Utah State University published customized press releases this week that recognize more than 6,800 candidates for graduation through an online system that personalizes achievements of students in higher education.
Merit Pages celebrates student achievements and creates personalized announcements that students can post on their social media pages and use in their online portfolios. It also allows the university to create personalized stories that put students’ names in the headline and shares news of their accomplishments with their hometown publications, high schools and family members.
Students can customize their Merit Page with pictures, work and school experience and awards earned. Once enrolled, the student will receive an email from Merit about how to contribute to and personalize their own personal Merit Page.
USU values the privacy of its students and has automatically set each profile page as private. Students can log in to their accounts, click “privacy,” and change their accounts to be publicly searchable if desired. That profile can then be used as part of a resume or other documentation when seeking employment.
USU began using Merit Pages in the Fall of 2020. The following are frequently asked questions about USU’s partnership with Merit Pages:
WHAT IS MERIT PAGES?
Merit Pages is a system that allows Utah State University to share personalized stories about its students’ accomplishments. The service customizes stories with students’ names in the headlines and shares those news stories with their hometown newspapers, high schools and state representatives. Furthermore, students can share these stories on their social media channels, including LinkedIn and Twitter.
HOW DOES MERIT PAGES BENEFIT ME?
Merit Pages creates a digital page for each student that showcases their achievements. These pages are automatically built as the university posts success stories, creating an archive that students can share with family, employers and more. Students can customize their profile pages with photos, work experience and personal biographies. Stories are automatically shared with students, their high schools, hometown newspapers and even state legislators. These customized stories are easily sharable on social media and provide students with another way to showcase their talents and achievements.
HOW ARE MERIT PAGES ACHIEVEMENT STORIES CREATED?
Utah State University writers identify potential stories and work with relevant departments to generate a list of students who participated in those achievements. Once the story is written, it is published and customized through Merit Pages and automatically shared with students, high schools, hometown newspapers and state legislators. Shared content will only include information about students that is designated as “directory information” under the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER AN ACHIEVEMENT STORY IS PUBLISHED?
When a student’s name is included in a Merit story, the student along with their hometown news outlets, high schools, and state legislators are all notified via email. Recipients can send the student a congratulations and can post the achievement on social media. Hometown news sites may choose to publish these stories on their website or in print form. These stories are also published on usu.meritpages.com.
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHERE MY STORIES ARE SENT?
Merit Pages achievements are sent to your preferred email address listed in Banner. Based on the zip code associated with the students’ permanent address, the stories may also be sent to hometown publications as well as state legislators. High schools are determined based on the information students provide on their admission application.
At any time, students can log into their Merit profile and update their information. To view and make changes to which addresses are on file for your account, login to Merit and go to “My Account.” From there, click on “Privacy.”
HOW DO I UPDATE OR CUSTOMIZE MY MERIT PAGE?
After a student logs into their Merit personal page, they can create a customized URL, add a profile picture, bio, and connect to their LinkedIn. Profile. They can also make changes to personal information, such as name, email address, hometown and major.
HOW WILL MY PRIVACY BE PROTECTED?
Student pages are set to automatically be private by default and are not searchable on usu.meritpages.com, unless students click to make their pages searchable in their profile settings.
However, stories containing student’s first and last names will automatically be shared with hometown news outlets, state representatives and high schools. Students may also share their stories on social media. To view and make changes to who receives their Merit updates, students can click on “Privacy” in their Merit account.
HOW DO I OPT OUT?
Opting out removes a student’s page from Merit Pages and also prevents the university from publishing achievements by that student in the future. Students may opt out when they first visit their Merit Page, or at the bottom of the welcome email they receive. They can also choose to opt out at any time. Instructions on how to opt out are found at https://help.meritpages.com/article/91-how-do-i-delete-my-merit-page.
To find out more about Merit Pages and to see published stories, visit usu.meritpages.com.