At Kinvolved, my team was challenged to create a student-facing technology to address the tremendous rate of student drop-out at CUNY community colleges. Only one in four community college students will earn their associate's degree in 6 years.
The final product, Campus Kit, won $60,000 in the Robin Hood College Success Competition as one of three finalists and will undergo a 3-year randomized control trial among 200-500 students in CUNY Community Colleges.
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Our team conducted extensive research on the challenges to community college experience through interviews and secondary research. We spoke with faculty, students, advisers and counselors from SUNY and CUNY schools to gain insight on the available resources on campus. I also scouted Yelp reviews and college Facebook groups for additional insight.
Based on our research, I saw two common issues regarding support services for students.
The circumstances led to missing things such as key deadlines, academic requirements, and other important information that could impede a student's progress. As a result, it's easy to have students fall through the cracks and not receive the help they need on time. Using this information, I developed two personas:
For the app, we based many of our features on Integrated Planning and Advisory Systems (IPAS). The IPAS are digital tools to track and share academic progress by providing students, faculty, and staff with services that roadmap the completion of a student's degree.
We used attendance data to pinpoint a student's academic success and progress. We wanted to encourage accountability and identify those who are struggling. Furthermore, we built a simple interface for students to find on-campus resources- ranging from tutoring to childcare services.
For the click-thru prototypes, we used PopApp. These prototypes were tested with City Tech and LaGuardia CC students. Using their feedback, we iterated three rounds of prototypes.