Sleek new online tools on the way for community college system

Picking the right classes that lead to a degree.

Registering for courses on time.

Checking financial aid status and paying tuition and fees.

Navigating the state’s community-college landscape can be a bureaucratic nightmare for students — one made all the more maddening by an antiquated computer system, The Seattle Times reports.

Though the state’s 34 community and technical colleges make up a unified system, the computer network is a patchwork, lacking anything remotely resembling one-stop shopping for students wanting to manage their education online.

Many parts are 30 years old and students often must log into different applications or sections of a website to accomplish different tasks. Those challenges are intensified for students who attend more than one community college over the course of their education or start and stop it due to the demands of work or family.

Two new tools are in the works to help ease the headaches.

In August, a new web-based system will start to be rolled out for students in the state’s community-college network.

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