Annual Update: 2015 March

Release Date

Friday, March 27, 2015

Release Scope


Release Summary 

CCCApply Standard Application

New Data Fields

The CCCApply Steering Committee approved three new data fields to the Standard, BOG, and International applications. All of them are optional and none of them will appear on screen to the applicant. Colleges can add these fields to their Format Definitions XML files and start downloading them right away. To learn more about adding download fields and updating the Download Client transfer-client.jar file in the Downloads section of the User Guides.

IP Address Capture Field

In an effort to protect our colleges against the threat of student financial aid fraud, Steering has approved a request by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Education to capture the IP address of each submitted application through an updated web service and store the data in the submitted_applications tables. A disclosure has been added to the OpenCCCApply Privacy Policy stating that the CCC Technology Center will be collecting this data when the student gives consent at the time of submission. The new data element, ip_address, will be stored in the following db tables:   

submitted_applications table: ip_address field
bogfw_application table: ip_address field
submitted_intl_application table: ip_address field


Enrollment Campaign Tracking Fields 

Correction:  Enhancements were made to all three applications to allow colleges to track enrollment campaigns. Up to three unique URL key/value pairs can be integrated into each application using: user1=x, user2=y, and user3=z (where x, y, and z are set to the name of your specific campaign). For example, when you provide an application URL link that includes the campaign value such as this one:, the "x,y,z" values are stored in the submitted_applications database and downloaded through your job and format XML files. The data dictionaries and the Download Client have been updated to include the new <campaign1>, <campaign2>, and <campaign3> (hidden) fields. 

Technical Notes

Adding the new data fields to your download file requires: 1) updating your Format XML file, 2) configuring your SIS system to import the new fields; and 3) updating the transfer client jar file, which does not effect your existing download process. Colleges determine which fields they want to download when configuring their format XML; they can choose which fields to include and which fields they don't want to include. For information on adding new fields to your download file, please see the User Guides for details.

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Bugs & Fixes

Session Timeout & Screen Readers
Session Timeout Pop-Up: The session timeout message that displays after a certain period of inactivity during OpenCCC Account Creation, or during the Standard, BOG, or International application process has been refactored to work correctly with the following screen reader/OS:web browser combinations:

    • JAWS/Windows: IE 11, Firefox, and Chrome
    • VoiceOver/OS X: Safari, Firefox, and Chrome

College Name Field Database Correction

A correction was made on February 20, 2015 to a recurring system process that resubmits applications when they are submitted by the student but prevented from updating the database due to an intermittent communication interruption. Due to an error in this system process, a small number of applications were resubmitted without the College Name field populating the college_id field in the database. This system process has been updated and now resubmits applications correctly, and the application_id field in the affected applications has been corrected and populated in the database. 


Resume Application to Last Saved Page

My Applications Page: When you click the Resume button to resume a previously-started application, focus is returned to the application page where you left off instead of the Introduction page. 

Application Timeout Return Link
Single-sign on and application time-out functionality have been updated so that when an application session times out, clicking the Return link directs you to the OpenCCC Account Log-In page instead of the Logout Success page.

OpenCCC Account Security Question Fix
A bug was fixed to allow applicants to enter a phone number with punctuation without error in the OpenCCC Account security question, "What was your childhood phone number including area code?"

Fixed Issues with the Session Time-Out Expiration Warning Pop-Up
When the Session Timeout pop-up box displays, clicking the "Yes, Keep Me Signed In" button functions correctly to keep your session alive.


Need to submit a bug?

If you identify a bug in the OpenCCC Account system, in the BOG Fee Waiver, or the CCCApply admissions application, we now have a designated support email address and Issue Tracking System to capture and respond to college or staff issues. In an effort to manage support issues more effectively, we are moving away from using the CCCApply Users Listserv for reporting bugs and issues. For fastest response, please post a problem, issue or idea on during business hours, Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:00pm PST.

Hover Help Text Changes

The following changes addressed missing or incorrect hover help in the Standard application.

