Sitting Bull College Launches Mobile App to Help Strengthen Campus Community

Published February 20, 2018

FORT YATES, NORTH DAKOTA – Sitting Bull College, the primary higher education institution on the Standing Rock Reservation, today announced the launch of a new mobile app to help students navigate and engage in campus life. Developed in partnership with OOHLALA Mobile, which works with more than 200 colleges and universities worldwide to improve student engagement and persistence, the app will help Sitting Bull students access academic information, communicate with peers and faculty, and receive real-time updates about events and campus activities.

“Our number one goal at Sitting Bull is helping our students complete their degree — which can be especially challenging for those who travel long distances, or balance work and family commitments in addition to their coursework,” said Koreen Ressler, Vice President of Operations at Sitting Bull College. “We know that the more engaged our students are, the more likely they are to persist in their studies. That’s why new tools like the Sitting Bull app have been so important in helping students stay connected with their peers and fostering a sense of community. After an extensive review process, we chose to partner with the team at OOHLALA Mobile due to their deep experience in higher education and data-driven approach to improving the student experience.”

Research suggests that American Indians and Alaska Natives have the lowest retention rates of any racial or ethnic group in the first three years of college. To address this challenge, Sitting Bull College is tapping technology to better connect its students to campus life and student success services.

Over 200 colleges and universities have partnered with OOHLALA Mobile to launch campus mobile apps to help demystify the college experience for students and support retention. Recent research, conducted at Kentucky’s Lindsey Wilson College, found that first-year students who used their campus app were 17% more likely to return after the first semester than those who did not.

“The ubiquity of mobile devices on campus gives colleges a unique opportunity to close access and equity gaps that often create barriers to student success,” said Danial Jameel, Co-Founder and CEO of OOHLALA and a former student affairs professional at the University of Toronto. “Sitting Bull is leading the way among peer institutions by using mobile technology to reach students where they are, and gain greater insight into the effectiveness of academic resources and support services.”

Developed by a team of former student affairs professionals, researchers, and engineers, OOHLALA uses native mobile technology including customizable alerts, real-time feedback tools, and GPS navigation to streamline the campus experience for college students. Available for free to students through the Apple App and Google Play stores, the campus app integrates directly with existing Learning Management Systems (LMS) and Student Information Systems (SIS), providing a single platform for students to access information about courses, events, and other resources. Faculty and staff have access to rich analytics and data dashboards to help process real-time feedback and improve the student experience.

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