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California Community Colleges Common Assessment InitiativeThe California Community Colleges (CCC) Common Assessment Initiative (CAI) announced its intent to award contracts to Unicon Inc. and Link-Systems International Inc. for development and support of CCCAssess.

Unicon and Link-Systems will work with the CAI Steering Committee and work groups to develop CCCAssess, a statewide online assessment platform. A Request for Proposal, released in December, sought to procure products and services to satisfy a broad and complex system design for the platform, which must be efficient, innovative and flexible, with a capacity to administer approximately 2.1 million assessments annually to community college students across the state.

“These two vendors will become key partners in the development process,” explained CAI Statewide Program Director Jennifer Coleman. “We have reinforced all of our work groups, and they will soon start to work on developing test specifications and blueprints. These vendors will now be brought into the conversation.”

Emphasis On Platform, Administration, Curricular Content

Unicon, an IT consulting, technology services and open-source support company, will develop a standardized, flexible platform for student assessment and administration. Link-Systems, an educational technology company, will be responsible for curricular content and assessment development in Reading and English, English as a Second Language and Mathematics.

“This is an exciting first step into the future of the CCC,” said Craig Rutan, south representative for the Academic Senate for CCC, and professor of physics and engineering at Santiago Canyon College. “For years, faculty members have sought more information about what students need to be successful. We now have partners that will assist in the development of a new system to better identify the needs of incoming students.”

Potential To Reframe Assessment

The CAI Steering Committee strongly supported the decision to utilize Unicon and Link-Systems, highlighting the potential to completely reframe assessment practices throughout the state for the benefit of both faculty and students.

“The recommendation of these two vendors by the CAI Steering Committee is the culmination of months of effort by faculty and staff from around the state, and is a critical step in the creation of a Common Assessment System for CCC,” said Andrew LaManque, CAI Steering Committee chair, associate vice president of Instruction at Foothill College, and past president of the Research and Planning Group for CCC.

Sandoval Chagoya is the Communications Director for the
California Community Colleges Technology Center at Butte College.