Centre launches New Student Orientation phone app

Posted by Centre News in News 24 Aug 2015

student orientation appOrientation is a fun and exciting time for new students, but it can also be overwhelming. This summer, an innovative new phone app will make sure the incoming class of 2019 gets the most out of their introduction to Centre College.

“Our hope is that the app will help calm the nerves of new students during orientation week by helping them better understand what to expect day-by-day and by providing them with another way to stay connected through the orientation process,” Alycia Tidrick, director of Greek like and new student orientation, said.

The app, titled Centre College – New Student Orientation, can be found online for iPhone and Android. Its features include push notifications that remind students of upcoming events and last-minute changes to the schedule.

Certain student populations will have special orientation schedules based on their unique needs and responsibilities. “My Schedule” allows a student to select either the standard “First Year Orientation Schedule” or identify oneself as a transfer student, fall athlete or international student, each having a different schedule.

“This helps us better cater our orientation programs and schedules to fit the diverse needs and interests of our students,” Tidrick said.

Activities and events happening throughout the fall semester that continue to support students during the initial transition period, such as Extended Orientation programs, EXPO and the study abroad meeting for first-years, will also be included.

The idea for a new student orientation app was introduced by International Student Advisor Stephen Swan, who was initially motivated to cut down on paper usage during orientation. As students become more reliant on smartphones and technology, it was a logical step to design a platform that integrated scheduling and live updates.

“It seemed a natural transition to connect students—and to a degree, their parents—to their schedule via mobile devices, saving trees and providing Alycia a platform in which she can reach all orientation leaders and first-year students simultaneously,” he explained.

The design of the app was custom built with the help of Legit Apps, Inc. in Lexington, Ky. Two of the staff members who worked on the project—Brock Klein ’10 and Tom Kent ’13—are Centre alums.

The app will be one more tool in Centre’s already extensive arsenal of orientation leaders, resident assistants, faculty advisors and the Student Life Office.

“I hope it helps facilitate communication during orientation week and beyond,” Tidrick said, “as well as provide new students with an additional resource that can help them connect with the campus community and become familiar with all of the opportunities that exist at the College.”

by Elise L. Murrell
August 24, 2015