In September 2008, the CCC Technology Center began promoting the idea of a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and a student portal experience that incorporated education planning and other student services using existing services, as well as new services yet to be produced.
As the elements outlined in the Education Planning Initiative are built out, this vision holds true today.
CCC Portal Architecture
The diagram below charts the original CCC Portal Architecture plan developed by the CCC Techology Center and can be used as a foundation for this project workplan.
Outline of Structured Pathways Plan
Through the guidance of the EPI steering committee and overall governance of the project, the plan for implementing the SOA / student portal system will include the following objectives and activities:
Send out a Request For Information (RFI) to all vendors of Education Planning, Counseling, and Degree Audit systems;
Work with Student Guidance Systems Committee to develop functional specifications with input from the RFI responses;
Procure an Education Planning and Degree Audit system using a Request For Proposal (RFP);
Test plans and scripts are drawn up and beta testing begins to ensure the system is ready for colleges to pilot;
Pilot colleges will begin to identify issues to be rectified and improvements to be made; Training and release plans are developed and employed. System is released to all colleges.
We will work with the steering committee and consult with Gartner to select help desk services to handle telephone and email support.
Help Desk & CCCHelp.Info
Many times users want to find the answers to questions themselves. We propose to use the CCCHelp.Info community-based support system. This community is a knowledge repository where answers to past questions and FAQs are used to answer a user’s question. The system is based on GetSatisfaction used by thousands of companies and organizations.
Enables Counselors to Assist More Students
Currently, thousands of CCCApply and California Virtual Campus students use CCCHelp.info each month to get the answers they need. Surprisingly, most get their answers from previously asked questions and do not have to post new questions. Based on this, we foresee that using this system will help “enable counselors to assist more students with education planning by increasing efficiencies and reducing the amount of time spent on routine questions”.
Informing Students and Keeping Them on Track
As outlined in the CCC Portal Architecture diagram above, we see the Systemwide Student Portal as a platform to increase student understanding of the importance of education planning, activities, and campus-based resources that can help keep them on track to complete their educational and career goals.
As students interact with activities and check off tasks, new data about the student is gathered in their profile. This data, via analytics, will be used to present new information and next steps so that the student is kept on track.
A workflow system will be employed to message students with reminders and encouragement.
As activities, applications, and information are designed as customizable portlets, we foresee that colleges could implement them directly into their portals and localize information presented to the student.
In the adjacent diagram, Portlets and Messaging to Keep Students on Track, an example of the workflow system demonstrates the process of messaging students about activities or tasks to complete in order to keep them on the road to success.
A Partial List of Activities & Information Portlets
Apply for admission
Basic skills (reading, writing, math)
Counseling - personal
ESL - English as a Second Language
Re-entry program (after 5 years out)
TANF, SSI, or general assistance
A Support System for Underserved Populations
By providing a service that customizes messaging for each student’s needs (see above list of portlets), and proactively follows up with them through completion of activities to help keep them on track, underserved students should be better able to find the help they need to be successful.
For more information about the plans and objectives relative to the Systemwide Portal Architecture, see the Education Planning Initiative RFA Response.