By Jackeline Barrientos
According to a flier on a bulletin board in the library, COC recently launched “Canyons M”, a mobile application for smartphones or tablets that puts access to important information and personalized services in the palm of your hand. An overview of the app can be seen as soon as you log in from the main COC website.
This app was designed to promote various resources, including COC’s social media pages and canvas portals.
COC spent $75,000 to create the app. It was funded by the college and a grant from the Student Success and Support Program. The cost includes “installation, training, integration with canvas, the library’s app and the schedule of classes,” according to Eric Harnish, COC’s Public Information Officer..
“Students frequently engage with the world around them using their mobile devices,” Harnish said. “With the Canyons M app, students can see their schedule, maps to their classroom, access a list of events going on around campus and soon access their Financial Aid status… The idea for the app came from a group of students a couple years ago. We did focus groups and surveys, and then worked to select a vendor.”
The app was conceived by poli-sci students, Harnish says, who worked with COC’s IT department to find out what students would want out of an app. The app interacts with Google Maps so users can locate an ATM machine, restroom, parking kiosk or a specific building.
It also connects to Ask Canyons, where users can get quick answers to a variety of questions about the college, regarding things like application status, tuition costs and how to buy a parking pass.
Upon downloading the app, students and staff will be asked to sign in as either a student or a guest. Students should log in with the name and password they use for their My Canyons account. From there, the home screen of the app should pop up and students are recommended to link their COC canvas and student email to the app. College staff and community members can also enter the app as a guest.
As far as the promotion of the app the only places that I have seen the app being promoted is on the televisions on campus, on fliers on the library entrance and on the COC main website. “We have put the app onto the new student orientation as well as well as on the Canyons.edu website. We also host tables at both campuses and will be putting out notes in the student services front counters,” Harnish said. “We have 1,500 downloads currently.”
Someone might be wondering if this app is meant to or is going to replace something else.
“This app is working to compliment the COC website by providing the user with a personized experience. Our goal is to provide information the student needs in a central, easy to access location, ” Harnish said.
However, like with every single other app it has its glitches and bumps.
“When I first downloaded the app for the first time it kept crashing and closing down the app,” said one COC student.
In the future, the college plans to increase the app’s functionality and personalization with specific information regarding student education plans, financial aid status and campus events and activities related to chosen areas of study. The college is also rolling out profiles for faculty and staff.
“The future of the app is to help provide a unique positive experience for each student,” Harnish said. “As we move towards guided pathways, we plan to help connect students with activities in their major, and build ties that connect special populations such as veterans, athletes and other groups who have unique connections.”
The application launched in 2019 and is available for download in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.