The College of New Jersey has signed an agreement with Google to provide Google Apps for Education to our students and alumni. Beginning on May 18, 2011, we will convert all student email from Zimbra to Google Apps for Education. Many schools are moving in this direction and we feel that the time is right for TCNJ to do the same.
We think it’s really important to keep a connection to our alumni and Google Apps for Education will allow us to do that as well. With this change, our alumni can keep a tcnj.edu email account for life. If we continue to add our alumni to our current method of doing all email in house at TCNJ, we will be adding $1.50 for each account so roughly $1500-$2000 per year, every year. This transition to Google Apps will help keep our costs down as Google will provide this service to our students at no charge to us.
Moving to Google for our student email is also beneficial to our students because they will have more storage capability than we could ever afford to give them. And freeing up this space during this transition will allow us to expand faculty and staff email storage at no additional cost. In a recent survey of our students (Spring 2010), out of the 500 students that responded to the question “Which of the following email accounts do you currently have besides your tcnj.edu account?”, sixty-four percent already have a Gmail account so many are already familiar with the way Google handles email.
The transition will be relatively seamless to students, faculty and staff and we would like input and suggestions throughout the process. Under the direction of the IT Planning Council, we have a subcommittee in place called the “Policy and Communications Committee” with representation from faculty senate, the student government as well as some administrative areas that will help guide us through transitioning student emails to Google apps, but we want to hear from you.