In higher education these days, the old printed catalog is just about a relic from a bygone era. Web pages replaced printed pages long ago as a source for student information and services at most colleges and universities.
Now, in the third decade of the Internet era, the mobile device has overtaken the personal computer as the Internet access tool of choice. Likewise, the app—the scaled-down program that runs on a mobile device somewhat the way a program runs on a PC—is fast becoming the first-line information source for this generation of college students.
For the past year, Delgado Community College’s Information Technology, Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, and Public Relations and Marketing departments have led the efforts of a college-wide team of faculty members, administrators, staff and students to create and launch the first-ever mobile app for the 93-year-old institution. Early next month, students returning for fall classes will be encouraged to download the app and begin using it to organize and enhance their experience as Delgado students.
Delgado is the first community college in the state of Louisiana—and the first among its sister institutions in the 13-member Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS)—to create and deploy a mobile app for students.
Included in the first generation of the Delgado app are links to the Admissions Office, freshman orientation, campus tours (Delgado has nine locations in three parishes), the catalog and student handbook, the bookstore, course registration, tuition payment and financial aid, Blackboard tools, library holdings, emergency contacts, the college directory, dining services, public transportation schedules, maps, events, news, sports and—last but most certainly not least—social media including Facebook and Twitter.
Thomas Lovince is the college’s assistant vice chancellor for information technology/chief information officer as well as the executive dean of the new Sidney Collier site on Louisa Street in New Orleans. As the person responsible for leading the college’s technology strategic plan, he has chaired the committee tasked with developing the app.
“We are breaking new ground here,” Lovince said. “Delgado’s experience creating and implementing an app is designed to be the model for other LCTCS colleges to do the same.” Two other LCTCS colleges, Baton Rouge Community College and Louisiana Delta Community College in Monroe, are on track to launch apps in the near future, Lovince explained, “But Delgado is the first, and we are very grateful to have the opportunity to serve our students and other institutions around the state in this leadership role.”
The app is intended to supplement the college website, www.dcc.edu, which has won awards from college and university organizations focused on using technology for information access—and for marketing. Students and faculty will continue to use Blackboard, a productivity tools package accessed through the college website and the new app, as their primary means of online communication. Not long after the new app appears, a completely revamped college website, also under development for the past year, will make its debut. Look for it around mid-September, after the college completes student registration for the fall semester.
The initial version of the Delgado app—“phase one,” Lovince calls it—is focused almost exclusively on student services and needs. The second phase of the project will see the app expanded to include information and services of interest to college employees, alumni, and other non-student populations. Employees can keep track of their work hours and leave time, alumni can request copies of transcripts and get information about events, and the general public can learn more about the many programs and services provided at Delgado.
“We have nine locations offering more than a hundred academic programs, but we are one Delgado,” Lovince said. “The app brings everything together in the palm of your hand.”
Download the Delgado mobile app from the App Store on iTunes and from Apps on Google Play. Versions for most Android and Apple devices, and Windows tablets, are part of the initial release—Windows phone users must wait until the next phase of the project. Search “Delgado Community College” and look for the dark green icon with a large white Delgado “D.” If you cannot find it, please check back over the next several days, as the online stores are just starting to offer the app to the public.
Live links to the Delgado mobile app as of July 30, 2014:
Android - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dub.app.delgado
iOS - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/delgado-community-college/id877729983?mt=8