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Brief Town Hall Meeting Leads into Student Focus Group About GRCC’s Forthcoming Mobile Academic Advising App

Grand Rapids Community College flag on campus (Sabrina Edwards/The Collegiate)

By: Sherry Sokolowski

Student Alliance’s bi-weekly virtual town hall meeting on Feb 25 was cut short so those in attendance could participate in a student focus group about a new student-oriented platform coming to Grand Rapids Community College.  

The purpose of the virtual focus group was to gain student’s feedback and perspectives on a new platform called EAB Navigate. 

This platform will be available to Grand Rapids Community College students this spring via a mobile app (there is desktop access as well). It provides students with easy access to a plethora of resources and information – most notably, their academic plans and connections with academic advisors. 

“This platform has quite a bit of functionality that we believe will help students navigate their GRCC experience better,” said Melissa Mahoney, the EAB Launch Consultant that led the focus group. 

It acts as a single point of access for students, combining everything from your class schedule to exploring career opportunities based on your major and interests. Students will no longer have to call to set up an appointment – with this software, they have the ability to set up appointments with the Academic Advising and Transfer Center, the College Success Center, Disability Support Services, and the Occupational Support Program all from their phones. 

In addition, we are initiating a new case management advising model via the Navigate platform where all new students will be assigned an academic advisor as a part of the onboarding process,” said Eric Mullen, Dean of Student Success and Retention.

“There is a shared academic advising module that will allow students and their assigned academic advisor to collaborate on building their specific academic plan and stay in communication throughout the student’s GRCC experience.” 

Throughout the duration of the focus group, the students went through the different functionalities of the app, experimenting with them and asking valuable questions. They provided a hefty amount of feedback. 

The EAB Navigate platform will be available to students by the end of March. 

“The app Navigate will be a great tool for GRCC students. I believe it will help bring more confidence, organization, and control to the hectic academic lives of students,” stated Inayah Hakeem, the President of Student Alliance. “The app will serve as a commonplace for most of the information and resources we often need. From scheduling appointments, tracking academic progress, to just viewing classes and checking to-do lists, all accessible through the launch of an app. It is nice to know that our needs as students aren’t being ignored.” 

Before Thursday’s focus group, Student Alliance held a 30-minute meeting during which the present student organizations – Campus Activities Board, Student Alliance, Phi Theta Kappa, and the Native American Student Organization – shared general updates on what they have been working on. 

Phi Theta Kappa is hosting a regional virtual convention March 24-26. The Native American Student Organization is looking ahead to plan an event in April with healing hoops. 

Student Alliance and Campus Activities Board leaders have been mostly working on preparing things for the Student Leadership Banquet on March 26. They are encouraging students and staff to sign up in advance here because guests will receive a program and a banquet favor. 

Student Alliance hosts Town Hall meetings every other Thursday from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and they are open for all students to attend.

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