CollegeBuys Newsletter Commencement Edition | 2019, 4th Quarter


California is synonymous with technology innovation and development, however our digital divide continues to widen especially for underrepresented and low‐income students throughout the State. This is especially true for foster youth who are currently enrolled in the community colleges.

According to the California Emerging Technology Fund (ETF), most underserved communities access online resources through smartphones, in the absence of reliable internet connectivity and computer hardware at home. This disparity in access has widened the gap for underserved communities. The EFT also refers to these communities as “underconnected” because they have fewer benefits from the full range of digital technology resources, and essentially less opportunity to partake in California’s economic prosperity.

Aiming to bridge the digital divide, the Foundation and its Corporate Roundtable is leveraging the system’s agreement with ThinkEDU to distribute California Connects mobile routers (powered by Sprint) to underconnected students in the community colleges system. From February 2019 through February 2020, over 1,000 foster youth students will receive 12‐months of internet service and support. Subsequently, the Ticket to Dream Foundation will provide laptops to many of the foster youth receiving internet service under this program.

Why this matters:

  • There are 17,000 foster youth in our system which means there are more students in need of support. If we discuss all underserved students, the number balloons exponentially;
  • Providing tools and technology that enable underrepresented students to take full advantage of online resources allow them to be successful in the classroom.

Connectivity is a component of success in California’s academic and economic landscape. In our system alone, we are evolving towards expanded online education and learning to help address the mounting responsibilities our student population must balance.

Online education has long been touted as a vehicle towards greater equity and access by allowing students to avail of courses with greater flexibility to meet their daily obligations while remaining in forward progression in their academic careers. Factor the rising cost of living in the state, balancing more immediate priorities such as food, housing, electricity, clothing, and transportation ‐‐ paying for online connectivity and technology access takes a logical back seat. These are only some of the known challenges that may hold back a segment of our student population most in need of connectivity; and through innovative public, private, and nonprofit partnerships, we continue to actively address the digital divide.

California Connects is a low-cost mobile internet hotspot program developed by CollegeBuys that provides portable internet access throughout the United States for only $19.99 per month with unlimited data. All CCC students, faculty, and staff are eligible customers. Visit California Connects for more information.


Images from the 2019 California Community Colleges Purchasing Conference.
  • 177 total attendees
  • 84 CCC attendees
  • 46 CCC districts
  • 30 first time attendees
  • 36 corporate partners and sponsors
  • 895 total aggregated professional development hours
California Community Colleges Purchasing Conference 2019 Group Photo with College Pennants


At the recent Purchasing Conference, we had 30 new attendees. Many of them are new to the California Community Colleges, or new to the world of community college procurement. As we all know, our work is not meant for the faint of heart, but we are rarely alone because of the unique collaboration and community we've built.

New faces mean new perspectives and more robust and productive discussions. If you are new and wish to be more active in discussions, please Register for your regional Listserv by reaching out to your respective Northern California (Ben Cayabyab: BCayabyab@4cd.edu) and Southern California (Mireille Hernandez: mhernandez@lbcc.edu) Purchasing Group chairpersons, or contact collegebuys@foundationccc.org for support.


This edition's theme is "Commencement," which immediately evokes graduation ceremonies at our local colleges. To me and the way I see our purchasing community, it means so much more.

As graduation season happens, I hope the connection is clear that so much of what our purchasing community does is connected to this momentous day. Each of us contributed to the student journey, and that journey is leading our students to walking on that stage to receive a diploma (or to transfer). We are every bit a part of our respective students' success.

In the purchasing world, our annual Purchasing Conference is the closest thing I can liken to a commencement. It is where we celebrate another year of hard work, where we recognize those who have excelled, and leave more informed. The Conference is a place where we prepare to move into new chapters as we close "the books", and move forward applying all the new ideas acquired and discovered. Above all else, our Purchasing Conference is a venue to build linkages.

Remembering my first Purchasing Conference in 2013, I vividly recall being the new person in the room and how all my nervousness vanished by a warm welcome by our community. It was a now-retired Purchasing Director who came up to me and said, "Don't be nervous, this is like an annual family reunion! ...including the family you never knew existed." I've felt at home ever since.

Like Commencement, the Conference is comprised of a roller coaster of emotions:

  • Excitement is abound for the new faces in our community.
  • Expectation beckons to see long-time colleagues turned friends.
  • (and) Mixed emotions are for those who are about to leave us for well-deserved retirements.

As we prepare to conclude fiscal year 2019, I look back at our many commencements over the years and appreciate why we do what we do -- all reasons I have decided to stay put. Because our community is unique in its nimbleness and drive; it fosters camaraderie and our community is a family. I hope you feel the same sense of welcome, familiarity and accomplishment too.

Thanks for another wonderful year.



