Online Community-Based Support for Students

Last update: January 22, 2021

This quick-start guide is designed to help California Community Colleges students register and use - the community-based support forum for online technology applications such as CCCApply.


Welcome provides an online community-based support forum for students, parents and the California Community Colleges community seeking support and information around systemwide information technology applications and services that support student success.

Designed to provide self-service, online support and college information, is monitored by support technicians and student services representatives across all 116 California Community Colleges.

Need Help Now? Contact the CCC Helpdesk at (877) 247-4836 or email us at for 24/7 student support and information.

In This Guide


  • provides an easy-to-use, online platform to request technical support for CCC student success applications, such as: CCCApply, OpenCCC, MyPath, Canvas, and CC Promise Grant applications.

  • Delivers up-to-date news and information about CCC technology applications and services

  • Allows users to share, discuss, and collaborate with other CCC students, 24/7

  • Posts and comments are monitored by CCC Technology Center support representatives and subject matter experts, Monday - Friday 7:00am - 4:00pm


Features & Benefits is a powerful community-based resource with tons of features designed to promote user engagement while encouraging participation and discussion in a user-friendly way.

  • Request support by posting a new Discussion in any Category

  • Ask questions about using technology applications and services

  • Comment, bookmark and/or share Discussions

  • Set notifications to stay informed on CCCTC System Alerts or any/all available Categories.

See more Cutting Edge Features available in the Vanilla Forums platform, below.


Contact Technical Support is the primary point-of-contact for reporting issues and requesting technical support for systemwide technology applications such as CCCApply, MyPath, CC Promise Grant and other student applications.

CCC Helpdesk Call Center

(877) 247-4836

24/7 call center for student support.

CCC Helpdesk Email

Request help or report an issue by email.

Share, discuss, or post a question to the online student support community.


Share & Discuss

User-generated content is defined as a “Post” within the community. New posts - or Discussions - will start a discussion thread. Responding to a Discussion post is called a Comment. Each Discussion can have many Comments, or they could have none. 


Getting Started Guide

Getting There

From your preferred desktop or mobile browser, navigate to the community at

California Community Colleges students are encouraged to register for an account on today and begin connecting with your peers.


Register & Sign In

To get started, click the “Register” button on the homepage to display the Register page.

On the Register page, follow the steps below to complete the Registration form to setup your account.


  1. Email: Enter your email address.

  2. Username: Enter a username of your choice.

  3. Password: Enter a password of your choice.

  4. Confirm Password: Enter your password again.

  5. Security Check: Check the box “I'm not a robot” and wait for the green reCAPTCHA confirmation checkmark to proceed.

  6. Terms of Service: Check the “I agree to the terms of service” checkbox.

  7. Remember Me: Check the “Remember me on this computer” checkbox to ensure your user credentials are stored for this site (optional).

  8. Click to “Sign Up” button to complete the registration process.





Sign In with Social Media

Students can also sign in to the community using one of the following established social media accounts:

  • Google

  • Microsoft

  • Facebook

  • Twitter (Currently not available)


To sign in using your Google account, enter your Google account password to confirm your identity.


User Profile & Preferences

Your account includes a user Profile with configurable notification preferences and other settings.

Editing Your Profile

Customizing your Profile includes:

  • Editing your Username and Email address

  • Changing your account Password

  • Adding or changing your profile picture

  • Setting up your social media account connections

Setting Your Notification Preferences

Notifications are options that users can set to control if and how they are notified by CCCHelp. Users can choose to be notified by pop-ups, email, or not at all.   

To set Notification Preferences, click on your Profile icon in the header toolbar and follow the instructions below.

  1. Select Edit Profile from the User menu.

  2. Select Notification Preferences from the preferences menu on the left side of window.



  3. Once you've set your preferences be sure to click the Save Preferences button at the bottom of the screen.


Setting Up Category Notifications

To set your preferences for Category Notifications, so you can stay informed of new posts, system alerts, upcoming releases & maintenance windows,



Connecting to Your Social Media Networks integrates with a number of social applications that can be used as SSO solutions, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter (coming soon).

To share your activity with your friends and followers - or to be notified of activity from this site on your social media sites - connect your profile to your existing social media networks.

To connect, click the Connect button for available social networks.

Using the CCCHelp Support Site

For California Community Colleges students, is an all-purpose support and communication site for systemwide technology applications and services developed by the CCC Technology Center.

Getting There

To get to online support site, visit


Home Page

The homepage presents a forum-style landing page for registered users and visiting guests. Visitors have read-only access to the categories and discussions throughout the site; however, in order to post, comment, or reply to discussions registration is required.


Registered users see all discussions, current messaging, system alerts, and notification links in the right-tool bar.


