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MyMC consolidates student web services

August 26, 2011

Students who have checked their email for years by clicking a link at the top of the Monmouth College home page will be disrupted after the email link is removed on Aug. 30 due to Monmouth College’s new implementation of MyMC. Instead, they will have to scroll to the bottom of the Monmouth College home page as part of retooling of the college’s web services for current and prospective students.

“Eventually we’ll never have to use the external [website],” said senior Sam Jagust, who helped institute the MyMC web portal as part of her summer internship.

As a result, the home page will become much more oriented towards prospective students while major web services such as email, Scot Central, and WebAdvisor, undergo consolidation into MyMC. Jagust and Coordinator of Web Services Bryn Lawrence both describe this as a “one-stop shop.”

“We really wanted to revamp WebAdvisor,” said Lawrence. “We wanted to simplify the signing on of different utilities.”

While MyMC was released to students earlier this month, the process of building a comprehensive web portal is far from over.

“We’re hoping to expand this to student organizations,” Lawrence said. “We’re planning on doing those measures over the next year or so.”

According to Darryl Carr, Chief Information Officer, the MyMC implementation was divided in to three phases, the first being completed this August. The second and third phases will be initiated in January and next August, respectively. Already, Monmouth College has spent approximately $15,000 on the MyMC software and additional money and hours on training and other implementations of the service. Overall, Information Services has worked for the past three years to settle upon a solution to the school’s issues with communications and integrating multiple services.

“What you’re looking at is an evolution of things,” said Carr. “We may not be as fast as other schools or institutions, but that’s related to resources, staff and other things.”

In Lawrence’s opinion, MyMC is not only engineered to eliminate the complications of multiple web services for students, but will eventually fill a social networking gap in-between Facebook and Linked-In, one where students can work and communicate for class projects and campus organizations.

“We wanted to reduce the amount of emails sent to a broad audience,” said Lawrence.

The web portal was organized by a committee of representatives of various college offices. Jagust, through her internship, was the lone student voice of a service marketed primarily at the college’s base. She gave input to faculty members of the committee and gathered ideas from her summer roommates. One of her suggestions that was implemented was changing the name of the academic profile within the WebAdvisor section to degree tracker.

“I was surprised they all liked it,” said Jagust.

Similar portals are used in the corporate world, according to Lawrence and Jagust. Many students already use well-known public portals, such as Yahoo and iGoogle. MyMC is similar, but only focuses on Monmouth College.

“To be honest, I think it’s going to be good for the college,” said Jagust, “because that’s the direction everybody’s going.”

Services will be added throughout the year. Lawrence said that iPhone and Android apps are in the pipeline. These apps will give information about contacts, course data, and news. They will also feature a GPS function, which Lawrence theorizes will be used by new students to help them find buildings on campus.

“There was a rush to get [MyMC] together,” said Lawrence. “We’re still working to roll out other pieces to the portal.”

Andy Drea

Bryn Larwence


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