FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 9, 2022
PORTLAND, Maine — Just in time for back-to-school and a return to campuses after the pandemic, GovWebworks (GWW) has supported the design, development, and launch of a new portal for higher education resources in Minnesota.
Sponsored by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE), MyHigherEd Minnesota helps students manage the sometimes overwhelming process of finding and funding a postsecondary school that fits educational goals. The data on the student-focused website gives new insight into Minnesota-specific higher education opportunities and student outcomes.
High school students, non-traditional college students, current college students considering a transfer, parents and guardians, educators, and counselors can all find personalized insights into financial aid opportunities and area-of-study preferences that fit their circumstances.
Data for the post-secondary school search
“The new resource converts previously complex college data into helpful information for students,” says GWW Project Manager, Hellen Fitzpatrick. “It’s more playful and user centered than a traditional government website.”
GWW worked with Minnesota’s Office of Higher Education, IT Services (MNIT), and a Microsoft Dynamics subcontractor, Tech Air Group, to build the Drupal 9 hub. High school students, parents, educators, counselors, and other types of students were consulted in all aspects of the design and implementation in order to meet the unique needs of those considering higher education in Minnesota.
“The portal provides visitors with a friendly, curated experience,” says Sarah Crossman, GWW’s Director of User Experience. “Rich data sets support the evaluation of post-secondary institutes in Minnesota by all users, and provide authenticated users with recommendations and projections relating to cost and timelines to support the process of identifying and applying to institutions.”
Much of the data being utilized on the new site was previously hard to find and interpret. OHE wanted to “meet the customers where they are” with an online solution that would separate out the information for prospective students from the policy documents on their agency site.
OHE’s primary goal for the portal is to convey that enrolling in college is easier and more affordable than some prospective students may think. As students consider growing their education, this portal supports the process of finding the right fit for future goals and job opportunities.
Learn more about MyHigherEd in the case study.
GWW has supported a number of similar resource portals to help public sector agencies make information easier to find and digest, including:
- The CareerForce portal for the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to provide access to employment and workforce-oriented programs for job seekers
- Rebuilding California’s interactive and visually appealing data insights and information about the programs and projects that utilize SB 1 funding.
- United Ways of Maine and 211 Maine’s 211maine.org for finding assistance with household and health needs
GovWebworks is the primary brand of Portland Webworks (founded in 1999), a software development firm in Portland, Maine, and part of the national movement to improve digital government services. GovWebworks supports public sector agencies in states including Idaho, Washington, Florida, Missouri, Minnesota, and Maine, with innovative, user-centric solutions that deliver immediate impact to citizens. The mission to improve online access to benefits has been especially prescient during the pandemic, with the dramatic increase in remote requests for help. Aligning with organizations like Code for America (CfA) and U.S. Digital Service, GovWebworks is a sponsor of the local CfA brigade, OpenMaine.
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