Polk State students will be unable to use PAL until the start of fall classes on Aug. 20 — a brief inconvenience that will allow the College to streamline and improve the PAL system.
PAL, which stands for Polk Access to Learning, is a web-based system through which students access online and hybrid courses, as well as supplemental information for their traditional, face-to-face classes.
Typically, students have been able to access their PAL courses seven days prior to the start of the semester. However, this semester PAL access will be delayed as the College migrates the system to new servers.
As part of the switchover, the College is integrating its PAL system and PASSPORT, the web-based system for applying to the College and registering for classes. By having the two systems communicate with one another, student information will be updated faster and will be more accurate.
For instance, in the past, if a student added a course in PASSPORT, that information had to be manually updated to PAL, a process that could take a day or two. Now, such an update will automatically happen within a matter of hours.
Another benefit of the changes will be that students will no longer have to remember a separate PAL username and password. As of Aug. 20, students will access PAL through PASSPORT — using their student ID and its password. Also, students will now only have their College email address, ending in my.polk.edu, not a separate email address for PAL.
This fall’s changes to PAL will precede a spring upgrade that will improve the system’s interface and other features.
College faculty will also notice changes. They will be unable to access PAL fall courses until Aug. 17, and they will also use PASSPORT to access the system.
“We know this may be a little painful at first, but in the long run this is going to lead to an improved, more accurate system,” said Naomi Boyer, associate vice president for strategic initiatives, who has facilitated the PAL server switch.
For help or for more information, students may contact the College’s Help Desk at 863.298.6839.