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Members of the California Community Colleges (CCC) Education Planning Initiative (EPI) during the recent Hobsons University event in San Antonio, TXCapping off a busy July that included finalizing a contract for education planning tools, the California Community Colleges (CCC) Education Planning Initiative (EPI) team was treated to a fun and informative event, where we learned a lot more about what is possible using the Hobsons products.


During the last week of July, members of the Education Planning Tool and Degree Audit System (EPTDAS) Steering Committee ventured to San Antonio, Texas, for the 10th anniversary of Hobsons University to network, engage and learn how other colleges are utilizing the products. Having recently sealed the contract with Hobsons, we are excited to begin this venture and further our implementations at the 14 community colleges that will be piloting the products.

Steering committee members mingled with more than 900 attendees during the event to learn an array of information from how colleges have used Hobsons’ Degree Planner, Starfish Early Alert and Starfish Connect products.

“Having attended Hobsons University, I learned that both the student planner and the early alert systems offer comprehensive features that help facilitate in the delivery of core services and ability to capture data for reporting,” said Dr. Cynthia Rico, a counselor at San Diego Mesa Community College and Chair of the EPTDAS Steering Committee. “The sessions were very informative as participants learned how colleges and universities customized the software to meet their student services needs at their campuses, as well as how campuses have made positive gains in retention and persistence.

Learning By Example

Additionally, attendees were able to gather information from sessions that included: Managing Starfish Early Alert Across Virginia’s Community Colleges; A Community College Perspective on Implementing a Student Success System: What Worked, What Didn’t, and Measuring Results; Implementation of Starfish at the Kentucky Community and Technical College System; Using Data to Engage and Strengthen Student Success, and many more.

Left to right: Benjamin Mudgett, Lidia Jenkins and Norberto Quiroz of the Education Planning Initiative enjoy a little flavor of San Antonio, Texas, during Hobsons University.“Hobsons U provided us with the opportunity to explore Hobsons’ wide range of applications with practitioners and designers,” said Dr. Chelley Maple, Director of Student Success and Support Programs at College of the Canyons, and Chair of the Education Planning Initiative Steering Committee. “It was very helpful to see the implementation strategies used by community and four-year colleges nationwide.”

Maple noted that each session generated a flurry of questions, such as: “How can we translate this feature to our institutions?” “What a great idea for including faculty—would that work for us?” And “What did you think about…?”

“Our subsequent conversations were peppered with excitement and enthusiasm for our future partnership,” Maple added.

Attendees were also treated to a tour of the famous San Antonio Riverwalk and a festive event at the Knibbe Ranch, where attendees were entertained by a band, bulls, campfire, dancing and fireworks.

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