Internet Resources

Documents and Internet Resources


Acceleration in Context (AIC)

Acceleration in Context (AIC) is a comprehensive new initiative with the central aim of introducing accelerated curriculum and pedagogy into a broad cross-section of disciplines and programs across the state, even potentially the nation. Acceleration in Context is a markedly different expression of Acceleration than other models encountered around the country, even though there is overlap and certainly some shared goals. Most of these expressions of Acceleration are defined primarily by structural changes in course offerings. However, years of experience and research tell us that tinkering with structure is not enough to address the epidemic of failure going on in Basic Skills classrooms.

ARCC Report

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).

Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count

Achieving the Dream is a multi-year national initiative to help more community college students succeed. The initiative is particularly concerned about student groups that traditionally have faced significant barriers to success.

Back to Basics: Improving College Readiness of Community College Students (LAO Report)

Prepared by the Legislative Analyst’s Office, this 2008 report provides an overview of CCC policies and practices in addressing basic skills. It identifies system-wide CCC policies and practices that are at odds with generally accept­ed strategies for improving basic skills education and recommends structural and system-wide changes to improve student preparedness and success.

Basic Skills Completion: The Key to Student Success in the California Community Colleges 

This 2013 resource replaces the "Poppy Copy" and is the result of over 5 years of Basic Skills Initiative project implementation throughout the state.  It includes information on programs, practices and projects that have proven to be successful and that  have the data to back them up. In addition, it includes a section to help administrators and researchers assure that processes and resources are available to guarantee success.

Basic Skills Cohort Tracking Tool 

The Basic Skills Cohort Tracking Tool on the Chancellor’s Office website gives all 112 California community colleges immediate, easy access to data on student progress through their English, reading, ESL, and math pipelines. Envisioned and sponsored by 3CSN, this online tool was developed by the Research and Planning Group in collaboration with the CCCCO.

Basic Skills and English as a Second Language

Chancellor's Office Official Basic Skills Site. Includes links to BSI reports, forms, resources.

Basic Skills as a Foundation for Student Success in California 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 4 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.

California Acceleration Project

Research studies nationwide have established that the more levels of developmental courses a student must take, the less likely the student is to ever complete college courses in English and math. The California Acceleration Project aims to increase the number of community college students completing English and math requirements by shortening developmental sequences and focusing instruction on essential skills for success in transfer-level courses.

California Community Colleges Basic Skills Initiative  

Under the auspices of the Chancellor’s Office, the Basic Skills Initiative (BSI) is a collaborative statewide effortto 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.

California Community Colleges’ Success Network (3CSN)

3CSN is a permanent professional learning community among the 112 California community colleges and the CCC Center for Professional Learning.

  • Hosts BSI Leadership Institutes
  • Sponsors Learning in Networks for Knowledge Sharing (LINKS)  regional workshops
  • Provides an interactive virtual network to support professional development and share information
  • Makes available web resources and archived workshops

CB 21 Information and Rubrics

CB 21 coding is used to classify credit courses that comprise the basic skills pathways leading to transfer-level courses in English and math at the various colleges. Courses are designated according to discipline (reading, writing, math, and ESL), and assigned a code based on descriptive rubrics designed by faculty experts. These rubrics for coding and aligning basic skills sequential courses were adopted by all 110 community colleges in spring 2009 and implemented in spring 2010. The data provided by CB21 is used by the ARCC report to capture student progress.

Center for Community College Student Engagement

The Center, a research and service initiative of the Community College Leadership Program in the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin, provides important information about effective educational practice in community colleges. The Center assists institutions and policymakers in using information to promote improvements in student learning, persistence, and attainment.

      The Center conducts a collection of national surveys:

      The Center also hosts several related initiatives:


Community College Research Center

Housed at the Institute on Education and the Economy, Teachers College, Columbia University, CCRC focuses on the problems and performances of community colleges in the United States. It does extensive research on policies and practices relating to student access and success. 

Constructing A Framework for Success: A Holistic Approach to Basic Skills(Basic Skills Handbook)

This handbook is designed for faculty, student services personnel, and administrators who are working with students that have basic skills needs. It’s useful for anyone teaching specific basic skills courses or teaching transfer courses that include students with basic skills needs, staffing tutoring labs, providing student services, helping to develop Basic Skills Action Plans or acting as a Basic Skills Coordinator.

