This year’s CISOA Technology Summit, Navigating the New Normal, was held March 20-23, in Ontario, California. The event is the annual conference for California Community College (CCC) IT professionals and widely attended by Chief Information System Officers (CISOs) and other staff instrumental in the adoption of guided pathways systemwide. The CISO Association (CISOA) presented an array of educational conference sessions, including discussion of systemwide aspirations for digital equity across the 116 colleges and 73 districts in our system: that any student regardless of where they live, what they look like, their age or preferred learning modality is able to successfully access the CCC system for desired postsecondary education and training.
Enrollment declines were discussed in the context of digital equity and the systemwide Course Exchange (hosted by the California Virtual Campus or CVC). Colleges participating in the Course Exchange discussed implementation success as part of their solution set to keep students enrolled. It was acknowledged that adopting the Course Exchange requires technical partnership between administrators from multiple units, including academic affairs, student services, admissions and records, and financial aid. Despite this complexity, successful collaboration campus-wide helps maximize student access to CCC courses as well as teaching opportunities for instructional staff.
An important aspect of the summit agenda surrounded an enterprise architecture inventory. This work is designed to catalyze the discussion about a redesign or overhaul of CCCApply and implementing both systemwide and local fraud mitigation strategies. In fact, the inventory will help the Chancellor’s Office pivot quickly if the governor’s proposed budget for IT and cybersecurity is approved in July. Discussion of IT and security infrastructure for colleges, districts, and the system served as a good reminder for colleges to take advantage of free services available through the Information Security Center. Learn more here >
The summit was also a time for the Chancellor’s Office team to share draft Requests for Information (RFIs) and obtain input from the field. The recently released RFI for Identity Proofing will help verify a user’s identity and ensure the information provided is associated with the identity of a real person. A team from the agency also presented, which elicited feedback as well as some concerns about inclusive communication, investments in IT and cybersecurity, and proposed reporting regulations. Campus IT professionals also provided valuable suggestions for improvement to the Chancellor’s Office, focusing on collaborative and strategic system solutions that include:
- Space to dedicated to fraud mitigation strategies through existing or new channels,
- The development of a systemwide service catalog
- The deployment of a satisfaction survey on system-supported technology tools and services
- More direct communication channels to facilitate systemwide discussion about discrete products, tools, services, integrations, etc.
This year’s CISOA Technology Summit was a great success and we are excited to continue this work together. We encourage our college partners to stay vigilant about fraud, review past memos, and to always reach out to the Chancellor’s Office staff for questions or concerns.