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June 10, 2002

Customized Student Portal puts array of information at students' fingertips

By Bonita Sebastian

UCSC's new Student Portal, a web service providing everything from a customizable individual calendar with the student's course schedule to weather forecasts, college and department information, and movie schedules, is getting rave reviews from users.

The Student Portal includes a peronalized calendar, above, and a course schedule, below.
Introduced on May 23 by Academic Information Systems for UC Santa Cruz undergraduate and graduate students, the new system drew almost 4,000 users the first week.

"This site is awesome! It is exactly what I need to manage my time, and have access to so many important sites," e-mailed one student.

"I really like having the weather, movie listings, search engine, my class, and major-related stuff on the same web page," wrote another. "The layout is very clean and concise--it's not overwhelming, but there is a lot of great info accessible."

Students log on to the Student Portal, using their student and personal ID numbers, just as in the Teleslug system. They can then access individually tailored information, including their current course schedule, academic deadlines, holidays, and administrative messages. Students can also add their own events. Other general-interest information includes news headlines and local event listings.

Additional Student Portal features include:

  • Links and resources relevant to the student's college and major

  • An interface that allows the student to customize the layout and content of the page, including color schemes, links, and portal services such as news, sports, weather, and movie listings

  • The ability to view and update the user's mailing address of record around the clock, 365 days a year, so important notices from UCSC are not lost in the mail

  • The ability for designated administrative units to send messages to specific groups of students

In addition to serving UCSC students, the system offers a guest log-in for those not currently enrolled as students who would like to experience the portal.

The portal is a key step in UCSC's move toward a self-service model for providing information to the entire campus community.

The current version of the portal (1.0) will be upgraded in December, with subsequent upgrades and feature enhancements every six months. Users' comments on ways to improve the system are encouraged.

More information regarding the AIS UCSC Student Portal is available from Mark Cianca, AIS Director, (831) 459-4116; Bonita Sebastian, AIS Training & Communication Manager, (831) 459-1471; and David Rosen, web developer, (831) 459-4491

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