As part of a statewide effort to better support California’s diverse student population, the May annual release for OpenCCC and CCCApply included a number of product enhancements leading to an improved student experience. Key highlights of the May release include:
- A new, full-Spanish translation in the OpenCCC student account system and across all CCCApply applications
- A new mobile-ready experience in OpenCCC
- A user-friendly Social Security Number question in OpenCCC
- A residency logic fix for California’s homeless students
- A new question to allow applicants to report the highest grade completed
- A new SuperGlue for Multiple Measures Placement Service microservice to tie in placement data
- New links to an updated AB540 eligibility affidavit form and a new California Dream Act Application
The decision to roll out full Spanish-language translation across all CCCApply applications—which include OpenCCC and the Standard (US), International, Noncredit and California College Promise Grant applications—was supported by data that showed nearly one-third of California residents use Spanish as their primary language at home, said Patricia Donohue, product manager of the OpenCCC and CCCApply applications. Although most applicants use an English-language browser to complete the CCCApply applications, Donohue noted the use of Spanish browser translation is up more than 50% since last year according to Google Analytics data.
Donohue said full Spanish translation has always been part of the CCCApply roadmap, but it became an immediate priority due to accessibility issues with an interim design that provided translation through hover text. When CCCApply went to a mobile-responsive design last October, the hover text was eliminated, paving the way for the addition of full Spanish translation.
“The original design was not accessible, but with the Vision for Success as a guide post, we were able to focus on Spanish internationalization for the spring 2020 release,” Donohue said. “The new design is now fully accessible to screen readers and other assistive technologies, is mobile-friendly and supports our Spanish-speaking students.”
The May release also introduced a mobile-responsive redesign of OpenCCC. As a result, new students will have a seamless mobile experience from account creation to application. According to Google Analytics data, approximately 32 percent of CCCApply applicants currently submit their applications on a smartphone or tablet.
A streamlined Social Security number question in OpenCCC also greatly simplifies this portion of the application process by moving legal jargon to a slide-out window. In the upcoming fall release, this question will be removed from OpenCCC account creation and added only to the CCCApply Standard application.
Additionally, a change to residency logic will remove a major hurdle for homeless students applying to community college. Previously, the CCCApply application relied solely on an address to determine residency. When an applicant indicated their status as homeless, they would be flagged as a non-resident and had to go to great lengths to prove California residency. Thanks to the new update, homelessness will no longer be a basis for determining non-residency.