Wheaton College launched the Wheaton portal to help spread information more efficiently between students, faculty and staff.
Initially, Wheaton hoped to do minor updates on the myWheaton site, which served as the original platform for students, faculty and staff to access information. Instead of swapping out the software, the Administration Application Advisory Committee, the Student Technology Advisory Committee and Student Government recognized the need to replace myWheaton with the portal technology.
One of the leaders on the project, chief information officer Wendy Woodward, wanted to design the new portal “in a way that gives us at least Kia level functionality.”
“We are not looking for the Land Rover,” Woodward said. I don’t even need the Toyota.” Woodward desired to make it more secure and bolster its basic functionality. A portal working committee was formed in spring 2016 with voices from staff, faculty and the student body.
The portal working committee established three goals of improved security, campus communication and consolidated resources for the new portal. The original myWheaton site had not been updated recently, causing vulnerabilities in the code that could have been exploited; therefore the updated Wheaton portal installed a new code. By fixing the code with software patches from the vendor, the ongoing risk of exposure is reduced.
The announcements and the calendar of events on the new portal provide better places for internal campus communication. Sophomore Christiana McGann voiced that the differences between the two were not shocking and “it still seems like a similar thing to navigate.” The new Wheaton portal establishes a centralized resource of links to added tools such as Degree Works and Schoology, since the portal is an entry point into tools and services.
In conjunction with portal announcements, the Student Technology Advisory Committee worked to streamline the amount of emails students receive. Last week marked the beginning of Wheaton Announcements, an email that will be sent to faculty, staff and students twice a week with all of the announcements submitted by authorized individuals. Hoping for further consolidation, Student Activities Office is also working on a once a week student activity email announcement.
Student groups should contact the Student Activities Office to explore the best avenue to inform the campus of upcoming events.