  • Added the correct hover help language to the 'Financial Assistance' field on the Needs & Interests Page
  • Added Spanish hover help text to the Military Discharge Type field
  • Updated the English hover help text throughout the Foster Youth Status fields
  • Added missing English and Spanish hover help to each of the questions in the Special Residencies Categories section
  • Added missing English and Spanish hover help to the Military Discharge Type field
  • Updated the Spanish hover help to the College Enrollment Status field
  • Added missing English and Spanish hover help to the Social Security Number / Taxpayer Identification Number, SSN Type, and the 'No SSN' fields  

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Residency & Validation Logic

Fix Error Validation for 'Date Stay Began in California' Field
Colleges are reporting that the question/field for "When did your stay begin in California" has error checking that is preventing students from applying for late-starting courses on their campus. The solution was to fix the third validation on the field <residency:ca_stay_began)> to check the date entered against the current date instead of the <RDD>. Example: Student A arrived in California after the start of the Term <RDD> but is here now. She is applying to "College" for a late-starting course. By changing the validation to check against the current date, she will be able to apply without being refused or forced to use false dates.


Fix Validation for Visa Type "Other" in Visa Types Table - Logic Fix
The eligibility status for the Visa type "Other" was changed from No to Yes in the Visa Types (Table F), which will set Class A2 and flag 51 in Step 6 of the Area A residency logic. Flag 51 will alert Admissions that the applicant's Visa Type may or may not establish residency and that futher proof, beyond self-reported data, is required. 

From Visa Types Table (Table F)  

Db ValueVisa





May or may not be allowed to establish residency. Requires documentation
(proof beyond self-reported data).

From Area A Residency Logic: Step 6

StepEvaluation StatementArea A Logic"If Yes""If No"


Does the student have a visa that
allows residency to be established?

visa_type has YES in 'Residency?’
column of Table F.

Class A2
set flag 51

Class A0
and set flag 48
if visaType = B, 
B1, or B2


Issues Fixed in Residency Area B Logic - Out of State Indicators & Foster Youth 
Fixed bug in Step 1 of the logic. New logic: If answer is "If No", then set B0 and continue to Step 2.
Fixed bug in Step 4 of the logic. New logic: If answer is "If No", then set B0 and end logic. The status for that area would be B0. If answer is "If Yes", then set Class B2 and go to step 5.

From Area B Residency Logic from CCCApply Submission Calculations Service Specification

StepEvaluation StatementArea B Logic"If Yes""If No"


Do out-of-state indicators support intent?

ca_outside_tax = 0 AND
ca_outside_voted = 0 AND
ca_outside_college = 0 AND
ca_outside_lawsuit = 0

Go to step 2

Class B0
(go to step 2)


Has the applicant lived in California for two
years prior to RDD?

ca_res_2_years = 1

Go to step 5

Go to step 3


Has the applicant been resident in CA for
over a year prior to RDD?

ca_date_current  ≠ null AND
ca_date_current < RDD minus 1 year

Class B2
(flag 59)
go to step 5

Go to step 4


Is the applicant a current or former Foster
Youth, under age 20, and now residing in California?

ca_foster_youth = Yes

Class B2
go to step 5
(flag 70)

Class B0


Education Page 

Restrict Enrollment Option for Applicants 22 Years or Older (SB11)
Per MIS SB11, students age 22 or older are prohibited from enrolling in high school or lower grades in California. Therefore, we've removed the response option, "1 = Will be enrolled in high school (or lower grade) and college at the same time" from the response options displayed in the College Enrollment Status <enroll_status> and High School Ed Level <hs_ed_level> fields. (Steering approved change request 2014-06B.)

Two solution requirements: 

    • If applicant is 22 years or older (birthdate against RDD) do not display the response option for "Y = Enrolling in high school (or lower grade) and college at the same time" from College Enrollment Status field (entry_level) options.
    • If applicant is 22 years or older (birthdate against RDD) do not display value: "1 = Will be enrolled in high school (or lower grade) and college at the same time" from the High School Education Level field (hs_edu_level).


Enforce Validation to Responses for Special Admits (SB15)
If an applicant selects the option, "Y = Enrolling in high school (or lower grade) and college at the same time" in the College Enrollment Status field, the system will default to display the equivalent response option in the High School Ed Level field, "1 = Will be enrolled in high school (or lower grade) and college at the same time".  The error validation will remain consistent; ensuring both fields match for Special Admits. (Steering approved change request 2014-06C.)


Fix Validation Errors for High School Completion Date Field #1

Two error validations were missing from the High School Completion Date field. The first one was allowing students to enter a graduation date in the future after indicating that their enrollment status and/or high school education level indicates they were in high school (or lower grade) on the day before the term begins <RDD>. Per Legal, the system should not allow the applicant to enter a graduation date that is a date beyond the current date, unless it is before the term <RDD>. 

