Web Portal to Give Students Access to Grades and More

Michael J. Arvizu
El Vaquero Staff Writer

A new student Web portal called MyGCC that will allow students to access grades, book lists, class schedules, canceled classes, financial aid information, purchase books and even view weather and traffic reports without having to go from Web site to Web site, will launch April 22.

Students can take a “test drive” of the portal on the Glendale Community College Web site to see what it will look like when it is launched.

A collective idea of Student Services, MyGCC will be molded to allow students to access their student information in one click of the mouse, said Deborah Ludford, dean of Information and Technology Services. The type of information that students will be able to access will be similar to that which they can look up on campus kiosks, she adds.

“What’s nice about the portal is that you don’t have to walk to the kiosk,” said Ludford.
In the future MyGCC will be made interactive so that students can communicate with faculty and staff and be able to contact counselors and register for classes.

MyGCC is similar to portals of other community college districts such as the South Orange County Community College District (https://www1.socccd.cc.ca.us/mysite) and four-year universities such as UCLA (www.my.ucla.edu) and Brigham Young (http://mynews.byu.edu). GCC’s portal is modeled after the South Orange County Community College District portal.

“We modeled our portal off South Orange County’s because it was real simple and easy to use,” said Ludford. “The idea is to get the information to you that you need when you need it. Students will not have to wait in line for the guy with the big, huge problem that can’t get solved.”

The portal will allow for whatever information the student needs to be placed at their fingertips. For example, if a student sees a class for which he or she wishes to register, the student can register with one click.
MyGCC will be an option for registration, said Ludford. However, those who do not wish to register for classes online will still be able to do so using STARS, which is GCC’s telephone registration system.
The goal of My GCC, said Ludford, is to make students’ lives easier. The tools will be made available for a student to get their information on their own, thus minimizing trips to campus. All of a student’s information will be available on one personalized account that only that student will be able to access, eliminating the need for a student to go from one Web site to another to get their information.

“If it is necessary for a student to come on campus, it is hoped that service for that student will be faster,” said Ludford.

MyGCC will allow a student to modify his or her account once they are logged in. A student will be able to log and set his or her MyGCC page to start up on e-mail, grades, books, financial aid status or links, much like an Internet browser. The student can even change the color scheme of the page. MyGCC will be available on any computer with an Internet connection.

Disabled students will also be able to use MyGCC, said Ludford. This means that if a student is blind, for example, an electronic “screen reader” will convey the information to that student.

“All of those features that we have for disabled students work on this portal,” said Ludford.
MyGCC is a joint effort of Associated Students of Glendale Community College and the Information Technology Department. ASGCC was consulted in every step of the design process, said Ludford.
“There was student involvement from the beginning,” said Ludford. “We came up with the idea, we proposed it, and they [ASGCC] critiqued it and we changed it to their specifications.”

Ludford added that she would like to hear from students in the future on the effectiveness of MyGCC. Right now students can try out MyGCC on the GCC Web site. The “test drive” will give students a chance to explore the new portal and offer comments or suggestions they may have. A feedback page is available on the portal for students to submit their comments.

“I would love for students to know that we want to know how it looks to you and how it works for you,” said Ludford.