Kaitlyn Delengowski, director of special events for Enrollment Management & Student Success, said she and her team have gotten feedback throughout the years from Drexel University parents and families that they wanted a DrexelOne-style portal all their own.
So for over a year, and well before the COVID-19 pandemic caused campus closures and an increased need for digital solutions, they’ve been working on creating The Drexel University Family Portal, which launched last month and has already generated more than 2,500 active members.
If you’re part of the Dragon family and haven’t yet taken the plunge, Delengowski said the biggest benefits of using the portal are that it brings all of the Drexel information you need into one place, including University news, alerts and events. Also, once your account is connected with your student and if they have executed the corresponding FERPA permissions, parents can see information on billing, grades and course schedules for their Dragon.
The portal allows parents and families to sign up to follow topics that they’re interested in, including co-op and career support, residential life and housing, financial aid and scholarships and much more. These topics of interest are chosen when signing up for the portal, but can always be managed in the account settings to add and delete what is most relevant for each family.
“We encourage you to use the portal for all it does have to offer,” Delengowski said. “…You can always pull back permissions, or what content you're getting, but I would sign up for more to start to make sure you're not missing out on anything.”
Other features to ensure that parents never miss a beat include integration with the quarter calendars for term and examination dates, deadlines and University holidays. Each topic area of interest indicated also generates a personalized newsfeed from different University news sites including our very own DrexelNow content, and also general higher-ed websites. Alerts generated within the portal will also be sent to the email address used to create the account, but notification preferences can always be managed for this as well.
When initially connecting a portal account with an individual student, Delengowski said it’s important for parents to keep in mind that it is not instantaneous, and usually takes about 24 business hours. It is also more successful to use your student’s “short name” Drexel email address (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org) instead of the alias that features a student’s full name.
All in all, Delengowski said that Student Life is very excited to now offer this tool for Drexel families, but it should also not be used in lieu of other important University resources.
“It's not a substitute for communicating with your student and maintaining that relationship,” she said.
How often parents and families check-in and use the portal is also based on each family’s preferences and level of involvement with their student’s collegiate career.
“We have some families that want to be very, very involved in the day-to-day of their student’s experience and some families that view it as more of a hands-off approach,” she said. “So that is really up to what the feel is for that specific student and family.
“This is something that has been in the works for a long time,” Delengowski continued. “We listened to feedback that families wanted their own portal to access the tools that Drexel has to offer and to have things in one place, so we are glad that we've been able to move in this direction.”
To sign up for the Drexel University Family Portal, click here.