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If you’ve taken any classes at Pickens Technical College (I assume you have), then you already know where to find your grades for your courses. Some professors at PTC use STARS as their grading software, others use Easy Grade Pro. Your professor will, of course, let you know which grading software they use and how to check your grades. Of course, you check them, but too many students don’t use the PTC Student Portal (where you can find your grades, in case you don’t know) to its fullest.

PTC’s Student Portal is a one-stop resource for all kinds of student issues. Here, you can download forms you’ll have to sit and fill out when you visit certain departments on campus, such as student grievance forms. You can download the student handbook, a bus schedule to and from PTC from the surrounding area, and read the fine print of the Internet use agreement. In other words, instead of waiting for an appointment at the student services office, you can find answers to your questions without even putting on leaving your living room. (I suppose you could try to see an administrator in-person to answer basic questions you can find answers to online, but leaving your house is such a hassle!)

No one reads the student handbook cover to cover (I don’t mean to ostracize people who do), but there is valuable information in the handbook that can be useful to you in almost any given situation. If you need information on school services or how to seek help getting into the program you want, for example, the handbook is a great resource. If you have access to the Student Portal, you can peruse the handbook at your leisure without digging through your desk to find the hard copy you got at Orientation. Access your personal student information beyond your grades. Look at your enrollment status in new programs, look up your official transcripts, and learn more about how to take advantage of the staff support on campus.

In the Student Portal, you can download and print field trip or media release forms if you need to instead of picking them up on campus. You can also find secondary signature sheets and post-secondary signature sheets to fill out if you need to. You don’t have to make two trips to campus to find these forms and turn them in. There are also many information packets that you don’t have to print out and kill trees to read. It’s easy to find and pull up the information you need without digging through all of your orientation material again on the Student Portal.

The Student Portal isn’t a “hack” only a few special students know how to use it. It’s a resource for everyone at PTC who needs to check their personal information or who needs to find general information quickly. Take advantage of this resource to maximize your time at PTC.