Rural U, the University of Maine at Fort Kent's early college and dual enrollment program, has launched a free mobile app for use by its students and high school partners. The app, designed over the last year by Sephone Interactive Media of Bangor, is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. The app will allow Rural U staff to do push notifications about important dates and processes that will appear on student and partner calendars and to send documents and training materials to Rural U students throughout the State of Maine that they can access on their mobile phones and tablets. The app also provides opportunities for Rural U students to have a little fun and “brag” about their participation in the program. Students will be able to take selfies, decorate them with college related digital designs, and post them to a new Rural U Facebook page. The program staff plans to hold contests for creative photos, writing, etc. that can be uploaded to the Facebook page from the app.
“We see this app as a great additional means of communication and student engagement for us,” states Scott Voisine, UMFK's Dean of Community Education. “Our Rural U students are all high school-aged and they are very mobile technology oriented. More than once we've heard our early college students describe email as old school. The app will help us reach out to our students in a manner in which they are most comfortable. We now serve 78 high schools and we are expecting somewhere near 500 students this fall. Communication is key to our success.”
The app was funded by a grant from the Davis Educational Foundation established by Stanton and Elisabeth Davis after Mr. Davis' retirement as chairman of Shaw's Supermarket, Inc. and is available in the Apple Store or in Google Play.