Trinity Valley College Rolls Out Multi-Device Alerts
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Trinity Valley Community College has gone public with its use of Omnilert's e2Campus emergency notification service, which began around the first of the year. Rebranded at Trinity Valley as TVCC Alert, the service provides updates via Web page, RSS, mobile device, e-mail, and text pager.
The college has four campuses in Texas--in Athens, Terrell, Palestine, and Kaufman. Students subscribe through its Web site and can designate which campus to receive notices about and which optional groups he or she wishes to belong to--including IT outages, traffic and parking information, and alert system tests.
"We stay very busy in IT, and the fact that we don't have to spend a great deal of time with e2Campus speaks volumes," said Michael Abbott, vice president of IT at the college. "IT doesn't have to maintain, take care of, or worry whether e2Campus is up or down today. It's just there for us when we need it, which is what you want from an emergency alert system."
Abbott added that the service doesn't require an IT person to perform the notification. "Whether it's the president, another vice president, or a provost at one of our satellite campuses, any one of the administration team can easily send out an alert to students on their campus, automatically without any intervention from the IT staff. That causes alerting to happen much quicker."
So far, the alerts have primarily been about weather-related campus closings. "We do not have much snow and ice in Texas, but this year we had record snowfalls," he said. "We used e2Campus three or four times over the winter, and it was very nice to be able to rely on that, as opposed to contacting the television stations across different cities to get our name on a list to display the closings. e2Campus has allowed students and staff to check their e-mail, our Web site, [and] Facebook and receive voice or text messages to their phone."
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.