Montana State University

MSU technology investments benefit students

October 24, 2012 -- MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
msunews@montana.edu
BOZEMAN - This fall Montana State University has rolled out a number of strategic investments in technology to improve student services on campus.

Spearheaded by MSU's Information Technology Center, the changes will impact student life in a variety of ways, from improvements to wireless Internet access, to the addition a new ITC help desk in Renne Library, to software that will streamline the academic advising process.

"We have invested in our IT infrastructure at several strategic points where students connect with technology," said Dewitt Latimer, MSU's chief information officer. "In the end these improvements will help our students succeed at MSU."

From login and password problems, to e-mail and wireless support, to certain software and hardware fixes, ITC's new help desk in the Library Commons can help with a range of questions or technical problems. For more involved help, there is often another ITC professional on hand for one-on-one consultation.

The ITC help desk will be staffed from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday-Friday.

ITC also took on improving the MSU wireless network, both in its ease of use, as well as its capacity and performance, Latimer said.

The faster wireless network has expanded coverage in the Strand Union Building and Renne Library, two locations that see heavy use from students. The new networks now also carry consistent names - MSU, MSU Guest, and MSU Secure.

Another phase of the wireless upgrade is planned in order to expand coverage in Gaines Hall and Montana Hall, as well as other locations.

Though less visible in day-to-day campus life, a new advising software, DegreeWorks, being rolled out to students spring semester may have the greatest impact on student success.

The online tool simplifies the clerical work associated with the traditional advising appointment in several important ways: It clearly identifies classes needed to graduate; lists prerequisites with dates and times of future classes; and displays the implications of changing majors or adding a minor.

The program is also available 24 hours a day, giving students the means to take a more active role in planning for their degrees.

"We expect DegreeWorks to simplify advising so advisors to spend more time with students on what really counts - mentoring them to succeed in college and plan for a career," said Tony Campeau, associate registrar.

Contact: Sepp Jannotta, seppjannotta@montana.edu, (406) 396-0988.