COLUMBUS – Today, Chancellor Eric D. Fingerhut unveiled the first phase of students.uso.edu, an online resource connecting future Ohio college students with detailed information on how to prepare, apply, and pay for an education at Ohio's public universities, community colleges and adult career centers.
"Opportunities in Ohio to get a high-quality, affordable college education continue to expand, and we need to make sure prospective students, families and Ohio's current workforce know about them," Fingerhut said.
The first phase of the student web portal was developed by the Ohio Board of Regents and its Shared Services Partner Division, with implementation lead by the Ohio Learning Network (OLN), with input from the Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet) and eTech Ohio. This phase is geared toward middle and high school students. It includes interactive communication tools such as chat, a "find answers" database, and email to engage prospective students.
Future phases will add more personalized services for student users, including high-tech college planning tools that make it easy for students to identify low-cost pathways to degrees, and view interactive profiles on college credit transfer. Evolution of the web student portal will be a dynamic process with input from key stakeholders.
"Creating these tools will be possible because the site is being built using Drupal, which is one of the fastest-growing technologies in web design," said George Steele, executive director of the Ohio Learning Network. "It allows for future upgrades and maximum accessibility to keep content continuously updated."
Drupal is a system that allows multiple authors, at different locations, to contribute content for the website simultaneously. Drupal's popularity is based, in part on its status as an open-source technology. This practice allows Drupal's entire community of users, which today include the White House, The Economist, and The Ohio State University, to share new web tools and solutions with each other, lowering IT costs and increasing speed.
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