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Click to learn more!  Innovative Projects - MAP (My Academic Plan)

The South Orange County Community College District created an innovative system called My Academic Plan (MAP) dedicated to helping students define, implement and track their personal academic goals.  MAP provides students with all of the information they need to make intelligent decisions regarding the courses they select.  Rather than a “one-size-fits-all” experience, each of our 43,000 students receives personalized information and guidance based on his/her individual goals, current assessment levels and academic history. 


Work on MAP began in Fall 2005 and the system went online on April 27, 2007 after extensive counselor testing and numerous student focus group sessions. Since then, MAP has been used to create over 173,000 student academic plans!


Although MAP was created to integrate with the custom-created SOCCCD student information system (SIS), the product was created using a modular Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) approach so that it can be integrated with commercial student information systems. 


Thanks to user experience engineering, MAP features an intuitive user interface that incorporates a large amount of information into a readable and efficient format.

Integration with local curriculum and Project ASSIST

When a course is added to a MAP plan, the system first checks the curriculum system to see if the course has any prerequisites; if so, the system then checks to see if the student has completed the prerequisite or if the student has already added a course to the plan that will fulfill the prerequisites.  If not, then all necessary prerequisite courses are automatically added to the plan.  MAP is also integrated with Project ASSIST, a statewide inter-segmental articulation database sponsored by the CSU and UC university system, which provides general education transfer requirements without any local maintenance required.

SmartSchedule Integration

Another area of integration is with SOCCCD’s SmartSchedule online class schedule.  When a student uses the course scheduling page, a search icon automatically appears next to any semester that has an online schedule available; clicking the icon creates a customized web page that lists all of the sections offered in that semester for the courses listed in his/her individual plan.  The student can select a desired class with one click of an “Add to Shopping Cart” button and when his/her registration appointment arrives the student can enroll in all of the sections with a single click!  Students can also subscribe to a daily email or personalized RSS feed to track the status of classes so they will know if any of the classes have closed prior to their registration appointment time.

Coursework from Other Institutions

If the student has completed coursework at other institutions, a counselor can enter that information and MAP will automatically credit the student with the appropriate number of units in the General Education requirements (as certified by the institution at which the student took the course in the semester in which the student attended).  This is possible because MAP is the only academic planning tool that is fully integrated with Project ASSIST.  Every transferable course offered by every community college in the state is already loaded in the MAP database!

Statewide Recognition

MAP was recognized by the California Community Colleges Chancellors Office with a 2007 Technology Focus Award, and the state awarded the SOCCCD a mini-grant to explore the feasibility of expanding MAP into a system that could support other institutions.

Student-Centered Design

The MAP project has reiterated the importance of student-centered design.  From the beginning, the design team never lost sight of the critical importance of keeping the focus on the student experience.  MAP was designed by counselors and students for use by counselors and students.