For years, the OrgSync website connected Metro State students to campus organizations and activities. After learning that OrgSync was being phased out, Metro State’s Student Life and Leadership Development (SLLD) staff transitioned to the Engage platform this summer. So far, reactions from students and staff have been mostly positive.
“It is a lot easier to navigate than OrgSync,” said Emilie Peck, public relations director for the Metropolitan State University Student Association. Peck praised Engage for the intuitive layout and elimination of extra steps.
“I like the ease of it,” said Mai Nyua Lee, a creative writing major at Metro State. Lee liked the simplification and the streamlined design. She also appreciated the lighter background, which she said is “more pleasing to the eyes.”
Like the OrgSync platform before it, Engage is a web-based tool for centralizing all university communications and bulletins for student organizations.
Student-led groups, such as the Psychology Club, use it to promote events, register new members and conduct officer elections.
Campus services, such as the Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship, also participate in Metro State’s Engage online community. They recently used it to publicize internship information sessions.
Students use Engage to learn about student groups, join clubs and RSVP to campus events. Engage also helps them generate records of their cocurricular involvement.
People who want to see Metro State’s Engage portal and its capabilities themselves can access it directly through engage.metrostate.edu. The site is also accessible through Metro State’s Student Life or Student Organizations webpages.
According to Philip Fuehrer, assistant director of SLLD, the best advantage of Engage is the easier sign-in. Students can sign in with their Metro State email address and StarID password.
Fuehrer believes the single sign-on will increase Engage participation. OrgSync required the additional step of creating a separate account and password. With Engage, students can access organization information without logging in.
Engage is developed by Campus Labs, a data collection and visualization software company for colleges and universities. Over 1,400 higher education institutions use their services to measure the impact of their student life programs. Fuehrer recognized Campus Labs for their CollegiateLink program, a previous student-engagement platform, available a few years ago. He said Metro State considered CollegiateLink in 2012 but ultimately chose its competitor OrgSync.
In 2016, OrgSync merged with Campus Labs. With feedback from hundreds of colleges and universities, Campus Labs compiled the best from OrgSync and CollegiateLink to create Engage. Now, Metro State has the best from both systems.
Although Engage was up and running during the summer, Student Life was not promoting it then. Fuehrer said they wanted to give student organizations time to get their pages ready for the fall semester.
Student Life will promote Engage as students come back to school in the fall and attend welcome events such as Fall Fest.
The mission of SLLD is to enrich students’ college experience and make them aware of involvement opportunities at Metro State. According to Fuehrer, the best presentation of Engage should help them achieve this goal.
Carrie Noble, student organizations and activities coordinator for SLLD, led a series of Engage info sessions during the summer. Student organizations attended these meetings to set up their Engage pages. Noble said the sessions would help expose issues they can troubleshoot together. Student Life also hosted volunteer sessions for users to test Engage and contemplate improvements.
During the June 19 meeting, attendees discovered that most contents from OrgSync transferred to the new Engage pages. They only uncovered a few minor problems. Some bylaws and logos did not migrate. Students also mentioned that organization rosters were bloated with graduates and individuals no longer affiliated with the university. Noble said that Student Life would let Engage run for a year before updating this information.
“The user experience is going to be better in the long run,” she told the group.