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Michigan Colleges Online Project 

The MCCA established a task force of presidents to review current services of the MCCVLC and in light of new innovations in the market, provide recommendations to the MCCA Board of Directors on moving forward.

Current Project Activities

With the guidance of the Michigan Colleges Online (MCO) Advisory Board, the MCCA staff has begun work on the milestones for the initiative.  Below is a synopsis of the work that is occuring - most recent efforts at the top.  Click here for the milestone listing.



  • Guided Digital Pathway Tool - overview
  • September 2015
  • July 2015
  • June 2015
  • May 2015
  • April 2015
    • Requirements solicitation and validation of the MCO Pathways Project continues.  Three focus groups were held at Lake Michigan College with Administration and Staff as well as several student focus groups.
    • The Chief Academic Officers work group met to confirm business rules for the MCO registration widget.
  • March 2015
    • Requirements solicitation and validation phase for the MCO Pathways Project is underway.  A total 7 of focus groups with college staff, faculty and students were held at the beta test site colleges.
      • March 11 - Lake Michigan College - Bertrand Crossings Campus
      • March 24 - West Shore Community College (faculty, staff and students)
      • March 25 - Mid-Michigan Community College (faculty, staff and students)
      • March 26 - Washtenaw Community College (faculty, staff and students)
    • Presentation was made to the Michigan Community College Data and Evaluation Committee (MCCDEC).  Feedback session was included with input from multiple colleges.
    • Presentation was made to the Michigan Community College Chief Academic Officers updating them on the progress of the project.
  • February 2015
    • Upgrades and program refinements made to the MCO Administrative website.
    • Hired Jonathan Kohns as Project Manager for the Pathways project.
    • Webinar for MCO Enrollment Administrators on Updates to the MCO Enrollment Dashboard held on February 12, 2015.  Click here for slides to that presentation.

    • Webinar on the Financial Aid workflow and summary report held February 10, 2015.  Click here for slides to that presentation.

  • January 2015
    • Financial Aid Check Workflow directions - click here.
    • Webinar on the MCO Guided Pathways Tool - presented at the Michigan Student Services Network meeting on January 30, 2015.  Click here for the powerpoint slides.
  • November 2014
    • MCO Student Website Tour for MCCA Public Relations group
  • October 2014
    • During October the redesigned data center, registration system and new student website were moved to production servers – and the testing began.
    • Work has been ongoing with all colleges to get their information updated on the website, and to assist with the beta testing. Held individual meetings with each college to assist with uploading information to the new student website.
    • Two training sessions were held for college enrollment administrators who will be completing the registrations on the new MCO Administrative Dashboard.
    • Print material was designed, printed and mailed to colleges for placement in student areas announcing the new MCO website.
    • Three student focus groups sessions were held to gauge usability of the MCO student website.  These sessions were hosted at St. Clair County Community College, Macomb Community College and Monroe County Community College. 
  • August - September 2014
    • This summer the team – Max Stahl, Technical Programming Coordinator; Jeffrey Johnson, QA/Infrastructure Support; and Randy Melton, Chief Technology Officer – have focused work on the new registration system, new student website and enrollment administrators website.  This included:
      • Installation of new servers, one of three firewalls, backup systems and load balancers.
      • Implementation of the majority of our virtual data center including the Redhat Linux operating system, VEEAM backup system and the VMware.  Started the installation process of the application firewall (F5).
      • Worked with three vendors to design appropriate security controls.
      • Set up email services for the registration system and controls for trusted email sender.
      • Imported and validated data for the past 5 years from legacy system.
      • Fine-tuned course registration widget design and functionality.
      • Developed new student website that is mobile friendly and works with new registration system.
      • Developed new MCO Enrollment Administrators website with automated functionality to streamline the workload of college enrollment administrators.  Will begin testing and finishing development. 
      • Developed a data service website that supports the MCO widget and website.
      • Worked on integration of course registration widget for college SIS.  Started validated some of the inventory rules in a test bed instance for Banner and Jenzabar.
      • Met with Financial Aid Officers Work Group and defined roles for the registration system.
      • Secured the services of Randy Melton as Chief Technology Officer for another 6 months.
  • July 2014
    • ARB selected Operating Systems, Firewall and Security Systems and Backup systems.
    • Hardware (servers) were  built and delivered
    • Servers delivered to hosting location - Merit Network
    • Software Validation and Graphic Services performed on the updated registration system and course aggregator and registration widget.
    • Production work focused on updated registration system, wiring the course aggregator widget.
    • Hired a Quality Assurance and Infrastructure Support technician - Jeffrey Johnson - to support the project.
    • MCO Advisory Board welcomed Laura Coleman to the Board to replace Carol Churchill who retired June 2014.
    • For a flowchart view of the MCO Aggregated Course Registration System, click here.
  • June 2014
    • ARB reviewed proposals for the Hardware RFP and selected Optio Data.
    • ARB reviewed proposals for Hosting services, Graphic Design and Software Architecture Validation Services.
  • May 2014
  • April 2014
    • A Request for Proposals (RFP) for all of the servers was sent out with a return deadline of May 15th.  A pre-bid meeting was held on Tuesday, April 8th.  The RFP can be found here.
    • An additional RFP for backup services, application firewall/load balancer and rack hosting services will also go out in May.  
    • Development of the RFP for the design of the upgraded registration system and course aggregator widget design is progressing.  These RFPs include specific design language and attributes based on stakeholder input - with the intended result of quick development and little time spent in vendor discovery.
    • The MCO Architectural Review Board met April 23, 2014 to review the proposed RFP requirements for hosting and managing services for the new servers. The members also discussed plans for addressing data integration between MCO and SIS platforms and identified resources that will help with this development.  The MCO Architectural Review Board members consist of Chief Information officers or their representatives from Mott Community College, Montcalm Community College, Muskegon Community College, Lansing Community College, Lake Michigan College and Washtenaw Community College.  
  • March 2014
    • MCCCAO Work Group meeting - March 18, 2014 - Discussed capacity building options for MCO.  Notes from the meeting can be found here.
    • Testimony to the Joint Senate & House Appropriations Subcommittee on Community Colleges - March 7, 2014 at Monroe County Community College.  Powerpoint slides can be downloaded here.
    • Architectural Review Board meeting on March 6, 2014to discussed proposed hardware infrastructure and integration team development.
  • February 2014
    • Enrollment Administrators/Registrars provide input during the month on the requirements for course aggregator and updated registration.
    • Individual interviews with enrollment administrators  to collect requirements for course aggregator and updated registration.
    • Continued mock development and attributes research on Digitial Credential Pathway tool continues in February.
    • MCO Advisory Board met on February 14, 2014.   
  • January 2014
    • MCO - Chief Information Officers Stakeholder meetings were held on January 29 (at Lansing Community College) and January 30 (at Washtenaw Community College) to provide an overview of the project with technical information.  
    • Michigan Center for Student Success - Michigan Student Success Network Meeting - January 24, 2014
      This session focused on the current development of the Digital Credential Pathway and Early Alert System for colleges.