By: Alan Moloney, Long Beach CCD

Recently I was asked whether or not it was worth the extra time it takes to be part of a systemwide RFP instead of just issuing one for our campus. The person asking the question did not understand that when you participate in the larger systemwide process you benefit in the following areas:

  • Learning from Experts – When a number of Districts and a cross section of people collaborate on an RFP the knowledge you acquire from subject matter experts, researchers, analysts, and historical data experts is not available when you work alone.
  • Sharing Duties – Developing a strategy, performing baseline analysis, researching the market, developing specifications, and identifying requirements are not easy tasks when you are working alone. Having team members collaborating, sharing knowledge, and dividing up the work through the RFP steps makes it easier, fun, and reduces your time commitments to the process.
  • Leveraging Savings – It is well known that the larger the volume of spend the easier it is to obtain maximum discounts, obtain higher service levels, leverage better warranties, and get stronger customer service support for all participants. We tend to only focus on the hard dollar savings but it’s important to remember the soft dollar savings and higher service levels.
  • Centralized Contract Management – The College Buys Team works as our commodity and contract managers. They manage the vendors and make sure they are meeting the needs of the clients. When vendor issues are escalated to them they are speaking from a stronger voice on behalf of the system. This voice has a greater impact and vendors understand the possible risks of not solving issues for 115 campuses instead of just yours.

I hope that more campuses will participate in developing systemwide agreements in the next 12 months. Participation can be as a lead agency or as part of the RFP team. It’s a scalable commitment that is both interesting and rewarding. It is a great way for buyers at all levels to learn, network, and to grow through participation.

If you’re going to issue an RFP or a bid, please contact the CollegeBuys Team (collegebuys@foundationccc.org) and have them participate in your planning and processes.


108 of our 115 California Community Colleges are already participating in the Adobe Enterprise Term License Agreement (ETLA) partnership through the Foundation for California Community Colleges' CollegeBuys program to access Adobe Creative Cloud Enterprise for their campuses.

Demonstrating the value of systemwide collaboration, CollegeBuys has negotiated on behalf of our CCCs, free Adobe Sign access for the next 3 (three) years for all 108 participating ETLA colleges!

Adobe Sign is emerging as a leader in the electronic signature sphere. This free offering allows colleges to pilot, at no cost or risk, an opportunity to streamline its signature and approval processes on the Adobe Sign platform.


  • Enabling Adobe Sign is optional. You do not have to use it if you prefer DocuSign or if readiness for the college is not yet determined.
  • Computerland of Silicon Valley supports the ETLA for the California Community Colleges.


By: Sue Harrison, Director of General Services, San Mateo CCD

Many community colleges throughout the state are finding a myriad of solutions to help their students with an ever-expanding, easily accessible field of SaaS solutions, apps, and add-ons to their Learning Management Systems (LMS). At the same time, faculty, staff and administrators are anxious to ensure the tools deliver as promised, protect district and student data, integrate with current district strategic initiatives and technology, and meet public contract code and district purchasing guidelines. These acquisitions often lead to confusing, time consuming and inefficient purchasing approval processes. A team at San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) is taking a systems approach to developing a pilot process to vet software purchases in an effort to address some of these concerns.

SMCCD’s effort is very much a “ground-up” process initiated by distance education (DE) faculty leaders concerned with confidentiality and accessibility issues, particularly as they apply to Canvas, SMCCCD’s LMS. Recognizing that other college departments had similar concerns, DE faculty, purchasing, bookstore managers and information technology (IT) developed an informal working group to tackle the various issues. IT took the lead on developing a business process using DevOps, a model used frequently in developing software. In a nutshell DevOps is “about finding ways to make your business process workflows more efficient using the best practices they use in software development,” explains Jasmine Robinson, Director of Web Services at SMCCCD. This systems approach along with including the right team of stakeholders up front made it possible to develop a workflow in less than a month.

With the business process and the steps in the workflow defined, IT deployed a tool called “Formstack” to implement an electronic technology purchase request form. An IT team member created a simple, accessible, fillable form that is routed through email. The form starts with the software requestor and is routed for approval by college administration, IT and purchasing along the workflow. The requestor responds to a series of questions along the way. For instance, requestors are asked about items of concern for college administrators such as ”Why are we doing this project?” “Who wants this project?” “How will it be funded?” “Who will manage this project?” IT, on the other hand, needs to understand “Who will provide technical support?” “How is the tool maintained?” “Is it storing FERPA information?” “Does it need to integrate into our ERP?” “Is it accessible?” “Do we already have a similar tool?” “How are accounts managed?” The request form is electronically approved or denied along the way as the responsible departments review the information. By the time the questionnaire makes its way to purchasing it has been approved by the appropriate departments and compliance and contract review and negotiation begins.

