By Will Ranos / Co-Editor in Chief / Twitter: Touchstone_Will

Based on a late 2014 survey of LBCC students and employees who consistently ranked the website as one of the key communication tools at LBCC that they would like to see improved, the college has budgeted for a redesign to the site that is set to launch in January 2017.

In September, LBCC released a request for qualifications for firms who are interested in bidding on the work to redesign the site. The college’s goal is to select a qualified firm from the list of respondents in the next two months and begin the redesign early next year.

John Pope, director of public affairs and governmental relations, said LBCC will be reaching out to get feedback from students, employees and prospective students who are considering attending college and other groups who might be able to provide a useful perspective.

Thomas Roesch, 23, an international business major, said, “I’d like to see them improve the navigation of the site. Right now it’s hard to find specific things you look for.”

Pope said, “The college’s goal is to provide a cutting-edge website with the functionality to serve our campus community while showcasing our great educational programs to prospective students.”

In the meantime, the current site, while being updated every 2-3 days, will not have major programming and technical resources put into improving it.

The college did recently launch LBCC online counseling services, which allows students the convenience of scheduling counseling sessions online either through video, similar to Skype, or through online chats. The online chats are similar to a forum where the discussion is public and open to all students but the counselors’ answers are general and don’t disclose individual student records.

The online chat counseling is available Monday through Thursday from noon-1 p.m.

Instructional and Information Technology Services is also reportedly looking for opportunities to reduce the maintenance window for the Oracle System. Currently, Oracle is only available between 6 a.m.-11 p.m. daily.

The technology services plan to provide more system availability in the “very near-term future,” Pope said.

David Barrera, 20, a criminal justice major, said, “I don’t really have problems with the website. I don’t know if I’d change anything. I find everything pretty easily.”