Building a DIY Student Portal from Scratch

TIE12 Technology in Education

Location: 103B, Wisconsin Center

TUESDAY, 3:00 - 3:45 p.m.

No one wants to remember another password. So why do your faculty, staff and students have to keep a list of passwords, IDs, and usernames for your campus email, classroom, and registration services? You may not have tens of thousands of dollars to put down on a service portal to gather everything; the Web Team at Valdosta State definitely didn’t in 2012 when they launched MyVSU. By creating partnerships across divisions with design, IT, communications and others, they developed a dynamic portal, maintained by the entire campus. Developing your own service portal in-house not only saves your institution expensive setup and service fees, but also allows the talented people you have on campus to flex their creative muscles and deliver exactly what your constituents need. By providing a single sign-on, customizable portal for all of your campus services, you can serve your students, faculty, and staff, while gaining a captive audience for targeted institutional communications. Imagine: A student failing Math 1101 receives an email alert with information about math tutoring, or any of the other thirty services offered! The portal also allows advisers to directly connect to their students via a messaging component, and more. The VSU Web Team will discuss the challenges and opportunities that arose during the implementation of the portal, as well as share the developments and evolution of the portal. Attendees will be able to ask questions about the portal, the design process, and the data warehouse project in order to help streamline web services on their campuses.


Gary Kuhlmann
Webmaster, Valdosta State University

Gary Kuhlmann has served as webmaster for Valdosta State University for almost four years. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Valdosta State University in 2008, and a master's in Information Technology in 2013. He also has 17 years experience in the information technology field, in areas ranging from customer support to web application development.

Keith Warburg
Social Media and Web Content Manager, Valdosta State University

Keith Warburg is Valdosta State's social media guru and manager of all thing content on the university's web site. When he's not posting, tweeting or snapping, he's training university staff to do the same. In previous lives, he has experience as a graphic designer and college media adviser, and is a recovering journalist.

Bobby Lacey
Web Designer, Valdosta State University

Bobby Lacey has worked for Valdosta State for over 7 years in different roles, from university photographer to web designer. He enjoys photographing NASA launches and subtle drop shadows.

Ashley Williams
Assistant Webmaster, Valdosta State University

Ashley is a front end developer and assistant web master for Valdosta State University, where she graduated with a BFA in Art.