Vice Provost for Enrollment Management at UMBC asked campus IT leadership to explore solutions that would allow parents easy access to student information and still guarantee students the ability to grant and revoke access as they choose.
In 2014, UMBC put in place parent access with Cirrus Identity’s Gateway Service. Students can log into the campus portal, submit an email address for the person they’d like to invite, and choose the information they would like to share. Students still have control over their information.
When parents receive the invitation email, they get to choose a social identity provider (UMBC elected to integrate with Google or Facebook) to use as a profile account. The Cirrus Gateway eliminates the need for parents to create another profile. For all future access, parents don't have to remember a specific 'username' and 'password'. This gets parents access quickly and with no hassle, and eliminates the ongoing operating expense of managing a guest account service.
To invite parents/guests to view student information, students begin by logging in to the myUMBC portal, entering the email address of the person they’d like to share information with, and selecting the specific information they want to share. The myUMBC portal is integrated with PeopleSoft Campus Solutions.
UMBC has a homegrown email-based invitation that is initiated to register the social account the parent wishes to use for future access. When the parent/guardian later visits the myUMBC portal, they will see Google and Facebook as login options.
They choose the one they registered, and the login itself is handled via the Cirrus Identity Gateway Service. Cirrus Identity translates the authentication protocol into SAML, and maps the attributes from the social providers into standard eduPerson schema.