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The CCCAssess faculty intensive workshop held in July drew 40 participants from 28 California community colleges.Faculty from across the California Community Colleges (CCC) shared expertise and recommendations to inform the design of a statewide assessment tool during a recent workshop sponsored by the CCC Common Assessment Initiative (CAI).


At the CCCAssess faculty intensive workshop, held over two-and-a-half days in July in San Diego, 40 faculty participants agreed that the working sessions were beneficial in dispelling their fears and building rapport among the team, which represented English, Math and ESL departments from 28 community colleges.

Four representatives from Link-Systems International (LSI), the vendor developing the assessment tool, attended as well.

“Being in the room was exciting, seeing the passion and hard work [and] the general spirit of partnership,” said one participant. “Collaboration between the content areas is valuable.”

‘We’re Creating This’

Left to right: Linda Ternes, Golden West College, and Lisa Silveira, Saddleback CollegeOne faculty member said she came away from the meeting confident that the new assessment will work for students and staff.

“Whenever I see the letter ‘I’ at the end of an acronym I get nervous. It seems like something is going to be mandated by people who don’t know what I do,” she said. “Instead, I now realize that we’re creating this, the people who know and reach students.”

Several attendees mentioned that they were relieved by the willingness of LSI to take their input.

“I was worried about the publisher dictating content, but I know now that we’re going to do it right and it’s going to be our test,” said one attendee. Another participant added: “I never knew how a vendor/creator would be so willing to listen. It’s intriguing that you’re willing to create what we want.”

Design Based On Experience

Left to right: Biju Raman, Palo Verde College, Jose Villalobos, El Camino College Compton Center and Malinni Roeun, El Camino CollegeAs a result of participating in the process, faculty were excited about how the new assessment will be designed based on their field experience, and will positively impact students. Attendees noted that the collaboration left them much more comfortable with the process and feeling positive that the resulting test would be workable.

Meeting participants were enthusiastic, and accomplished a lot in just a few days, explained Jennifer Coleman, Statewide Program Director of the CAI.

“This session was so valuable in getting input from the team that will be guiding the new assessment,” Coleman said. “The initiative is taking a very deliberate approach to collaborate closely with faculty and staff at the colleges and collect broad input. I am so appreciative of the amazing group of people who shared their expertise to ensure that CCCAssess is successful.”

Efforts will continue in the fall with work group meetings and requests for feedback from the field. To learn more, go to

Karen Fraser-Middleton is a marketing consultant for the
California Community Colleges Common Assessment Initiative