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West Texas A&M Upgrades Portal To Deliver Mobile Framework

West Texas A&M University has upgraded its open source enterprise portal framework and implemented a next-generation mobile framework in an effort to more efficiently communicate with students.

To accomplish the dual move, the university is upgrading to uPortal 4.0, supplied by Unicon, an IT consulting services provider that specializes in the education market. The new version upgrades the university’s existing framework to present customized material such as announcements and calendars to the school’s 8,000 students. Unicon is also supplying its uMobile product for a mobile framework that the school will use to deliver personalized, role-based communications so students can stay connected to campus course information and emergency notifications when they are mobile.

The Canyon, TX-based school used an earlier iteration of uPortal to create an online student success center for its campus as part of a “strategic initiative to improve overall student persistence rates,” said James Webb, West Texas A&M CIO in a news release. “The updated platform will provide a highly anticipated mobile application framework that will allow us to keep pace with today’s generation of students and increase their overall chances of success,” he added.

The uPortal enterprise portal framework is designed to integrate and aggregate information from multiple applications and includes technologies designed to let users such as West Texas A&M build flexible layouts and customize interfaces, user experiences, authentication and security, portal administration, groups and permissions and, with the upgraded version, mobile access. uMobile adds a native iPhone and Android app along with browser-based media for other smartphones, according to Unicon. By enabling a single code base for both browser-based and native app functionality, uMobile allows institutions to produce mobile applications “in a familiar environment,” the company said.

West Texas A&M serves approximately 6,500 undergraduate and 1,500 graduate students with 61 undergraduate programs, 45 masters’ degree programs, and one doctoral program.

More information about West Texas A&M is available at wtamu.edu.

About the Author

Jim Barthold is a freelance technology reporter. He can be reached at jimbarthold@comcast.net.

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