Regents Approve Funds for Progress Portal

9-16-05 - Higher education leaders selected a vendor and approved funding Thursday to create a Web-based system in which students can track their progress toward meeting college entrance requirements.

The system will also allow students to receive updated information about student financial aid, learn about future career paths, take virtual tours of campuses and apply for college admission.

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education selected Xap Corp. of Culver City, Calif., to provide this student portal at an initial cost of $900,000. The regents also agreed to spend $600,000 for first-year operational costs. The money comes from federal grants and other non-state sources, said Ben Hardcastle, a spokesman for the regents.

"This is an incredibly exciting moment for higher education where we will be able to leverage current technology and as Xap innovates and improves for other states we get that as well," Hardcastle said.

Under the new system, parts of which should be operational this school year, students create their own Web page that will allow them to keep track of their own courses and grades and monitor how they are shaping up for their college aspirations.

Student records and scores on standardized tests can be imported into the system, which can also send out e-mail reminders about academic deadlines.

The system should also save money for some public universities because it will handle online college admission applications and schools will no longer need to hire an outside vendor for this purpose, Hardcastle said.

Xap Corp. provides similar services for a number of states throughout the country.

In other action, the regents formalized tuition waivers Oklahoma institutions have been giving to state residents who had been attending school in the Gulf Coast area before Hurricane Katrina.


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