As part of the One Montclair Project to upgrade the functionality and efficiency of campus technology, Montclair State today launched NEST, the new hub for all student services, after nearly two years of research and development.
NEST, which is an acronym for Network Engagement and Student/Staff Transactions, has been called “the new WESS.” However, Cindy Meneghin, Director of Student Communications and Campus Life, said that its functions will far surpass the antiquated portal used mainly for class registration and account balance payment.
The goal of NEST is to provide an efficient and accessible portal where students can manage their academic and professional life, eventually offering these services through a smartphone app.
Ultimately, students will not only be able to register for classes and pay their account balances, but also access their Montclair Gmail account, Canvas, HawkSync and the library’s catalogue all with a single log on. They will also be able to find information about financial aid, view their academic progress report, communicate with advisors and access the faculty directory all through one user-friendly interface.
Meneghin described NEST as “role-based,” meaning that it will recognize the student’s “role” at the university — resident or commuter, year and major — upon signing in and provide specifically targeted messaging which applies to the student.
“NEST will connect our campus community to the improved administrative services being developed through the One Montclair project,” said Dr. Karen Pennington, Vice President of Student Life and Campus Development. “The goal of this project is to help us work better and smarter as we provide more efficient and practical services to our services.”
The university is using a roll-out method to introduce NEST to the campus community through a gradual implementation of new capabilities in the coming months. During the initial phase starting today, WESS will still be the main source of student services, as users will only be able to use NEST to verify their personal information. Registration for summer 2016 courses will still be through WESS.
During this period, students are encouraged to explore NEST to get used to the new interface and provide feedback to the university. Rocky the Red Hawk, with the addition of a nest around his neck, will be making appearances around campus and handing out helpful information. Additionally, “Ask Me” booths will be stationed throughout campus to answer questions about NEST.
In mid-March, the fall 2016 course schedule will be made available through NEST, and, in April, students will use the new portal to register for fall classes. According to Meneghin, other roll-outs will occur over the summer.
For each phase of NEST’s introduction, the team of developers is making sure that the new capabilities are “fully tested and vetted” and that they work “as effectively and efficiently as possible,” according to Meneghin.
She explained that faculty and staff from the Office of the Registrar, Financial Aid Office, Student Resources and many other departments throughout the university have been working tirelessly, in addition to their day-to-day responsibilities, to develop NEST’s services.
Students can log on to NEST at montclair.edu/nest or through the link on the student services webpage.