New app “Guides” incoming students through UO

Incoming UO students will be able to use a new app called “Guide” to schedule advisor appointments and see universit events. (Creative Commons)

Imagine being able to schedule an appointment with an academic advisor, discover personalized events on campus that cater to your interests and sync your class schedule to your phone’s calendar – all through the tap of a button.

This is now a possibility for incoming students at the University of Oregon through the new app, “Guide.”

The University of Oregon Department of Undergraduate Studies is launching the app for incoming students that is supposed to help students from “orientation to graduation.”

Students will be able to schedule advising appointments, look up information on majors and minors, receive reminders to fill out their FAFSA, sync their class schedules to their phone

calendar and have a dynamic to do list that updates as students progress through the university.

“The key for us for Guide is really again another opportunity to help students be successful here on campus,” said Doneka Scott, the associate vice provost for student success.

Incoming students will download the app at Introducktion and it will guide them through orientation.

As the student progresses through UO, the app will evolve and contain more

items and features relevant to students.

“We will, in a phased approach, include each year’s content as we go. So this is the first phase of the implementation of Guide,” Scott said.

In the past, a similar app, “Be a Duck” was used for students going through orientation.

According to Scott, the “Be a Duck” app was created through the Orientation Services Department and is not affiliated with the Department of Undergraduate Studies.

However, the information from the “Be a Duck” app will be incorporated into the new app for the most part, Scott said.

Scott said she is excited about the new personalization features for students.

When a student first downloads the app, there is “inventory” they are required to complete to log their interests, desires and major. If they are undeclared, it will guide them to majors that are relevant to their interests, as well as campus events.

“Say there’s a speaker on campus that’s coming in to talk about the particular area of interest, it will let them know about it,” Scott said.

Current students can download the app but will find the resources are more geared toward first-year students, according to Scott.

“They have access to it, but there’s probably no content in it yet for them to use,” Scott said.

UO student Jaelyn Baisn said she wished current students had access to this new app.

“I would probably use it. If it’s going to remind me about FAFSA and stuff I think that would be pretty useful,” Baisn said.

Scott said that the Department of Undergraduate Studies is working to include all academic classes in the app.

“It just takes time,” Scott said. “We will get there.”

The Department of Undergraduate Studies started conversations last fall about launching the app and began taking action last winter and spring term.

The app comes from a national developer, EAB, previously known as the Education Advisory Board. The company supplies over 450 colleges and high schools across the country with the “Guide” app, including Georgia State University, Washington State University and Stony Brook University.

“It’s an exciting time, it’s a great app. Hopefully, it can help students navigate the institution in a more efficient and effective way,” Scott said.