Ventura County Community College District
“If we don’t treat today’s mobile-first college students like customers, they’ll go elsewhere.”
Dave Fuhrmann, Associate Vice Chancellor of Information Technology
VCCCD campus mobile app story focuses on better customer service
VCCCD’S Mobile Strategy
- Treat mobile as the primary platform for student services
- Help students stay informed and make better choices
- Engage students in the moment through native mobile apps
VCCCD’s IT Requirements
- SIS and LMS integration
- Branded app for three member colleges
- Apple® and Android® native apps
- Personalized notifications for emergencies and school-related events
VCCCD’s Mobile Partner Requirements
- Proven platform for community college systems
- Successful track record of integrations
- Ease of deployment, update and customization
“If we don’t treat today’s mobile-first college students like customers, they’ll go elsewhere,” says Dave Fuhrmann, Associate Vice Chancellor of Information Technology for California’s Ventura County Community College District (VCCCD). The district is comprised of three member colleges serving 35,000 students in an area about 60 miles north of Los Angeles.
“There are 109 other schools in the California Community Colleges System. To stand out, we engage students where they live—on their mobile devices.”
Fuhrmann began his pursuit of a student-centric mobile solution in 2012. “I knew that we needed to take a holistic approach. Just mobilizing our Student Information System (SIS) or Learning Management System (LMS) via a vendor provided-app wasn’t an option.” VCCCD wanted native mobile app functionality for iOS® and Android® phones and tablets, and a vendor-neutral platform that was flexible, turnkey, and capable of integrating with all of the district’s backend IT systems.
A key consideration for VCCCD was the ability to brand the app for each member college. Today, MyVCCCD app functions include the ability to access class schedules and navigate to classes and campus buildings using a smartphone’s GPS capabilities. In addition, students can pay tuition, set up a payment plan, and order parking passes.
“We need to engage students in the moment, through an app on their mobile devices,” said Fuhrmann. VCCCD students receive personalized notifications regarding emergencies and school-related events on and around campus. Overdue payment notifications prevent students from unexpectedly being dropped from course registration rosters.
The MyVCCCD app launched in January 2014 to 4+ star reviews and surpassed the 10,000 download mark within two weeks. Today, the VCCCD IT team monitors unique visits, session time and features utilization through an analytics portal to evaluate user experiences.