Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) ranks among the top colleges and universities in Florida and provides affordable, high-quality education that meets the demands of a modern workforce. For more than 50 years, it has served the First Coast community in multiple locations throughout Duval County and Nassau County and through FSCJ Online. In 2017, it was ranked #19 for best online colleges in Florida by TheBestColleges.org. It has also been ranked #10 by College Choice for best community colleges offering online associate degrees. Due to its diverse programs, the school attracts international students from 154 countries and serves over 50,000 students each year.
As an institution that has long supported its students online, FSCJ feels confident and comfortable enabling secure, remote access to key resources. However, when the coronavirus hit, it also needed to enable its more than 400 full-time faculty and nearly 800 adjunct (part-time) faculty to work and teach from home. The school was able to smoothly do so since it had already deployed OneLogin.
Enabling seamless access to applications
FSCJ initially called upon OneLogin to enable streamlined access to the nearly 30 applications it makes available to staff, faculty and students. These include popular third-party applications along with custom apps developed in house. Staff, faculty and students accessed these apps via the school’s MyFSCJ portal powered by PeopleSoft.
When the school’s IT department saw users frustrated because they needed to first log into the portal and then separately into each app, it evaluated identity and access management (IAM) providers. With OneLogin, it gained a single identity source that worked within the school’s multiple domains and Office 365 tenants on its back end.
Enabling staff and faculty to work from home
Through OneLogin, staff, faculty and students can easily access applications such as the Learning Management System, tutoring software, Office365 suite, WebEx, financial aid and student services software, and a student admissions platform, to name a few.
According to Pete Snell, Executive Director of Network & Server Systems at FSCJ, “We didn’t need to do anything differently when staff and faculty started working from home. Because of OneLogin, we could enable the same app provisioning and access.”
As Snell explains, OneLogin support for multi-factor authentication has been critical. People working from home often log in from a device that the school doesn’t manage. Multi-factor authentication enables the school to easily verify their identity and access rights.
In addition, adaptive authentication, part of OneLogin’s SmartFactor Authentication, means users are only prompted when their behavior changes, such as being in a new location, on a different computer, or logging in at a different time of day.
Building upon its strong online learning reputation
With a strong heritage in online learning, the response to COVID-19 has not been as hard on FSCJ as it has been on schools based on a traditional, on-campus model. That said, some of its classes – such as auto repair, nursing, and culinary – are difficult to offer online. As the school works out a way to provide these classes safely in person, it has published a return to campus plan. Meantime, it will continue to offer online courses through the summer as always until students, staff, and faculty return to campus.
“This experience has made it clear that all our faculty, staff, and students should be on laptops. Going forward that will be part of our plan, as well as using virtual desktops for some classes so students don’t need to purchase expensive programs. We plan to use OneLogin to streamline that access too,” concludes Snell.