Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

ASAP transitions to myUTSA

Jessica McLaren
The new myUTSA interface, where students can register for classes, see their schedule, register for scholarships, find resources and more.

As of Monday, UTSA has moved away from the ASAP system and is introducing the myUTSA system with an updated website for students to access all of the university’s resources in one place. Previously, students would use ASAP to register for classes, pay tuition, accept financial aid, and more. In addition to all of these capabilities, the new myUTSA system will add access to resources from other UTSA apps such as Degree Works and Canvas.

“We’[v]e rebrand[ed] the student portal to a nomenclature that makes more sense to students, versus this random acronym [ASAP] that does stand for something, but has no meaning to students.” Associate Vice Provost of Enrollment Marketing, Communications & Systems Tina Garza said. “Students already have a myUTSA email address, students have a myUTSA ID, so this sort of wraps it all together under myUTSA account because students also have various accounts to manage.”

According to One Stop Enrollment, the new platform has streamlined navigation with a more user-friendly design that will make it easier for students to find what they are looking for. In addition, the platform has responsive design capabilities, meaning the interface will adapt to the device that is used whether it’s a laptop, phone or tablet.

Students will still be able to use the original ASAP system throughout the launch. “We wanted to slowly roll out upgrades so that students can leverage them now instead of having to wait. But with that, we have to kind of navigate between two existing systems,” Garza explained. “[The] old ASAP is now going to be the ‘Classic view’ of your student portal, and this new modernized view is going to be called the ‘Modern view’.” 

While it might seem unfamiliar at first, the key components of ASAP will be consistent with myUTSA. “They’re directly correlated to the tabs [on ASAP], but we have way more now. Think of these tabs that are essentially menus, and what we’ve done is, you know, expanded them out,” Garza said. 

Personalization options

Students will now be able to personalize their myUTSA platforms by favoriting and reordering the cards that are most relevant to them. “You’ll notice how everything has a more upgraded user interface. It’s a little cleaner, more modern. No more tabs; everything is cards. But the best part of all is you can move things, you can remove things, you can add things. So it truly is like. A personalized experience throughout the four year journey.” Garza said. 

Another addition to the interface is the ‘my’ cards that present personalized insights in an easy to understand format. “These ‘my’ cards are pretty much cards that will only show data about you,” Garza said. “So your degree work progress will look different than mine, and so these are at a glance without having to go into degree works or go into other applications to give you summary information.” 

Centralized resource hub

The new streamlined platform brings UTSA services from across multiple apps into one hub. “It helps curate all of the resources that can be very overwhelming to students at UTSA to just take a moment and then read through the card, to find the things kind of in a summary as another sort of organized way to kind of just help navigate all of that. If academic support services is important to you, you can just bookmark it,” Garza said.

Students may even discover resources they may have not realized were available to them. “As students, you guys have tons of applications that you can take advantage of, and so all of those app applications are pretty much these Big Blue cards. Hopefully by the way things are organized so the app launches here. If you ever want to know all the applications that students have access to, you can find them here,” Garza said.

 “You have access to download antivirus software if you need it, your health portal website, your library account, your parking portal. Tools like the Adobe Creative Cloud that you have as a student, Canvas obviously is a really big one. So anything that’s an application, not a website here can really be found in this inventory.” 

Digital modernization at UTSA

Getting used to the modern view is important for students because it will become the primary platform in the future. “Basically this is just the first step into many more future iterations. Over the next year, eventually, ‘Classic’ [view] will go away. But there’s no date yet for when it’s truly gonna go away.” Garza said.

The transition to myUTSA is just one of UTSA’s steps towards modernizing the digital tools that ‘Runners have access to. Considering the digital overhaul that took place in institutions of higher education throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, digital modernization is crucial to the overall student experience. This semester, UTSA switched to Canvas for its learning management system (LMS) after using Blackboard for 11 years. 

“We used the pandemic to understand how people were using Blackboard and what they needed and what they wanted,” Vice Provost for Academic Innovation Melissa Vito said. “We surveyed students and faculty actually, multiple times to try to understand what they were looking for. Like what was important to them, regardless of what tools we might be using.”

The overwhelming consensus from the survey was that students wanted a mobile app. However, Canvas has so much more to offer. “The calendar feature has a to-do list that we didn’t have in Blackboard before and it can be synced with other calendars. So students can actually sync it with their personal calendar and create their own to-do list,” Associate Vice Provost for Teaching, Learning & Digital Transformation Marcela Ramirez said. 

Canvas offers a number of features that can help students navigate their courses, including a “what-if” feature that allows them to see the effects of different grade outcomes. The LMS also boasts plenty of online help options that include 24/7 online assistance along with an online help center for students that includes all of Canvas’ capabilities. Faculty also have access to a help center specific to their needs that includes workshops, and one on one guidance.

For clear instructions on how to use the new myUTSA system, students may watch the tutorial video on the One Stop website. Alternatively, a PDF form of the instructions is located right under the app launcher on the myUTSA website. For additional support, students can schedule an appointment with the Tech Café by calling 210-458-5555 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or by emailing [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Jessica McLaren, News Editor
Jessica McLaren is a senior digital communications student. She is from Austin, Texas, and she has been working with The Paisano for several years now — first as a staff writer and now as the News Editor. Though she has loved to write for virtually her entire life, Jess only recently discovered her passion for visual design through her studies at UTSA. She values open-mindedness and compassion and believes the media is a powerful tool that can be used to strengthen the forces of humanity if used mindfully. Once she graduates, Jess plans to use her expertise in writing, editing and design to help people better understand themselves and the world around them by creating compelling and engaging communication campaigns as a self-employed writer and designer. When she’s not writing an article or researching for one, you can usually find her reading a book about philosophy with a good cup of coffee.

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