BVU’s New Advising Tool “Navigate” to Roll Out Fall 2019 

Navigate will create an easier way for students to be students. | Image Courtesy of EAB

Navigate will create an easier way for students to be students. | Image Courtesy of EAB

Jordyn Daggs-Olson, Staff Writer

This fall, BVU will be introducing a new application for students and faculty to use. Navigate is a software technology that BV hopes will improve the student experience when it comes to the ease of academics. This includes scheduling advising appointments, signing up for classes, and gaining access to necessary information for lesser-known services such as dropping a class, filing the FAFSA application, etc. From campus surveys and other research, BV has found that students are looking for an easier way to access information needed throughout their time at college.  

Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Brian Lenzmeier offers insight into its usefulness for students 

[BVU] is trying to really streamline the student experience,” says Lenzmeier. It’s really specifically tied to academics for the most part. So, it is not an app that will let you know what fun things are happening this weekend, but it should be a lot more transactional and helpful for students.  

The use of Navigate will make contacting advisors and answering questions regarding academics less congested.  

Education professor Brittany Garling shares how the need for the Navigate app sprouted from the heavy use of emails on the Storm Lake campus.  

“It was found because we use email so much, students are not checking their emails because they are on applications on their phone,” explains Garling. “We noticed over the last few years with our incoming [students], especially incoming freshmen students, they do not check their email over the summer. That is where all our push notifications go. Then, when they are coming, they are coming to campus having not done anything that is required for them to be able to be ready for first semester.  

The plan is to roll out Navigate during summer orientation for new students. Current students will be able to enroll in the app during the fall semester. In a year or so, the goal is that students will be able to create their fouryear plans on the app, fulfilling all major and general education requirements, and then be able to register for semester classes all from a phone. Students can also see all resources on-campus, as well as have a GPS to know where all offices are located, and have their Outlook calendar synced to the app 

Navigate will be used on the Storm Lake campus as well as across all satellite sites. While it will not be required for students to download Navigate on their phone or use the application on their computer, it is highly encouraged. All advisors will be required to use Navigate for scheduling advising meetings as it is the best way to consolidate information for faculty and staff. There have not been any unforeseen difficulties so far in the development of Navigate, but Garling expects the biggest obstacle will be ensuring everyone is trained how to access and use the application.  

[Navigate] is a lot more user-friendly. It talks to your current calendar. There’s no more trying to figure out when your professors are available to make an appointment, you can go right to your app and just say I want to make an appointment with this person,” Garling says 

Dr. Lenzmeier hopes that students will try out Navigate and see how much easier it is compared to previous platforms.  

“I just encourage students to give it a try, especially when it becomes available later this summer. Download it, take a look at it. It will be a great way to get information,” says Lenzmeier. It is not there just to tell you there’s a problem. It will give you information about how to fix the problem. Here’s the problem. Here’s what you need to do to fix fit.  

Professor Garling enjoys the ease of the app when it comes to scheduling appointments with her forty-five advisees, allowing her to simply send out what is called a campaign, an alert sent via email or text when a student needs to set up an appointment.  

“[Navigate] will be a lot more user friendly and a lot less congested. And the things that you are going to be getting are all academically-based,” Garling explains. “The app is to actually get [students] involved in what’s going on.”  

No longer do students and faculty have to check schedules or navigate through the less than user-friendly BeaverNet. The Navigate app will make for less clicking and movement between pages, thus making access to higher education academics and services, such as financial aid awards and account holds, easier to find, easier to understand, and easier to fix