Pipeline upgrade caused login problems prior to fall semester

MEGAN RANDOLPH, News Editor

Adding to the usual frenzy of class registration, this year City College upgraded its portal two weeks before the start of fall semester.

The software that supports the Pipeline system stopped accepting the older version, which forced the college to update.

“So it was a had to, it wasn’t like ‘oh yay let’s go change everything on everyone,’ it was a ‘we have to do this,’” said Daniel Watkins, director of information technology. “And we only had a very small window in between the semesters with the two summer sessions.”

The added summer session forced the upgrade to begin on Aug. 13, only 11 days before school started. The portal upgrade went live for the first time while students tried repeatedly to log on to change classes, access financial aid, parking permits and other features.

Business major Sumire Considine said she could not log into Pipeline using Google Chrome for two weeks and had to switch to Safari.

Watkins advised students experiencing login trouble to clear their cache or try opening Pipeline in a different browser, to get rid of previous browsing data.

“I just thought it was a downgrade, it looks almost old-fashioned,” said junior Tara Iqbal, nursing major. “It looks like it’s like, halfway done. The other one was prettier.”

City College was one of the first community colleges to upgrade its portal, meaning they had no previous models to follow.

Watkins emphasized that the goal was to make things easier for students to access what they use every day.

“We were one of the first to go, people were waiting for someone to go,” Watkins said. “We could’ve waited like those other schools, and then maybe not have had as many bumps in the road, but I think we would’ve been more at risk.”

Some students experienced issues with transcripts and financial aid data during this time, which Watkins said was mistakenly associated with the upgrade.

“It’s just like we put in a new door, but in order to put in the new door, we have to make sure these connections work,” he explained. “We’ve got to make sure you can get into all the rooms.”

The upgrade did not include the whole website, only the portal. When students visit the Pipeline login and home page, they are in the portal. But clicking on tabs like “Registration” or “Campus Card” takes students out of the portal.

Other students and professors experienced little trouble, besides disliking the aesthetics.

“I think it’s more getting used to where things were organized,” said Associate Communications Professor Tina Kistler. “But I think it’s fairly intuitive…. I don’t think it’s very pretty.”

Freshman Evelyn Moroyoqui is a graphic design major who also said that she had no trouble, but that the upgrade seems “too plain.”

Watkins said that he would bring together a group of students and faculty for a focus group in about a month to discuss improvements to the new Pipeline.