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California Community Colleges Education Planning InitiativeBased on student feedback, the user experience team of the California Community Colleges (CCC) Education Planning Initiative (EPI) has been making some modifications to the statewide Student Services Portal framework.


These changes are a normal part of the development process. Every two weeks a new sprint—or test view—is provided to EPI to highlight progress that has been made and changes to the portal that are still being considered by the team.

Recently, student usability testing began and is conducted in relation to each sprint release. This group of student testers will increase, and will iteratively help improve the portal design by providing feedback on how students interact and find portal functions efficient to their needs.

Retention And Community College Students

In other news, EPI is pleased to be partnering with Starfish Retention Solutions to develop education planning and degree audit tools. Recently acquired by Hobsons, the Starfish product line is an integrated package that identifies students who may need a little extra assistance and intervention to be successful.

Starfish has the ability to engage faculty and staff easily with a tool that is functional and uncomplicated to use. The customizable workflows and communication plans, its role-based access and faculty-friendly attendance tools are just a few features that make Starfish a standout.

Education Planning Moves Forward

EPI is moving forward with plans to implement tools for education planning, degree audit and early alert. This month, EPI is meeting with two pilot colleges—City College of San Francisco and Los Medanos College—to further discuss when to start the implementation phase at these campuses. The colleges are meeting with staff members from Hobsons/Starfish and the EPI to discuss and streamline implementation processes and begin the coordination efforts.

EPI looks forward to integration and the work ahead with Hobsons/Starfish and the college implementation phase.

Robyn Tornay is a project manager for Education Planning and Student Services at the
California Community Colleges Technology Center.