Eastern Michigan University’s (EMU) Edge Program, a four-year initiative designed to support students from enrollment through graduation, announced the launch of a new mobile app that will enable students to access course information, student support services, and event calendars, and other resources through a single streamlined source.

Developed by OOHLALA Mobile, a fast-growing higher education company led by former student affairs professionals that now serves more than 200 colleges and universities, the mobile app is designed to improve engagement and retention among EMU’s diverse student population, as well as to support the transition to campus life for low-income and first-generation students.

“Many of our students come from low-income backgrounds or are the first in their families to go to college–and when they arrive on campus, they often struggle to navigate the range of available courses and support networks,” said Christine Deacons, director of Academic Support Programs at Eastern Michigan University, in a statement. “Smartphones are the device of choice for most students–so a streamlined, mobile-friendly app will be instrumental in providing students the information they need, boosting their confidence, and helping them persist in their education.”

Research suggests that nearly 90 percent of low-income, first-generation college students do not graduate on time, due to the challenges of adjusting to campus life and balancing academic commitments with other responsibilities, such as work and family. The EMU mobile app is designed specifically to meet the needs of the university’s nearly 19,000 undergraduates, more than half of whom are low-income students, the first in their families to go to college, or both.

“College students rely on mobile for communicating and accessing information in every other part of their life, and they expect the same standards of clarity and simplicity from their college app that they do as consumers,” said Danial Jameel, co-Founder and CEO of OOHLALA, who began his career in student affairs at the University of Toronto. “We look forward to working with the team at EMU to create a platform tailored to the specific demands and experiences of their students.”

The EMU app uses smart calendars, customizable alerts, and GPS navigation to help Edge students manage their schedules and easily access comprehensive information on campus services through a single sign-on solution. Available for free in the iTunes and Google Play stores, the app integrates with EMU’s Canvas learning management system to give students access to both academic and extracurricular resources. Faculty and advisors can use the app to survey students on their experience at events and activities, and compile real-time data on student engagement.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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