Improvements to CCCApply

Improvements to CCCApply

December 18, 2018

CCCApply screenshot

CCCApply Homepage

With an eye toward increasing access to the California Community Colleges and improving the student application experience, a large-scale effort is underway to simplify the system’s online college application, known as CCCApply.

The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office is driving user experience improvements to ensure CCCApply supports students through the community college application and enrollment process, targeting implementation of the redesigned system in fall 2019.

Question reduction in CCCApply and the creation of a simpler application for non-credit students began last spring, and both have recently been bolstered by passage of Assembly Bill 3101. The legislation cites the following:

  • On average, the application process takes a student 45 minutes to complete due to the amount of information it requests.
  • The state has documented an average abandonment rate of 5 percent, and ranging up to 14 percent at some community colleges, regarding the number of students who begin the application process, but fail to complete it.

Assembly Bill 3101 mandates that “only data that is required by the federal government, state law, or that is otherwise necessary, as determined by the chancellor, is collected during the process.” It further prescribes that supplemental student data should be collected only after the student has applied to a community college. Students seeking to enroll in career development, college preparation, and other non-credit courses would be exempt from residency classification requirements. Colleges would be reimbursed for additional costs imposed by the state mandate.

According to CCCApply product Manager Patty Donohue, “The passage of Assembly Bill 3101 gives us the latitude we needed to deliver a modified version of CCCApply for our non-credit student population. Lifting the requirement for uniform residency determination for all students allows us to look at other questions and steps that might be omitted at the time of application. Our goal is to find balance in what is asked of the student that is applying for college while still collecting all of the information required for state and federal reporting purposes.”

The CCCApply redesign is spearheaded by the Chancellor’s Office, the CCC Technology Center, and the Foundation for California Community Colleges, in collaboration with the community colleges, with additional support from ideas42. The project is applying behavioral science to inform a more student-centered design that is simpler, streamlined, and improves overall usability.