Website acts as channel for district enrollment
Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 15:09
The Contra Costa Community College District has placed InSite Portal, the district’s web-based admissions service, at the forefront of communication between students and instructors.
Holding the heavy responsibility of relaying information, the portal plays an important role in keeping students updated with information that may concern their classes or grades.
InSite Portal has streamlined the registration process and made it more personal by giving the student control of their own semester.
The portal, however, is currently the only process students at Contra Costa College can go through in order to enroll in classes.
The district serves nearly 62,000 students annually.
These individuals will use InSite Portal to register for classes this year.
With almost every person in the district using the portal at the same time, complications take a toll on the overall performance of the site making server failures a common occurrence.
While the site may be helpful to those who know how to use it, no one is formally trained on how to use the always updating website.
Students, including those newly enrolled, are thrown blindly onto the portal and expected to sink or swim in an ocean with forever changing tides.
While some learn to swim with great ease, some sink. And as they do, they frantically try to register for what classes they can.
But as every semester begins, classrooms fill with students trying to register late, leading them back to the site.
And when a student doesn’t understand the process of enrolling online he or she receives little to no help. When they seek out aid the first stop is normally a counselor, the person who works at the college to advise students and help them throughout their educational journey.
Counselors, however, refer students back to InSite Portal for registration inquiries, leaving students finding themselves right where they started, confused and without units.
One thing that could help the confusion would be having a tutorial of how to use the website during orientation.
By communicating the importance of the portal and demonstrating how to use it, the college will save students and faculty the time spent solving the problems the portal indirectly creates.
The hopes of InSite Portal are essentially gilded promises — meaning on the outside is the face of the website, portraying a user-friendly interface, but underneath is a slow-to-respond frustrating piece of software that is ultimately not received that well among the district’s student body.