PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University students can now get
themselves highly organized, better informed, and more involved on campus
with the help of a unique, Web-based, personal portal to online WSU
resources.

The academic and personal planning tool, called My.WSU, allows students to
customize a Web site to fit their academic major and interests. Customized
news and information is then delivered to each student’s My.WSU Web page,
according to the specified criteria.

My.WSU simplifies Web site navigation for students and provides the
beginning of an online student community.

“Students are busy,’’ said Mark Wilcomb, manager of the My.WSU project.
“They need a tool to help manage this flood of information that comes at
them.’’

My.WSU features access to information on everything that students need in
their everyday life, including college and department news, announcements,
course registration, financial aid, finals schedules, grades, campus events and
career planning.

Students can check out the latest Daily Evergreen, find a book through the
Griffin catalogue, or add their favorite personal Web links. My.WSU also gives
students an online personal scheduler and address book.

The site, which started this fall as a pilot project, is one of only a handful of
personal portals available to college students throughout the country. A
“portal” is a Web site that collects information from numerous other sites on
the Web and presents that information in a concise form, based on criteria
supplied by the user.

“My.WSU is unique because it involves a cross-campus effort with
contributions of news and information from every college, including the
branch campuses,” said Wilcomb.

A number of WSU alumni involved in high technology businesses provided
the hardware, software and staff training for the project “as a gift from Cougars
to Cougars,’’ he said.

My.WSU will help to coach and mentor students. With a “freshman’’ setting,
for instance, students get highlights of some of the information they received
during orientation. As students change the settings in following years, links
will be provided to reflect the needs of their growing academic careers.

By the end of February, My.WSU will include Web-based e-mail as well as
national news, sports and other information comparable to national portals.

WSU students themselves are taking an active role in shaping the
development and content of the site.

A public demo of the site is available at http://my.wsu.edu.