Solution:  Added an error validation to <education: hs_comp_date> ensuring the date is before <RDD>; else error message, "Your High School Completion Date cannot be after <RDD >. Please correct your completion date and/or your High School Education Level.”


Add Missing Validation for High School Completion Date #2
If a student chooses the following option from the College Enrollment Status drop down box, “First time student in college (after leaving high school)”, there are 4 options in the High School Education Level drop down menu that should trigger the High School Completion Date field to be required.

Those 4 options are:
• Received high school diploma from U.S. school
• Passed the GED, or received a High School Certificate of Equivalency
• Received a Certificate of California High School Proficiency
• Received a diploma/certificate of graduation from a Foreign school

Solution: Ensure the High School Completion Date field appears ONLY when one of the options above are chosen, and ensure that if they don’t enter the High School Completion Date, they receive the following message: “You must specify your High School Completion Date. If unsure of the exact day, please estimate.”

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OpenCCC Account

  Session Timeout Pop-Up for Screen Readers

The Session Timeout pop-up message that displays after a certain period of inactivity for the Account Creation, CCCApply, and BOG applications has been re-factored to work correctly with the following screen reader/OS:web browser combinations:

    • JAWS/Windows: IE 11, Firefox, and Chrome
    • VoiceOver/OS X: Safari, Firefox, and Chrome

When the Session Timeout pop-up box displays, clicking the "Yes, Keep Me Signed In" button functions correctly to keep the session alive. 

Spanish Hover Help Added to "Edit My OpenCCC Account" Button
Spanish hover help language has been added to the 'Edit My OpenCCC Account' button and reads: 'Editar Mi OpenCCC Cuenta'.


Fix Error Message for the Under Age 13 Restriction in OpenCCC Account Creation
Per federal privacy laws (COPPA) it is unlawful for persons under the age of 13 to create an online account and provide personal information online. The OpenCCC Account creation is set up to prevent applicants under the age of 13 from creating an account, but the error message we were using was ambiguous, and according to one college "opens the door for dishonesty by the applicant to get past the question and continue on....the language of the error message should be revised for clarity and should cite federal privacy legislation."  No change was made to the validation itself, however the error message text was revised to read as follows: "We found some problems with the information you submitted: Federal privacy laws restrict applicants age 13 years and younger from creating an online account and applying to college using an online application. Please contact the college Admissions & Records office for assistance."

OpenCCC Account Security Question Fix: "What was your childhood phone number?"
A fix was made to one of the security questions in the OpenCCC Account creation process: "What was your childhood phone number including area code?" The issue has been addressed and students can now enter a phone number with punctuation without error.


OpenCCC Account Creation Confirmation Email

To support the Help Desk with OpenCCC account recovery, a system auto-generated confirmation email will be sent out for each new OpenCCC account created. The email will contain the student's CCCID (California Community College Identification number) and contact information for the OpenCCC Help Desk Account Recovery system. This new feature Is ready to pass code review and will be implemented after a final accessibility review. *Note: This confirmation is for OpenCCC Account Creation only and is not intended to confirm submitted applications.

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BOG Fee Waiver Application

The following corrections were made to the BOG Fee Waiver Application:

Fixed Display of Social Security Number from Edit Account/Mailing Information Page
Social security numbers now display correctly on the Account/Mailing Information tab when you edit your OpenCCCApply Account to include a social security number.

Leading Zeros Stripped from 'All Other Income' Eligibility Methods Tab
The 'All Other Income' field now strips leading zeros so that the field value displays correctly.
Fixed Link Between Certification Statement Privacy Policy & My Applications Page
When you click the Privacy Policy link in the Applicant Certification Statement page, and then click the My applications link from within the Privacy Policy, focus is returned to the My BOG Fee Waiver Applications page.
Updated In Progress Timestamp
The BOG Fee Waiver application has been updated so that the timestamp correctly saves to the in-progress database for in-progress applications.
BOG Academic Year Field Does Not Allow Null
The academic_year column in the College table has been updated to not allow Null values for the BOG Fee Waiver application.
BOG Application ID Displays Correctly in My BOG Applications Page
Applications that are closed without Saving once the applicant has completed the Account Creation page now display their Application ID correctly. The CCC Tech Center will run a script that will correct all previously-started/abandoned applications that meet this criteria so that their Application ID will display.



