The University of Central Arkansas has had a mobile app since 2010, but a recent update opened up new capabilities for users both on campus and in the community.
Mark Heffington, UCA software support specialist, said students and faculty have recently been requesting more capabilities such as access to class schedules, grades and shuttle routes.
"They wanted a little bit more, so that’s what we decided to do," Heffington said. "That’s why we’re here. We try to do all we can to meet their needs as best we can."
UCA System Specialist Jason Cole said the app itself comes from the Ellucian company, the company that developed the enterprise resource planning system UCA uses called Banner.
Banner houses all of the student data such as schedules and grades, Cole said, and he worked to link that system to the app.
Students can log into the app and pull up information as soon as it is input into Banner.
"Each time they request their grades, it does a real-time access of the system," Cole said. "As the instructors upload their grades to Banner, they should be able to access them."
There is also an option to connect to MyUCA, where students can look at their academic information or register for classes. At this time, MyUCA opens from the app into the mobile device’s external browser, but Cole said the university recently rolled out a mobile version of that website and would like to see if they can integrate that into the app in the future.
"The little bit of feedback we’ve gotten was positive," Cole said of the mobile MyUCA website.
The free UCA app is not just for students and faculty, though. Resources found in the app can help keep community members up to date on what’s happening at UCA.
"There’s an events section so it pulls in all the sports, Baum Gallery schedules, Reynolds performances," Heffington said. "And there’s also a news section. Every news story we post online, it pushes to the app too."
The app also has information and scores from UCA Athletics and a GPS-integrated map to help visitors to the campus find their destination.
The University of Central Arkansas app is free and is available for both iOS and Android devices.
(Staff writer Angela Spencer can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1212. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)