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New portal ‘myWCU’ to open May 28; information sessions begin April 18

One door will close and another will open on Saturday, May 28, when “MyCat” is replaced by the new “myWCU” portal, offering a much greater variety of information sources and services to the Western Carolina University community.

“It is much more than a MyCat replacement,” said Dan Berk, WCU’s associate chief information officer and director of IT applications and systems information technology. “In effect, it will be putting into place a collaboration-and-productivity platform for applicants, students, faculty and staff. Most new applications also will be enabled through myWCU. It consolidates data and access from multiple sources, including Banner, WCU.edu, the Hub/intranet, Office 365, R25 and Blackboard, in a single environment. It’s based on the SharePoint platform.”

A graphic announcing the new portal is already visible at the MyCat site.

A graphic announcing the new portal is already visible at the MyCat site.

SharePoint is the Microsoft Office tool that enables secure sharing, including the licensed use of Office 365 for the campus community.

“A single sign-on will enable access to many of the resources,” Berk said. “And myWCU will offer a number of capabilities in a mobile device-friendly experience.”

A description of the new secure, web-based portal at its temporary landing page says myWCU.wcu.edu will make it easier to accomplish tasks and find information such as dates and deadlines, financial aid information, registration, housing, academic resources and student records, CatCard balances, timesheets and leave reports.

A brief, sound-free video outlining the continuing and new capabilities of myWCU can be seen at the website as well.

The project began a year ago with a steering committee recommendation and has progressed steadily toward the portal’s launch on May 28. “Further phases are being planned,” said Berk, who has shepherded the project from the beginning. “It is governed by the Portal Working Group – a committee of 30-plus leaders across campus – and has included involvement from every group in IT.”

Working together, the group has kept usability the driving factor in the new portal’s creation, Berk said. “Content, look and feel, and overall functionality has been heavily governed using a user-centered design approach through prototyping, focus groups and demos given to faculty, staff and student organizations,” he said. “It even includes a feature to submit feedback, providing a mechanism for users to constantly request new features and access.”

Information sessions about myWCU will be offered seven times beginning Monday, April 18, all in the ground-floor auditorium of the H.F. Robinson Building:

  • Monday, April 18 – 9 a.m.
  • Tuesday, April 19 – 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 20 – 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 21 – 9 a.m.
  • Monday, April 25 – 9 a.m.
  • Tuesday, April 26 – 4 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 28 – 4 p.m.

For more information about the myWCU portal, contact the IT Help Desk by email at ithelp@wcu.edu.

By Keith Brenton

Categories | The Reporter


Photos | WCU News Services

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