On October 17, Information Technology Services released an email on the new Portal that is available for students, faculty, and staff. The Portal is a secure single sign on site for both academic and administrative services. The term single sign on means that once you’ve logged into the Portal, you’re logged into anything else you may need to access through Portal. Students will be able to access their emails, Web Advisor, Financial Aid, and many other services to come. Pages on the Portal will range anywhere from Student Activities all the way to Security.
“The site is as secure as online banking. It is a very secure site. All the information in there won’t go external. You can also access your Financial Aid Self Service. You can look at your balance. You can pay your tuition. I just think it’s everything that student’s need all in one area,” said Ember Jenison, who is the Help Desk Analyst for IT Services.
It is recommended that when using the Portal to access it through Microsoft based websites such as Chrome or Internet Explorer because of its Microsoft originality. Currently the Portal is accompanied with admittance to Microsoft Office 365. As long as you’re a student at Virginia Wesleyan University, you will receive a downloadable version of Microsoft to any computer. There will be a six-month grace period for students who are graduating and will have to convert their VWU emails.
“It has a Microsoft Office feel to it. Even on the administration side. So it is really user friendly. And as departments get used to using it and we start growing, and more offices will start adopting that,” said Terry Critser, Systems Administrator and Helpdesk Supervisor.
For now, the site does not have specific departments listed. However, students will no longer have to worry about their emails being filled with countless amounts of information.
“It’s really going to be open right now. The only things that have gone through for now are the notices from the President’s Office. What we can do since everyone is distinguished by class level is actually target certain things to students so we aren’t just filling their inboxes up,” said Critser.
Currently the site has not reached its full potential. Jenison encourages students to actively use the site and provide feedback on the positives and negatives of the site. With technology being at the forefront for youth today, an app could be in the near future as well.
“We are working on a mobile site; I know Robert [Leitgib, Chief Information Officer] said it is in beta version right now. So hopefully we will have that up and running soon … And it’s growing. We’re still under construction. It’s hopefully going to be bigger than what we have already” said Jenison.