2015-2016 BOG Application

The CCC Technology Center received the new 2015-16 BOG application from the Chancellor's Office on February 21, 2015; changes were identified and requirements groomed for development, which began on March 17. Development sprints are three weeks in length; final testing and accessibility review may require additional time to complete. We anticipate the 2015-2016 BOG application to be completed and released by the second week of April 2015. Changes include a new Method B Income Table (logic changes) and several text / language changes.

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International Application

Development of the CCCApply International admissions application has been on hiatus since August 2014; however any changes made in this release that apply to all applications were also made to the International application. 


International Application Development Resumes

Development work on the International Application will resume in April and colleges are invited to participate in defining the remaining business requirements needed to release the first iterationsome time in May. The remaining requirements and subsequent testing will follow the Agile development process, which means progress happens through an ongoing series of 3 week development "sprints". During each sprint the development team works on specific tasks and requirements and at the end of the sprint, the team presents their results for feedback to the pilot colleges. This means that ongoing smaller changes and resets can be made to refine the application so that it meets the requirements and accessibility standards by the end of the process. 

The testing process will also follow the Agile method-: development sprint, test changes, undo or revise changes, and preview to colleges. Testing will require assistance from the pilot colleges. For information about how you can participate, please contact Patty Donohue, Project Manager,

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CCCApply is currently undergoing a routine 508 Compliance Audit by the State of California. Early results have allowed us to expedite a series of fixes to several key issues identified when using specific browser + screen reader combinations. To address these issues, we have defined browser/operating systems + screen reader combinations that will be supported and recommended for the best user experience.

Supported Browsers & Screen Readers

For the best user experience, the CCC Technology Center recommends using the following browser/operating system + screen reader combinations when creating an OpenCCC Account or applying to a California Community College using the CCCApply admissions applications (Standard and International) or the BOG Fee Waiver application:


Operation SystemBrowser + Screen Reader Combination
WindowsFire Fox / JAWS
OSXSafari + VoiceOver
WindowsChrome + NVDA (Open-source)

508 Accessibility Issues Fixed - February 2015 Release

Session Time-Out Changes

The logic around the Session Time-Out functionality has been enhanced to ensure that students using a screen reader to create or edit an OpenCCC Account, or to apply to a CCC using the CCCApply admissions applications, have a clear understanding of when the Session Time-Out has begun and can very easily continue in their session or opt to sign out.


New logic was introduced for Error Validation Pop-Up Readability with Screen Readers
Screen readers now read all error validations and help pop-ups that appear during the application.

Ease of Use in the School Finder Tool with Screen Readers
New development was implemented to enhance the use of the High School and College School Finder tool to ensure the student has a seamless experience if using a screen reader.


Navigation Tab Indicators (Green Check Marks) in the CCCApply admissions applications and the BOG Fee Waiver application are now consistently picked up and read by screen readers.


New Hover Help Implemented to Help with Easability for Accessibility Purposes
We implemented the following hover help changes for students using screen readers:

  • Revised hover help messages were added to the College/University and High School School Finder tools to provide clarity and ease-of-use.
  • Hover help messages were added in the “Needs & Interests Page"
  • The Financial Assistance hover help was enhanced to ensure instructions are clear and easily understood to users utilizing a screen reader.

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System Infrastructure

Over the past six months, the number of colleges Live on the new CCCApply has doubled, meaning twice as many users are now accessing the servers and submitting applications. To manage this increase efficiently and prepare for the remaining colleges to come on board, we've made some upgrades to our system infrastructure to balance the higher traffic and ensure that our system is always stable and accessible throughout the year.

Ways we've improved our Infrastructure and addressed accessibility standards:
  • Additional servers have been added to our Rackspace infrastructure to manage increased usage and maintain high level of performance and stability during peak periods;
  • Regular performance testing scans are being conducted across all applications to identify areas that can be improved;



New QA Environment

A new testing environment is being developed to replace our existing QA environment. This site will mirror the production site to ensure continuity for testing and college implementations. We hope to have this new site operational in conjunction with the International application roll-out in late April or early May.

