Seniors receive resources for learning beyond graduation

With graduation looming, members of the class of 2011 may be grappling with their imminent new roles as “real” people. While the College doesn’t necessarily provide definitive guidance for this, it does provide graduates with an identity in relation to itself: alumni.

As an alumnus of the College, the resources available to you are different than as a student. According to Shawn Sivy, director of Network and Technical Services at the College, students are shifted to alumni status after graduation as part of the Identity Management System (TIMS) — the program that manages students’ network identities. This translates to terminated access to the College’s network.

Alumni retain access to PAWS and myTCNJ in order to request and view transcripts, Sivy said in an e-mail. However, he also said that only students “actively taking courses” can access SOCS.

The anticipated conversion of student e-mail accounts to Gmail — planned for May 18 — is being done with alumni in mind.

“We think it’s really important to keep a connection to our alumni and Google Apps for Education will allow us to do that as well,” the College’s website says. “With this change, our alumni can keep a tcnj.edu e-mail account for life.”

Students who graduated in May 2008 still possess Zimbra accounts, Sivy said, which will be changed automatically to Gmail accounts.

Alumni who don’t currently use Zimbra accounts will be given the opportunity to sign up for Google Apps this summer, according to Sivy. He also said other services may be available to alumni in the future.

“We are considering additional services for the future that may be beneficial to alumni, such as access to the campus wireless network,” he said.

As an alumnus, access to the Library changes as well. After graduation students can register with Alumni Affairs in Green Hall 211 for their alumni cards, which grant alumni library privileges, outlined at tcnj.edu/~library/info/borrowing.html.

According to Taras  Pavlovsky, dean of the Library, access to databases such as EBSCOhost and JSTOR, with which the College currently has license agreements, ends upon graduation, as dictated by these contracts. However, as the College is a public institution, alumni, like anyone, are able to walk into the Library and use the facilities. According to Pavlovsky, the reason the College doesn’t provide alumni with access to these databases is because, financially, it can’t.

“We encourage you (students) to be life-long learners … If there were a way to provide it (databases) we would,” he said.

Pavlovsky said that the Library plans to incorporate a citation-generating program, RefWorks, into its repertoire of databases, which will be accessible to alumni as well, as the company’s licensing agreement includes alumni as registered users. Currently, students can visit the Library’s website to sign up for a trial of the program.

For additional information regarding alumni resources, visit the Alumni Association Benefits and Services page at community.tcnj.edu.

Katie Brenzel can be reached at brenzel2@tcnj.edu.