BARSTOW Barstow College is working on a program to allow its students to connect with classmates and instructors and track their academic progress online.

Officials hope to launch the program by the fall 2011 registration period, said college spokesperson Maureen Stokes.

Barstow College's myCampus portal will allow students to view their class schedules, grades, unofficial transcripts as well as any tuition and fees they owe and have paid. Students will also be able to create and view profiles and blogs as well as interact with classmates and instructors online. Prospective students, faculty, staff and alumni will also have access to myCampus.

Barstow Community College received a $1.1 million grant from myCampus developer Campus EAI Consortium in August to develop its program. The grant will cover purchasing the software, installing it and providing the training needed to operate the myCampus program. Barstow college will have to pay, however, for the program's ongoing operation, Stokes said.

Campus EAI Consortium is a non-profit organization based in Ohio. Other colleges that make up the consortium and use the myCampus program include Cochise Community College in Arizona and California State University Los Angeles, according to the organization's Web site.

Barstow College will team up with the University of North Carolina Wilmington, which is already using the program, Stokes said. Staff at the University of North Carolina will be able to guide Barstow Community College through any problems staff is experiencing or questions they may have.

Barstow College was one of only two community colleges in the state to be awarded the grant, said college President Thom Armstrong.

The implementation of the myCampus software at Barstow college comes after officials decided to release electronic-only versions of its class schedule for the spring 2011 semester as a money-saving measure. Before summer 2010 Barstow Community College was paying about $25,018 a year to print and mail out schedules.

Stokes said this spring students were also asked to choose a personal identification number to register for classes instead of using their social security numbers.

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