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New College Support Email 

To better support the technical needs of Colleges Live or migrating to the new CCCApply applications, a new college support technician and designated support email address are now available to track and respond to staff issues and provide a second tier of IT support to the OpenCCC Help Desk. Colleges should submit bugs, report outages, and request IT-support directly to the new College Support email, Monday through Friday, 8:00am - 4:00pm PST. 



New Get Satisfaction Site - 24/7 Online Support Community for California Community Colleges

Similar to the student support community, a new instance of Get Satisfaction exclusively for California Community Colleges staff and faculty is under development to provide 24/7 online self-help community is being developed for CCC colleges and staff. The site will be populated with official FAQs designed to answer frequently asked questions as well as provide a venue for colleges to receive systems maintenance alerts, submit bugs and change requests, and get work-arounds for known issues relative to the OpenCCC Account system and the CCCApply online admissions applications. .

Stay tuned for an update on - coming soon!

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Steering Committee Change Requests

The following list of change requests represents only the requests that have been approved or deferred in 2014-2015. 

Approved2014-06: Restrict Concurrent Enrollment Status for Applicants Over Age 22MARCH 2015Error Validation
Approved2014-06: Remove HS Completion Date Fields for Concurrent HS/College Enrollment & HS Ed LevelsMARCH 2015Error Validation
Approved2014-40: OpenCCC Message to Student About UnSubmitted In-progress ApplicationUnder-developmentSystem-generated
Deferred*2014-48 Residency Issue with DACA Worker Status - XapWork-aroundSupplemental Question
Approved2014-52: Enrollment Campaign TrackingMARCHNew Data Field
Deferred - uPortal2014-53: Auto-population for Standard App / uPortalUnder-development 
Approved2014-56: Capture IP Address on Submitted ApplicationsMARCHNew Data Field
Approved2014-60: Revise Error Message Language: Under 13 Age RestrictionMARCHText / Language
Approved2014-62: Add CapTel Field for Hearing Impaired - Disability ComplianceUnder-developmentNew Data Field
Approved2014-64: Create New App-Look Up Report for DOB12/5/2014 
Approved2014-65: Revise Error Checking in Date Stay Begin in CAMARCHError Validation
Deferred - uPortal2014-67: Add Social Media Connections to OpenCCC Account Creation  
Approved2014-71: Foster Youth Error in Area B Logic Not EndingMARCHLogic
Deferred - uPortal2014-74: Add Link Between OpenCCC and My Applications  
Approved2014-75: CCCID On The My Applications Page (Header Upper Right Next to Student Name)Under-development 
Approved2014-77: Spanish Hover Help Missing from OpenCCC Account CreationMARCHText / Language
Approved2014-78: Add Currency Formatter to BOG App Download FormatUnder-developmentDownloads
Approved2014-79: Add validation for High School Completion Date fieldMARCHError Validation
Approved2015-01: OpenCCC Account Creation Confirmation EmailUnder-developmentSystem-generated
Deferred2015-02: Create a Compliant Paper ApplicationMay 2015Text / Language
Approved2015-03: Submitted Application Confirmation EmailUnder-developmentSystem-generated
Approved2015-04: Add System Requirements & Support Browsers Info to Accessibility PageUnder-developmentText / Language
NEW2015-05: Add AS-T and AA-T to the Award Types Field  
NEW2015-06: Revise Foster Youth Language in Apply per MIS/Legislature  
NEW2014-76: Add Alternate (Preferred) Name Field to OpenCCC Account for Transgender  
NEW2014-80: Add Transgender to Gender Field  
NEW2014-81: Develop Generic Financial Aid Online Application  
ApprovedCustom Re-direct URL After Submission  
NEWAdd "No First Name" field available in the Rules section of the Administrator  
NEWAdd language to the Alien Reg field to include USCIS as interchangeable  
NEWAsk Steering - How are single-name students (Cher, Madonna) handled relative to MIS reporting?  

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Release Information

Why do we schedule releases on Friday evenings?

The reason we schedule releases and other maintenance windows on Friday evenings is to give us the entire weekend to resolve an issue if it arises.  Friday evening is a low point in the weekly demand cycle.

As you can see below, normal daily activity drops in the evening. While not the lowest point in the day, combine this with Friday being a significant low activity day heading into the weekend, and add in the benefit of being able to mitigate risk by working on a problem over the weekend, if it arises, and you can see why Friday evening makes sense.

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