There has been discussion at our institution about disbanded the practice of giving students e-mail addresses with the college domain. Some of the reasons motivating the discussion stem from the difficulty in maintaining these various accounts as we are a 2 year college, students come and go quite frequently. Also, in all reality, students are having their college e-mail address forward to Gmail or something other web-based e-mail service that offers significantly more storage space and functionality.
Unfortunately, some in our student services department are being difficult and insisting that students need and are using college given e-mail addresses. So this project is on hold. I wonder if/when college services will get on-board with the web 2.0 era and realize that college e-mail addresses are under-utilized and a waste of resources to maintain.
The only downside I can see in disbanding the practice of giving student college e-mail addresses is some companies they apply to may block free e-mail services. Also, a college e-mail address may provide some credibility. I do think that both of these concerns will become irrelevant as Gmail and other web-based e-mail services continue to gain acceptance and credibility.
I would fully support disbanding college e-mail addresses in support for Gmail or similar services for students.
How does your institution handle the issue of college e-mail addresses? Do you provide a college e-mail address or encourage the use of a free web-base service?