WASHINGTON, April 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Harper College is partnering with Blackboard Inc. to provide mobile access to campus services and information with the ultimate goal of increasing graduation rates, the company announced today. Harper has adopted Blackboard Mobile Central™ as part of its long-term strategy to enhance engagement and help students "finish what they started" and produce more college graduates.
President Barack Obama recently challenged community colleges to produce an additional five million graduates by 2020 in an effort to increase U.S. global competitiveness. Harper College found its unique, proportional share of this goal is an additional 10,604 graduates. In an aggressive effort to meet this goal, the college is undergoing several initiatives that will aim to increase student involvement and increase their likelihood of graduation. As part of this effort, the college deployed Blackboard Mobile Central to increase engagement and access to the campus community.
"Research shows that student outcomes improve when they are more involved and engaged," said Patrick Bauer, chief information officer at Harper College. "Mobile extends the functions of our campus in a way that makes sense for community college students who are commuting, working full-time, and balancing personal and family obligations. Blackboard is helping us foster student involvement through a mobile initiative which will ultimately support student achievement."
The Harper College app, which is accessed over 1,000 times a day, contains a suite of features within a single app including the campus directory, event calendars, news and information, maps, and more. Harper recently deployed new functionality including a "Construction" feature that provides information and updates on the $250 million campus expansion project currently underway, and access to the "My Harper" suite that connects to the student information system, course schedules and course catalog.
Harper's IT department initially began internal development of a mobile app, but soon recognized that time, capabilities and resources were limited. By partnering with Blackboard, campus officials are able to focus more on fulfilling student needs via the mobile initiative and less on design and coding. Following a review of vendor options, Harper ultimately selected Blackboard Mobile Central because of its availability on all popular mobile platforms, the ability to quickly develop and deploy, and market leadership.
"Mobile is a territory with so many unknowns in terms of operating systems, security and infrastructure," continued Bauer. "We knew our students wanted mobile access to campus information, but we were struggling with the best and most efficient way to provide it to them. Blackboard's knowledge and experience better enabled us to overcome these challenges."
"I would be lost without the Harper College mobile app," said a student at Harper College. "Everything I need is only a couple of 'taps' away. There is no more wondering exactly when an assignment is due or if I've fulfilled my discussion board posting for the week – in an instant, I can see what is going on around campus, email an instructor directly or find my way to a classroom or office. I tell everyone I know to download it. Life will be much simpler!"
Blackboard Mobile Central is used at nearly 250 education institutions worldwide and is available in native applications for Android™; BlackBerry; iOS® for the iPhone® and iPod touch®; Palm webOS, and on all Web-enabled devices. When enabled by their institution, users can download both mobile apps, at no cost, directly to their device from their respective app stores.
About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard Inc. is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard's solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Blackboard represent the Company's views as of the date of this press release. Actual results may differ materially as a result of various important factors. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company's views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so.
SOURCE Blackboard Inc.