A Message From the Chancellor's Office
The California Community Colleges' (CCC) Telecommunications and Technology Infrastructure Program (TTIP) originally funded in 1996-97, established standards and guidelines for the development and implementation of a comprehensive telecommunications infrastructure, including a collaborative network with the California State University (CSU) system, model applications, and faculty and staff development in the areas of telecommunications and technology.
The infrastructure is divided in two halves: inter-college connectivity and intra-college connectivity.
The TTIP must expand in the area of inter-college connectivity to accommodate increased use of the data and video network that has been formed with the CSU system. The existing network is capable of carrying 45 Mbps; the introduction of video over the network in 1998 for the CCC will require the network to be expanded. In 1997-98 the CCC system will evaluate the implementation needs associated with the Student Friendly Services program coordinated by the CSU and the University of California Pathways Project in conjunction with other segments of education in California. These needs are electronic application, student services programs, and information projects. The Student Friendly Services program for the CCC system would be expanded in the budget year 1998-99 for systemwide implementation.
In the first two years of the TTIP, the colleges and districts were provided with downlink capability for both analog and digital satellite reception. This allows all CCC sites to receive satellite signals in multiple modes and improves the diversity of methods for interacting with other educational sites. While the system has two uplink sites for analog transmission, there is no digital uplink for the system. We propose to install and operate a digital uplink on behalf of the CCC system.
The uplink site would be selected through the competitive grant process. The project would be for multiple years with a goal of self support in five years. The uplink site would be connected to 4CNet and thus be capable of receiving transmissions from other CCC sites, which will allow the uplink site to distribute the signal virtually anywhere in the world.
The CCC Strategic Telecommunications Plan recommends a strategy of developing the inter-college connections of the system first. By the end of 1997-98, the TTIP will have achieved a standard level of connectivity between the 123 CCC sites in the areas of data, video, and satellite downlink reception. The development and implementation of the local technology infrastructure was recommended as the program's focus in its second phase. Local college connections on the campus and to the campus are critical cornerstones to the full deployment and use of technology by faculty, students, and staff.
There are two broad areas contained in the TTIP that address intra-college connectivity: library automation systems and an 'other' optional uses area. The later contains three broad program areas that expand the college's local infrastructure.
Funds supporting the intra-college connectivity area are proposed to carry a 50percent match requirement. The match may be federal or state and must be used in the area of the qualifying TTIP funds.
Library Automation Systems
The library standards adopted in 1996 are applicable to this area. The role of the library in the learning experience is critical and the deployment of library resources beyond its physical structure is needed to support the learner. This is applicable to both the student enrolled in a traditionally taught course or a course taught via distance education. The ability of the CCC system to be a significant and effective player in technology related instruction is somewhat based on its information database and how access for its users is achieved.
The purpose of this augmentation is to achieve minimum standards related to library networking technology and to provide the system with access to its information resources from multiple locations.
The implementation of this program will produce savings to the system. The acquisition of standard software/hardware and electronic databases will reduce cost through volume purchases and cooperative purchase agreements with vendors. A coordinated leveraging of the system's size is important in achieving the best prices and producing the savings. The intent is for the TTIP to facilitate the role of the Chancellor's Office in accomplishing that function.
Other Optional Areas
We are looking at three other optional areas. If districts have achieved all components of library automation, they have the option and flexibility to use funds in the areas listed below:
This area addresses what you can do with the technology from a local perspective. Within the TTIP there are applications that are being piloted from a statewide perspective.
(Part Three will address application pilot projects and training needs.)