New connectivity app to launch this spring

New connectivity app to launch this spring
A student uses the browser version of the Navigate service. Photo by Olivia Bertino.

A new connectivity app will be available to students and faculty this spring.

Navigate AU, the appointment and information app, was piloted with freshmen this year as a service for communicating with faculty.

Planning for the app started last year after some faculty members raised concerns about students being able to easily communicate with them.

“We were really hearing that there were just ways that we could improve some of our communication around campus as it related to students and student concerns,” Beth Elam, assistant dean of students and Title IX coordinator, said.

A focus group was put together to look into different services. Eventually, the team landed on Navigate, which can be used through either the mobile app or a web browser.

“Navigate in and of itself from a student’s perspective, it’s all about connecting them to resources that they will need,” CAP Specialist Travis Ahlers said.

On the app, students can make appointments with their advisers, tutors and other faculty members like chapel staff and financial aid officers.

Faculty members can also tag other administrators to share information about students with them. This lets members of other departments know what’s going on with students.

“We really want to just make sure that we help that student because usually it’s all kind of integrated,” Elam said. “If the student is struggling in one area, it’s never separate.”

This process is optional, and Elam said they only share information with the students’ permission.

“Then we’re better prepared for when you come in so that I know a little bit about what’s going on so that, again, I can better serve you and get you to where you need,” Elam said.

By next spring, advisers will use Navigate to send out messages to their students and set up appointments for advising sessions, which faculty can then track through Navigate. Students can also see their schedule on the app and set up study groups based on their classes.

Right now, all students can use the app to make appointments, but not all faculty is loaded into the system yet.

“The goal is for a full rollout in the spring semester,” Ahlers said. “As you can imagine with an app communicating with our existing software, there’s a lot of trial and error going on and making sure that information is going across properly.”

The app can be accessed through the link on Augustana’s website. All students have access to log on, but some faculty will still not have access to the features.