ClearScholar launches new Butler University student app

IndyX Tech Fellow Andy Shi was the first engineer hired for the development of the Butler App by ClearScholar.

On the evening of August 24, the “Founding 100” were established on Butler University’s campus.

One hundred lucky Butler University students gained access to a new and exciting tool for campus engagement called the “Butler App.” Through a partnership between High Alpha portfolio company ClearScholar and Butler University, the Butler App was created with the vision of revamping campus engagement in order to encourage permanent relationships between students and their university. By removing some of the friction of everyday school life with an innovative new app solution, the university will create a more welcoming, conducive college experience for their students.

Jason Konesco, CEO of ClearScholar and Butler Alum Class of 1996
Jason Konesco, CEO of ClearScholar and Butler Alum Class of 1996

The Butler App was built by ClearScholar’s development team, which includes IndyX Tech Fellow Andy Shi. Andy’s team focused on four main features for the delight and convenience of Butler students:

  1. a digital student ID
  2. a personalized news feed,
  3. an events and classes calendar
  4. a campus map.

One of the most valuable items students keep close to them is their student ID card, which gives access to everything. The digital student ID serves a number of functions, the most important being students never again having to dig around in their pockets and purses looking for a physical card. With the digital student ID, students can access select buildings, gain entry into required cultural events, and can be added to their Apple Wallet for on-campus transactions of student Flex Dollars.

“I really love the ability to pull up my ID and gain a full view of my account without having to log into an outdated and confusing system,” says beta tester, Tech Fellow, and Butler alum Alex Correa.

A personalized news feed allows students to select university topics to be filtered in and out of his or her Butler news feed. From athletics to liberal arts, users are able to only see the topics they care about most.

The functional events and classes calendar is a feature that has been sought by Butler students for years as a way to keep everything Butler in one place without having to manually enter it all into their own calendars. Perhaps the most useful feature of the calendar is its notification system. Students can receive notifications of upcoming classes or events with 15-minute reminders, just like an online calendar. This function will also be available in an Apple Watch app.

Students new to Butler or those starting a fresh semester will benefit from the campus map. A student may search for an unfamiliar location or be shown the location of an event by tapping on a calendar listing. This will undoubtedly soothe any first year student’s stress of not knowing where his or her next class will be held.

The Founding 100 beta testers will be known as the Student Advisory Board for the Fall 2016 semester. Upstanding, campus-involved students were chosen by Butler’s Office of Student Affairs for the opportunity to try out the new app in exchange for useful and relevant feedback for the app creators. ClearScholar will work with the Student Advisory Board over the Fall 2016 semester to get periodic feedback on app usage, including comments on and suggestions for features within the app.

Student feedback is crucial to developing the solution both Butler and ClearScholar are looking for in a campus app, and feedback from the beta testers is already coming in. Some beta testers just expected to see a simple information hub with class listings, but the Butler App delivers much more – a unified mobile app experience that will guide students through their busy school day effortlessly while engaging them with their campus in the process.

Butler ClearScholar Launch Party_FI
A sampling of the “Founding 100” student beta testers at the Launch Party.

Butler University is the first academic organization to partner with ClearScholar with more partnerships in mind in the future for the company. Butler University’s President James Danko knows that keeping a steady pipeline of future students relies heavily on positioning the university as forward thinking. “Innovation has become an important differentiator among universities as we work to create learning experiences that enhance student engagement and success for students today,” he said.

For more information about ClearScholar, visit their website at http://clearscholar.com/.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kate Harrison is a Product Owner and Tech Fellow at Angie's List. She serves as Chair of Marketing for the Indy Tech Fellowship.