The Toolbar


The MeBox

The MeBox shows your profile picture and username when you are logged in and provides several vital links to other areas of the platform. You can view your notifications, bookmarks, visit your own profile page.




Side Panel

The side panel includes widgets, quick links, and pockets of content that are easily accessible in our support community.

Categories: Categories are how posts are organized within this community. 

Recent Discussions: A list of all discussions across all categories in the community, ranked by the date they were published or last updated.

Activity: A feed that displays all recent member activity such as; who has joined, who has changed their picture, status updates, etc.

My Bookmarks: Bookmarks or My Bookmarks are discussions that have been “starred” or bookmarked by clicking the star icon to the right of the discussion. Bookmarks are added to the Bookmarked Discussions Box in the Panel element (sidebar). This will only populate if the user has bookmarked at least 1 discussion. The My Bookmarks link will not appear in the side panel to Guest or users with no bookmarks.

My Discussions: A list of all discussions the currently signed in user has published. This will only populate if the user has authored at least 1 discussion and will not appear to Guests.

Unanswered: A list of unanswered questions that you have permission to see.

Best Of: The Best Of link displays a showcase of the best content in the community that other members or our moderators have voted as the best content. Moderators can also promote certain content to the Best Of page, which will constantly be refreshed as new content is published.

Groups: A list of Groups that the user is a member of as well as a list of Popular Groups and All Groups.


Categories & Discussions


A category is a discussion space dedicated to a specific topic, application, or service where students can ask questions, seek information or connect with other students. Categories appear listed on the home page for easy access. Users can select a category by clicking on the category title. Note that a category can have subcategories. If this is the case, then users will be able to post discussions in both the parent category, and the (child) subcategories.




Discussions are questions, comments, or messages posted to one or more Categories within the community. “Posting” - or commenting - on a discussion is the primary way users interact within our community. There is a range of discussion types available to suit your needs.

At the bottom of each discussion, there is a text field where users type their comments and submit them by hitting the “Post Comment” button. That comment will immediately appear at the bottom of the discussion, adding it to the conversation.


Creating A New Discussion

To create a new discussion, click on the New Discussion button in the right side bar of any category.


Below is an example of what you will encounter on the New Discussion page:


  1. The user starts a new discussion by selecting the category in which the new discussion should be posted.

  2. The discussion title is required and what will appear at the top of your post once it’s been submitted. It will also identify the discussion on the category index.

  3. The text editor field is where the user will enter the main body of their post.

  4. The user has options to assist in formatting the text, inserting emojis and images, and attaching files.

  5. Once the user has finished creating their post, clicking the Post Discussion button will immediately publish it. Clicking Save Draft will store the post under “My Drafts” in your user’s profile menu. Cancel will return the user back to the category previously viewed.




Types of Discussions

There are several different types of discussions that users can select when adding a new discussion post in an available category. When creating a new discussion, start by clicking the down-arrow on the “New Discussion” button to reveal the available options:

The New Discussion option is used for adding a general discussion topic or idea.

The Ask A Question option can be used when looking to get an answer or specific information. The screen for posting a question looks identical to the New Discussion screen. When a question is asked, the bottom of each subsequent comment will provide an option for the commenter to mark it as an answer.

The New Event option can be used to post information about an upcoming event.



Bookmarks or My Bookmarks are discussions that have been “starred” or bookmarked by clicking the star icon to the right of a discussion. Bookmarks are added to the Bookmarked Discussions Box in the Panel element (sidebar). 

Bookmarks can allow users to keep track of a favorite or important discussion. Users can choose to be notified via pop up or email when other users comment on their bookmarked discussions.


Cutting-Edge Features is powered by Vanilla Forums - community-based support platform.

  • Discussion types: In addition to standard discussions, Vanilla allows users to post questions and polls.

  • Private messaging: Users can have private one-on-one discussions, or they can bring multiple people into the conversation.

  • Powerful search: Autocomplete helps users find what they are looking for quickly. Search results include images and videos added to posts. Relevance is based on keywords, word order and post quality.

  • Mentions: Users can mention each other in discussions by writing an "@" before a username. Mentioned users are notified so they can quickly jump into the discussion.

  • Rich content: Users can format posts with html, markdown or bb code. Images are automatically resized and YouTube and Vimeo videos are automatically embedded. Tweets, Vines and Pins are also automatically recognized when pasted into a comment.

  • Advanced Editor: Advanced Editor recognizes HTML, BBCode and Markdown. Images, videos and other rich content are easily embedded, files can be uploaded and code blocks can be prettified.

  • Auto-save: The platform auto-saves your content as you are entering it so that you can close the window on purpose or by accident, and your hard work will not be lost.

  • Smart history: The platform remembers everything you've seen, keeping you up to date with which discussions have new content.