This fall marks the first time that the Yuba Community College District Information Technologies Department has released two large online projects at one time: iCampus portal and email. Through these programs, students, faculty and staff of the district stay updated on necessary information and have access to all online resources that are essential to the college experience
“iCampus is a one-stop resource to YCCD’s online services,” said Devin Crosby, Programmer Analyst for the YCCD IT Department. The portal is a gateway to campus and district news, forums, WebAdvisor, WebCT, and provides an array of ways users can organize different areas of their lives.
One of the most beneficial aspects of iCampus is the capacity for communication to everyone who logs on. “Our goal is to help students become more informed about the news and events taking place on their campus and throughout the district,” Crosby said. He explains that announcements will be sent through email and posted on the main iCampus page, keeping students, faculty and staff linked together.
The iCampus portal contains many features and “simplifies access” to the many existing online tools. There are seven main pages accessible via links at the top of the main ‘Welcome’ page. The page briefly explains iCampus and the many services it offers, and provides separate posting areas for announcements, news and updates. Users can personalize their iCampus settings by subscribing to desired news topics under the “subscribe” link in the “Campus News” section.
Student organizations interested in having relevant information posted in the news section, must first submit an email to the help desk requesting approval for admission. Only campus or district news and announcements are acceptable.
The other pages, including Student Email, WebAdvisor, WebCT and Resources, are self explanatory. In contrast, the Personal and Collaboration pages may require further clarification to those who have not yet taken advantage of such resources.
Through any computer with Internet access, users are able to keep an address book of contacts, save preferred websites, post reminders and notes and plan activities with the calendar. The Collaboration page offers forum message boards as well as a chat room. Crosby said, “Although there is not a lot of current use, it will grow over time.”
The use of portals are common by colleges and universities, and the implementation of the iCampus portal for the YCCD has been ongoing for approximately eighteen months. A different version of iCampus was student-tested a year ago, and Crosby explained since that original test-run, the IT Department has “revised problems and upgraded the portal.”
All suggestions are welcome, and those with questions are encouraged to ask.
“We want feedback,” said Crosby, one of the five staff members at the IT Help Desk. Crosby promises timely responses to email. “Our goal is to respond within two hours, [but] expect sooner.” All emails and inquiries should be sent to email@example.com.