On April 16, 2009, the college portal name changed from MyBCC to MyBC, in recognition of the college's official name change to Bellevue College
The MyBC Portal
The MyBC portal is the college web portal created with Microsoft SharePoint and BizTalk and provides the college community with one central access point to commonly-used tools, applications and services. After logging in, MyBC recognizes the user and delivers information relevant to his or her role (student, faculty, staff or administrator) at the college. New user groups – such as college alumni – may also be considered to add as users in the future. In addition to providing customized content, the portal enables the growth of an online community by providing tools that allow for easy collaboration and dialogue between students, faculty and staff.
One of the primary examples of this collaboration inside MyBC is the MyBC Class Site:, a secure, online space for teachers to post materials for students for every course section they offer. Instructors may choose to post their syllabus, class notes, or they can also opt to establish interactive features such as discussion boards, assignment drop boxes, or quick polls or surveys. Other features available through the portal include a personal site (MySite) which includes 100 MB of personal server space for all members, blogs, wikis, and community boards. The college uses MyBC for institutional document management and document collaboration and plans to utilize SharePoint technologies as a potential development platform for business applications and innovative data-mining tools for college administrators in the future.
Streamlining access to services and resources on the web is an important long-term strategic initiative identified by the college to better serve the campus community. The MyBC portal was first released in September 2004 for employees, with a later release to students as well in January 2005 using SharePoint Portal Server 2003. In September 2008, the college upgraded to Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS) which introduced additional functionality and resources to the campus community. Among these included blog sites, wikis, and more flexibility with site customization and templates.
Efficiency and Value
The MyBC portal allows the college to centralize the vast number of forms, tools and applications provided to both students and employees in an easy-to-use, secure format. The portal provides a “one-stop-shopping” mechanism for students to access all of their important academic, financial and support services in one location.
The portal allows information to be customized so that it’s more relevant to each user. College announcements and bulletins may be directed to different student groups depending on their role or status at the college. Because access to services and applications is critical for a campus offering day, evening and online classes, MyBC is available from campus, from home or via any other computer with an Internet connection.
The college intends to continue to utilize the SharePoint technology platform in the future as a tools for providing administrators valuable information to guide forecasting, tracking and decision-making processes. The institutional “report card” provides instant access to a wealth of administrative data, allowing college administrators to review up-to-the-minute and historical information and trends to better inform decisions about enrollment, course offerings and student resources. They may also gauge operational efficiencies by monitoring faculty-student ratios, course section costs, facility use and performance against state standards. Pivot table technology allows administrators to browse data cubes and create custom views and reports through easy access to information.
Bellevue’s investment in technology resources will help to meet the needs of the college’s growing and increasingly tech-savvy student population while improving efficiency in many areas. The college will realize savings in cost and employee time through streamlining and automating processes, implementing more e-commerce systems, reducing the amount of paper used on campus, and improving workflow processes and access to information.
Enhancements to services delivered in the portal are being planned to address future needs. Some features and tools that college staff hope to incorporate in subsequent development stages include: 24/7 access to all online processes, personal calendars that may be integrated with a college events calendar, online advising, online notification of course changes or program requirements, and additional storage space for personal home pages.
Collaboration of Educators and Industry
MyBC was originally conceived through a collaborative effort with industry and educators to create a portal interface that could effectively serve the diverse instructional and administrative needs of students, faculty and staff. During the spring of 2003, Bellevue teamed with Big Bend Community College and the Microsoft Corporation to identify solutions to information management and data integration issues at the colleges. The need of all three colleges was to find a way for administrators to instantly access online college data and easily analyze it from the desktop.
Data cubes, pivot tables and the college report card were ideas discussed as a solution to respond to these needs, with the portal serving as the delivery mechanism. This collaborative of colleges selected Microsoft SharePoint as a standard platform to deliver these solutions to the user’s desktop. Bellevue and Big Bend worked closely with Microsoft to identify specific issues and design specifications for a portal framework that would be ideal for higher education. Cascadia Community College later joined the effort, and the group eventually evolved into the Higher Education Solutions Collaborative (HSC) in 2004.
The HSC’s goal was to build technology resources and solutions (including code, best practices and architecture) that address strategic education initiatives and can be shared among a community of higher education institutions at no cost. The long-term vision is to establish a consortium of collaboration among colleges across the state and eventually across the nation. Stronger applications can be developed more efficiently by pooling resources and collaborating with other institutions who have similar needs and goals.
As more custom tools and applications are developed at individual colleges, institutions participating in the HSC may access the applications and benefit from the work of others. In a climate of budget cuts and decreased funding for higher education institutions, this creative solution will enable smaller colleges and those with fewer staff and financial resources to benefit from the shared development efforts of the group.
Support, resources and expertise provided by Microsoft were critical to the development of the portal and accompanying administrative tools. Microsoft created an open, collaborative environment for the HSC colleges to define the direction of the project, and offered hundreds of hours of staff and consultant time to custom design the portal interface and report card tool. They also addressed specific needs such as easy management of applications, compliance with Americans with Disabilities (ADA) accessibility standards, and usability with multiple browsers and platforms.
Customized Features for Students and Employees
MyBCC tools and features are tailored to the specific needs of students, faculty and staff members. Each user can customize or filter information to best meet daily work or school needs in a personal area called ‘My Site,’ and more enhancements are planned for the future.
Due to the collaborative nature of the project, additional resources and updates will be made available to further enhance the capabilities and features of the portal.
Resources & Contact Information
Tour the MyBC portal and find more resources online at http://mybcc.net. For more information, please contact: