initiative, and a Project Manager for the
California Community Colleges Technology Center and the California Virtual Campus.