The IT and purchasing departments presented the process to administrators at SMCCCD and its colleges to gain approval for the concept and to test the project essentially allowing them to “build the bike while we ride”. Faculty team members are communicating the process through their constituent groups and are developing policy specific to the LMS add-ons. Ultimately, IT hopes to create a website with a list of vetted solutions that will be available districtwide.

The testing is just starting and the process is working. In a recent case, the form was used by a division at one of the SMCCCD’s colleges who were looking to purchase technology related to counseling. As the form moved through the process it was discovered that the technology was not accessible. With that knowledge, department management requested that the purchase be postponed until an accessible solution is identified.


Procurement Professionals of the Year 2019

Northern California Procurement Professional of the Year 2019, Annette Perez with past awardees and state representatives.
Southern California Procurement Professional of the Year 2019 Angela Musial with past awardees and state representatives.

Our Procurement Professionals of the Year 2019 were recognized during the California Community Colleges Purchasing Conference Advisory Group Reception at the Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa in San Diego, California.

This year's awardees are Annette Perez of Foothill-De Anza Community College District and Angela Musial of Antelope Valley College. Both were selected through a voting process overseen by Southern and Northern California Purchasing Associations, respectively. Their award demonstrates their leadership, contributions, and overall excellence in our procurement community. Congratulations!

For more information visit the Procurement Professionals of the Year Honor Roll.


Last summer, Compton Community College District (Compton CCD) and the El Camino College Compton Center had much to celebrate. A ribbon cutting ceremony took place in early September for the celebration of their brand new track and football field.

Compton CCD’s original natural grass field had been slowly dying, causing unsafe playing conditions as the new season approached. After contacting KYA Services, Compton CCD decided that an upgrade was in their best interest. They replaced their original field with a modern synthetic turf field and track, which is now maintenance friendly with consistent playability. Their new field is an innovative system consisting of an asphalt base, interlocking CMS tiles, premium turf and sand/crumb rubber infill. The surrounding track was also refreshed by a complete resurface which adds to the aesthetic of the stadium.

Compton CCD used the Foundation’s cooperative agreement to facilitate their 10-week deadline. Compton CCD was very happy with the ease of purchase, turn-around-time, and final result. Additionally, Compton CCD could rely on the Foundation contract as a viable and compliant procurement option for all Community Colleges in the state of California to streamline their buying process for renovating and maintaining their campuses.

According to Michael Miranda, El Camino College Compton Center Associated Student Body Commissioner of Athletics and running back for the Tartar football team, “The upgraded football stadium and track are amazing, and having a new field signals a new beginning for the teams that use these facilities.”

KYA's contracts include interior furnishing material, sports equipment, synthetic turf, flooring, walls, and interior finishes. KYA's agreements are compliant with California Public Contract Code. For more information, contact collegebuys@foundationccc.org


Most of the Advisory Group membership at the Conference.

It is without question that much of our systemwide and intersegmental collaboration is driven by our Advisory Group. In topics such as legislation, deployment of policies, working with facilities, best practices and shared challenges -- our Advisory Group has been enthusiastic in sharing ideas and fostering collective thought and understanding. They are the unheralded heroes of our system, but their impacts are felt systemwide.

In areas of key legislation, the Advisory Group's Legislative Workgroup are the leading voices for our system. Their work has led to successful passage of Assembly Bill 653 (Levine) -- which codified the ability of CCCs to utilize CSU and UC agreements without penalty. This legislation led to the successful systemwide adoption of CDW-G, Waxie, Fisher Scientific, B&H Photo and many other agreements where CSU and UC availed of better pricing. Conversely, furniture agreements from the CCC's (via the Foundation's Furniture and Fixtures contracts portfolio), which possessed the most stringent performance specifications for higher ed in the nation, were legally adopted by the CSU and UC.

Recently, Assembly Bill 3186 (Medina) was passed through the determined push of the Legislative Workgroup -- delivering an enhanced best value language to public contract code, and allowing our colleges to award contracts on variables that go beyond hard costs.

Stack of Purchasing Handbooks provided during the Conference.

The Advisory Group has championed many other work for systemwide collaboration, such as the Procurement Handbook for the CCCs, Professional Development opportunities through CAPPO, presentations in CCFC, and the voice of our system to the statewide Chancellor's Office and the Legislature. Get to know these champions:

  • Jennifer Alford, Sierra CCD
  • Majd Askar, Riverside CCD
  • Maria Contreras-Tanori, Foothill De Anza CCD
  • Ben Cayabyab, Contra Costa CCD
  • Sue Harrison, San Mateo CCD
  • Mina Hernandez, West Valley - Mission CCD
  • Priya Jerome, South Orange County CCD
  • Mark Logan, Cerritos CCD
  • Alan Moloney, Long Beach CCD
  • Paul Spear, BuildLACCD

The Advisory Group works with regional Southern and Northern California purchasing associations, and leads Workgroups: Legislative, Facilities, Technology, Purchasing Conference Planning -- and Ad Hoc committees to support systemwide collaboration. For more information, please visit the Advisory Group page. If you are interested in joining systemwide discussions, contact collegebuys@foundationccc.org

Join us for the 2019 California Higher Education Collaborative (CHEC) Conference on October 1-3, 2019 at the UCLA Luskin Conference Center.

