California community college students across the state will now get help in planning their educational path through college. Beginning this fall 2015 term, the California Community College system will introduce new technology for students to identify academic goals, develop customized plans for success and choose the best courses for their education
This new platform is an exciting addition to aiding student success. California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris said, “This represents another big step forward for our drive to improve student success.” Harris explained, “The education planning and degree audit platform now being deployed will help increase student completion rates by providing centralized technology tools for customized student services and education planning.”
The Education Planning Initiative (EPI) is a project of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s office. Its mission, as part of a state-wide Student-Success Initiative, is to increase student completion rates via centralized technology tools to tailor information and activities for each student’s educational needs. Improving student success is an increasing priority for community colleges nationwide.
The pilot software will be available at nine community college districts beginning this fall 2015 semester, and will then include the remaining colleges beginning in 2016. Hobsons, developer of the technology platform for this project, along with teams from the Education Planning Initiative have been working closely with IT personnel and student service representatives for technology development and implementation for the following pilot campuses:
- City College of San Francisco
- Los Medanos College (Contra Costa Community College District)
- Fresno City College (State Center Community College District)
- Crafton Hills College (San Berbardino Community College District)
- Mt. San Jacinto
- Santa Barbara City College
- El Camino College
- Victor Valley College
- Santa Rosa Junior College
The new platform will be an excellent tool for helping students map out multi-year course plans for an efficient and organized path to reaching their educational goals. The platform will better enable students to balance work, childcare, financial concerns, family and other challenges they need to manage.
Another advantage will be the connectability factor, as the platform will help community colleges better support student success and overall completion rates by making it easier for instructors, academic counselors, tutors and others to directly connect with students and with each other to help students stay focused on the educational paths they have set for themselves.
As Norberto Quiroz, a counselor at Santa Rosa Junior College and member of the Education Planning Initiative steering committee said, “Students, faculty, and staff will have access at various secure levels to design and monitor completion progress. He added, “Students will have access to counseling at the tip of their cursor, and counselors will have the ability to create short and long term comprehensive planning that will point toward students’ stated goals.”
According to Sally Montemayor Lenz, Ed.D, Associate Vice Chancellor of Educational Services for Contra Costa Community College District, “The EPI’s mission is to provide colleges across California with innovative resources to ensure students can successfully reach their goals. During the selection process, the steering committee was very impressed with Hobsons’ expertise in student academic planning, advising and retention solutions and their cutting-edge platform that will support our student success colleagues. We’re glad to have Hobsons as a partner.”
Stephen M. Smith, president of advising and admissions solutions at Hobsons said, “Hobsons is dedicated to helping students explore how their strengths and interests align to their life goals, and to providing better insight into what academic pathways can lead to reaching those goals. We look forward to working with the dedicated advisors, administrators, and technology experts at California Community Colleges to help them deliver the support students need.”
How exciting that students will now have a head start on goal planning with a multi-year course plan to reaching their educational dreams in ways never before available.
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