A New Way to Connect: Single Sign-On Student e-Portal

After logging onto a computer, students can access Blackboard, email and other areas

 By Morgan Littleford

Special to the Knightly News

In spring 2017 term, Central Penn College changed the way students get into their online service portals, by putting all student services accessible online in one place.

As of early April, student log-in is easier, with Blackboard, student email and the main sign-on portal in the same place, so students and faculty can type in one set of credentials – after logging onto a computer – and find everything they need in one spot, instead of signing into different areas of the portal separately.

Single sign-on for student services accessible through the Central Penn student-services portal has eased students' access to services and tools they need.

Single sign-on for student services accessible through the Central Penn student-services portal has eased students’ access to services and tools they need.

“The portal was made for security reasons,” Information Technology Administrator Valeri Hartman said.

Of course, certain students on campus didn’t like the change. They did not see a reason for a switch to the new portal. In their opinion, why fix something that’s not broken?

Well, security is a significant reason, according to Hartman.

Because of the change, Blackboard went down on several occasions, which rarely happened before when Blackboard stood alone, but was most likely because of “bugs” that had to be worked out, Hartman said. The system was working smoothly by the middle of the term.

The change also inconvenienced some students who had to change passwords to access the new service, and some couldn’t remember the new password – but that is something that happens when passwords must be changed, for routine security updates. If someone does forget his or her password, then the person has five opportunities to sign in with the correct password before the system locks.

Some students didn’t mind the change.  They found it convenient for everything to be in one place. They don’t have many passwords or log ins – it’s one sign-in username and password, and then they have access to everything they need. Students have said that they enjoy the new portal because it is quicker and easier to get into their email, classes and other tools.

“Overall, the new system is great and extremely helpful,” student Eliz Milanes said.

Students will always have different views on change at the college, but they can count on the administration to make things better and easier for students in the college.


To comment on this story, or to suggest a story idea, contact the KnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.edu.

Edited by media club co-adviser Prof. Michael Lear-Olimpi.

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