The CHEC conference convenes administrative leaders and professionals from the three segments of California public higher education (CCC/CSU/UC) to foster exchanges of ideas and practices – in an effort to improve administrative performance, service, and outcomes. The focus is on cross-campus operations, innovative procurement, imaginative solutions in student success, leveraging technology and effective service-oriented strategies.

For more information, please visit the Conference website.


Enterprise is one of the largest transportation solutions provider in the world, spanning over 85 countries with more than 7,600 locations.

The Foundation for California Community Colleges in partnership with the California State University (CSU) System secured an agreement with Enterprise Holdings (CB-277-19) to support local community college vehicle rental programs. The contract's rental pricing was designed for business travel, athletic team transportation, facilities projects, and employee personal use.

  • Rates are valid at all Enterprise Rent-A-Car locations nationwide with the exception of New York.
  • Rates include Unlimited Mileage, No Drop Charges, Damage Waiver, Third Party Liability, and Roadside Assistance Program.
  • Rental terms include hourly and up to monthly rates.
  • Pick up and return service available.
  • Personal Use Discounts for all campus employees are available now. Simply use the designated Personal rate code (Account Number: XZCPCCD, PIN Number: /CC)

For more information please contact Enterprise's CCC Account Manager, Lisa Holmes by email lisa.m.holmes@ehi.com, or by phone (916) 787-4733. For contract inquiries, please contact collegebuys@foundationccc.org


Since 2004, CollegeBuys has been committed to delivering value to the CCC's as a whole. CollegeBuys cost savings and best value initiatives include special pricing for faculty and staff to access industry leading software and hardware for personal use. This effort is premised upon equitable access for our CCC constituents. See the options available for you:


California Connects is a mobile internet hotspot program uniquely created for CCC students, faculty, and staff. California Connects mobile hotspots have nationwide coverage and can be used throughout the country -- within the Sprint service area. California Connects service is only $19.99 per month, no contract, with unlimited data and no throttling (please note: there is a one-time, up front internet device cost of $125.00). Comparable services in market are at least $70.00 per month on contract, plus cost of device.

California Connects mobile internet access for $19.99 per month.


Adobe Creative Cloud annual subscription is available to all faculty and staff at 108 (of the 115) participating Adobe ETLA colleges for only $19.99 PER YEAR -- that's right, it's not a monthly cost! This pricing is made possible through our system's aggregate purchasing power and Adobe's commitment to supporting our community college faculty and staff. Comparable offerings in the market are $19.99 per month -- that is a savings of over 90%!

Adobe Creative Cloud includes well-regarded applications such as Photoshop, Lightroom, Spark, Illustrator, and so many more. This $19.99 per year offer is only available to our community college faculty and staff!

Adobe Creative Cloud for Faculty and Staff, $19.99 Annual Subscription.


Microsoft Office Professional Plus is one of the longest running offerings from CollegeBuys developed for our faculty and staff. For $39.99, you can own the most updated version of the Microsoft Office Professional Plus Suite. This version of the Microsoft suite takes it up several notches from the market-available Microsoft Office Home and Student. Professional Plus provides greater functionality than student and home versions.

Priced at $39.99, community college faculty and staff can own outright their version of Microsoft Office Professional Plus. This version is available in the market for up to $399.99 -- resulting in up to 90% in cost savings.

Microsoft Office Professional Plus, $39.99.


All relationships being with names. NameCoach was created to foster inclusion and support an increasingly diverse population through name pronunciation -- with the mission to help schools, students and families.

Names are central to our unique identities, and saying them correctly is the first step in respecting, appreciating, and connecting with each other. NameCoach aims to solve the common problem of name mispronunciation and gender pronoun communication in as many important life settings as possible.

Commencements are a prime venue to use NameCoach -- afterall, we want our students' names pronounced correctly for their accomplishment. Beyond that, NameCoach can also be integrated to Student Information Systems and HR Information Systems -- helping faculty, advisers, counselors, and support staff pronounce names correctly.

At California State University - Northridge, NameCoach is already making an impact. Read More.

Did you know?

Through the California Virtual Campus - Online Education Initiative, 56 of our CCC's already have access to NameCoach - at no cost? Reach out to your Distance Education Coordinators and IT managers to inquire about its activation.

Thanks for reading

Look out for our next edition in July!

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CollegeBuys FCCC


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