FAQ and Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Basic Skills Terms:



Accountability Reporting for the Community Colleges or ARCC is a state-mandated report that provides an annual overview of system performance on specific indicators (transfer, vocational certificates, participation, etc.), along with college demographics and college performance on certain indicators (transfer, ESL, basic skills, vocational, etc).



ACT (act.org) is an independent, not-for-profit organization “that provides a broad array of assessment, research, information, and program management solutions in the areas of education and workforce development.” Among other things, ACT identifies practices that differentiate high-performing two-year public colleges from low-performing two-year public colleges.


Basic Skills Initiative (BSI)

Under the auspices of the Chancellor’s Office, the Basic Skills Initiative (BSI) is a collaborative statewide effort to address the needs of academically under-prepared community college students to succeed in their coursework. Initially the BSI identified effective practices and devised a self-assessment tool to be used by individual colleges. Over several years, beginning in 2005-06, colleges have been required to submit annual action plans in return for categorical funding to implement the plans.



Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) surveys community college students and issues an annual Community College Student Report to “communicate the importance of student engagement and illustrate how community and technical colleges are addressing the learning needs of their students.” CCSSE has also introduced benchmarks for best practices in community colleges.


Poppy Copy

Basic Skills as a Foundation for Student Success in California Community (also known as the “Poppy Copy” because of its bright cover) is the definitive BSI document which contains effective practices, planning, evaluation, and budget tools for implementation of the BSI in 5 areas: Organizational and Administrative practices, Program Components, Staff Development, and Instructional practices. It’s used in creating the annual basic skills action plan required by the Chancellor’s office.