    • MCO Stakeholder Meeting - Enrollment Administrators, January 21, 2014
      During the webinar, participants were introduced to the Stakeholder Website, and the components that they will be working with.  Click below to view the webinar.

      • For the instructions on how to access the Stakeholder website - click here.
      • For the Power point Presentation - click here.
    • CIO Meetings
      • January 28, 2014 hosted at Mid-Michigan Community College, Doan Campus
      • January 29, 2014 hosted at Lansing Community College, West Campus
      • January 30, 2014 hosted at Washtenaw Community College.
  • October - December 2013
    • MCO Project Update - MCCVLC Advisory Council Meeting - November 19, 2013
      Click here to download the slides for this meeting.  Click here to watch the archive recording.
    • The first installment of the state grant was received.
    • Hired a technical assistant for the project.  He is working on programming design for the stakeholder input website. 
    • A presentation was made to the Michigan Community College Student Services Administrators.  Volunteers were solicited to help with design.  MCCSSA has a group of six people that will work with us.
    • A presentation was made to the Michigan Community College Data Evaluation Committee.  This is a diverse group, but they were all very interested and asked for updates as the project moves forward.
    • The Financial Aid Administrators group was contacted for volunteers  to help design a newer process for inclusion of financial aid payments in the upgraded registration system.  They will begin working on this in January.
    • Regional meetings for the Chief Information Officers have been scheduled for the last week in January, to start engaging them in the process.  We have four different student information systems to work with, and this group will provide critical information needed for our full implementation model.
  • July - October 2013
    • Defined the role for the project’s Chief Technology Officer.
    • Identified personnel and negotiated a memorandum of understanding for the CTO position, with Randy Melton taking the role beginning August 1st.
    • Defined the role for a Technology Project Manager for project.
    • Staff met weekly to discuss parameters for the milestone activities.
    • Established a stakeholder engagement model for use in pilot project development.
    • Met with the Chief Academic Officers and provided an update on the project on July 19, 2013.  A group of six CAO's volunteered to work on the project.
    • Met with members of CEPI to inform them of our work, and solicit assistance when needed.
    • Met with staff of the Department of Management and Budget to review parameters for the $1.1 million from the state. Next steps are to finalize the Agreement and budget narrative. The state will provide several disbursements – not one lump sum.
    • Began work on visually defining milestones and outcomes for input with stakeholders.
    • Began setting up meetings with stakeholder groups to get input. Those meetings held to date include:
      • Chief Academic Officers (2nd meeting) – September 19, 2013  Notes can be found here.
      • CAOs and faculty – September 20, 2013
      • MCCDEC - September 27, 2013
      • MCCVLC Advisory Council - October 4, 2013
      • MCCSSA Meeting - October 9, 2013
      • MCO Advisory Board - October 18, 2013
      • MCCA Board of Directors - October 18, 2013
    • July 2013 MCO Update - presented to the MCCA Board of Directors at their Summer meeting.

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