Effective Practices Database

This Chancellor’s Office site contains a searchable database of community college programs strategies and practices that have both demonstrated student success and provided sufficient quantitative and/or qualitative data to substantiate their effectiveness. 

Five Principles for Powerful Classrooms: Lessons From Strengthening Precollegiate Education in Community Colleges (Abstract)

This article by Pat Hutchings and Molly Breen appeared in The League for Innovation in the Community Colleges’ Abstracts January 2009 (v12.n1). This article describes successful practices for teaching and learning basic skills English and math that were identified by Strengthening Precollegiate Education in Community Colleges (SPECC). The approaches include learning communities, supplemental instruction/tutoring, and instructional technologies.

Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing

This 2011 document, which was developed jointly by the National Council of Teachers of English, the Council of Writing Program Administrators, and the National Writing Project, identifies the rhetorical and twenty-first-century skills as well as habits of mind and experiences that are critical for student success in transfer-level college courses.

"At its essence, the Framework suggests that writing activities and assignments should be designed with genuine purposes and audiences in mind (from teachers and other students to community groups, local or national officials, commercial interests, students’ friends and relatives, and other potential readers) in order to foster flexibility and rhetorical versatility. Standardized writing curricula or assessment instruments that emphasize formulaic writing for nonauthentic audiences will not reinforce the habits of mind and the experiences necessary for success as students encounter the writing demands of postsecondary education."


Meaningful Access and Support: The Path to College Completion  

Meaningful access and academic support are imperative to increase graduation rates, develop an educated workforce, strengthen the economy, and compete globally. This August 2013 white paper issued by the Council of Learning Assistance and Developmental Education Associations (CLADEA) lays out five imperatives to forge a path toward increased college completion, explores policies that restrict or inhibit access and academic support, describes features of successful academic support programs, and responds to recent developmental education research. The paper is endorsed by a number of nationally recognized organizations including ACTLA and NADE.

Reading Between the Lives

Video of documentary film made at Chabot College about student experiences with college reading.

RP Group

The Research & Planning Group for California Community Colleges provides leadership in research, planning, and assessment within the California community college system. It provides a newsletter, has online resources for educators, and sponsors the annual Strengthening Student Success Conference. It houses the Center for Student Success, which conducts research and evaluation projects by utilizing the skills and unique perspectives of  college researchers, faculty, and administrators.

Serving Students, Serving California: Updating the California Community Colleges to Meet Evolving Demands 

Report by the Little Hoover Commission that concludes the community colleges, in trying to be all things to everyone, are coming up short for many. The February 2012 report covers much of the same ground as the Student Success Task Force and more. It cites a lack of clear goals for the community college system, identifies problems, such as lack of student preparation, lack of access to classes, failure to complete programs and certificates, lack of sufficient support services, etc., and makes recommendations to help students move through the system in a more productive and effective manner.

State Academic Senate Basic Skills Report

Adopted by the Statewide Academic Senate in 2000, this document gives an overview of basic skills in the California Community Colleges. It includes definitions, practices, challenges, and exemplary programs. It also makes recommendations for local senates to follow to increase the success of basic skills students.

State Academic Senate Task Force on Student Success

Website of the Task Force created by Senate Bill 1143 (Liu) to examine best practices for promoting student success and adopt a plan for improving student success in the California Community Colleges. Website has links for Public Participation, Reports and Resources.

On September 28, 2010, Senate Bill 1143 (Liu) was chaptered into law. This legislation, effective January 1, 2011, requires the Board of Governors to establish a task force to examine best practices for promoting student success and adopt a plan for improving student success within the California Community Colleges.

Using Student Voices to Redefine Support: What Community College Students Say Institutions, Instructors and Others Can Do to Help Them Succeed (January 2013)

From the RP Group Student Perspectives Research (Year 1, 2011 – 2012), find a full report of students’ perspectives on how “six success factors” contribute to their achievement. Discover discussion questions to stimulate dialog about these findings and students’ suggestions for action by constituent group.

What Students Say They Need to Succeed: Key Themes from a Study of Student Support (January 2013)

From the RP Group Student Perspectives Research (Year 1, 2011 – 2012), learn about five key themes emerging from this student perspectives research and specific strategies that students suggest may improve their achievement. Find discussion questions to facilitate reflection and planning at the college level.

Windows on Learning

A web-based collection developed in November 2007 in conjunction with Strengthening Pre-Collegiate Education in Community Colleges (SPECC), a project of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.