Jenzabar Internet Campus Portal

In a world of sudden shifts but long timelines, Jenzabar offers college and universities an Internet-based administrative foundation as well as a range of options for balancing IT resources on campus. That is often the type of approach best suited for the small and medium-sized schools that the Cambridge, Mass.-based company has attracted as a core market.

Jenzabar’s portal solution—the Jenzabar Internet Campus Solution (JICS)—offers communications, Web services, community building, and course management systems via a single platform. At the same time, administrators can choose among various plug-ins to support specific campus constituents. The approach is a way schools can move toward the Internet as a campus platform but adapt to the times.

The first distinguishing feature of the system is single sign-on, which gives users unified access to mail and other campus information resources, as well as external mail accounts. The system also offers benefits in reverse: administrators can customize JICS to push messages, banners, and resource links to specific users. Access to utilities for making individual homepages can also be set-up for users—faculty as well as students—to customize their portal appearance.

Web Services

JICS sets up the campus portal as a backbone for using Web services technology to integrate applications throughout campus via a system of plug-ins. Jenzabar calls these Customer Relationship Modules (CRM), collections of applications based around individual campus user groups, (i.e., student, faculty, staff, and applicant).

Although custom CRMs can be developed for specialized administrative and staff applications, JICS offers several standard plug-ins or “portlets.”

CRMS provide data consolidation and mining and the ability to capture constituent information at the point of contact. The CRMs also draw on a single database so admissions, financial aid, and academic records are treated as a single entity. As a result, access to complete student profiles can be provided without having to move from system to system.

Current Modules

u CRM Admissions Officer consolidates admissions information so that candidate profiles, including contacts, folder items, application status, and family data, can be accessed via the Web. Access to institutional data, such as degree programs, catalogues, and financial aid data, can also be made instantly available for presentations to prospects and their families.

u The CRM Candidate portlet provides areas for prospective students to view their admissions folder, status, and places for updating information. The plug-in offers chats, forums, and targeted messages that let candidates connect with the institution.

u CRM Events Management provides event planning features before, during, and after an event. The system allows control of Internet registration, event housing, meals, activities, and travel arrangements as well as financial and post-event reports.

Academic Solution

The CRM Student module gives student the ability to review their personal data, schedule of classes, grades, historical course work, and graduation progress. Students can view their personal profile data including academic holds, search for available course sections, and register for courses online while managing prerequisites and checking for time conflicts.

Like other portal providers, Jenzabar provides a solution for integration with the academic side of campus. It d'es this via a Learning Management System (LMS) module populates the student and faculty JICS accounts with courses, schedules, descriptions, class lists, and pre-populated grade books.

This Web-based system grants access to course documents, announcements, Web links, syllabi, threaded discussions, and real-time chat.

Faculty can update grades, assign online quizzes, track attendance, and create and monitor course groups. Moreover, the Jenzabar Application Program Interface (API) makes course creation and population automatic, so faculty can focus on the pedagogy and content.

Campus Community

Jenzabar calls the third leg of its portal offering “community” tools, which help connect academic and administrative applications with specific user groups. Utilities for community building include a “Campus Groups” utility that allow users to define themselves as members of a specific group, i.g., ski club or theatre company. The tools provide home page, document sharing, calendaring, chat, discussion forums and communications features for each group, as well as classified ad bulletin boards and secure data integration with back-end campus databases.

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