BLE Beacons in Mott Community College

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According to Kirk Yaros, Director of Enterprise Services for Mott Community College’s Information Technology Services, having a functional mobile app is now a crucial tool for any higher education institution to recruit and retain students.

“We knew we needed a mobile app to give students and faculty the information and resources they need daily,” he explained. “And from an IT perspective, we needed an app that we could deploy quickly and easily, without the need to constantly maintain and manage it.”

Given their pending wireless network upgrade, Yaros and the Mott IT team determined the time was right to develop and release a Mott mobile app. Using the Meridian Mobile App Platform, along with Aruba location-ready access points with built-in BLE beacons, individual Aruba BLE Beacons, and AirWave network management, Mott developed a full-featured app that leverages the Aruba network infrastructure to provide a wealth of information and services to Mott students, staff and faculty.

One of Mott’s key requirements was the ability to embed custom applications and sites that the College was already using into the new mobile app. With the Meridian Mobile App Platform, the College was able to fully integrate the new app with its Ellucian student information system to provide registration, billing, accounts receivable/payable, and degree auditing, as well as the Blackboard learning management system to give students access to class assignments and information.

“We didn’t want to have multiple, different apps that our users would need to download and that we would need to maintain,” said Yaros. “With the Meridian platform, we were able to create a single app that delivers access to everything they need. For example, from within the app, students can link directly to Ellucian to register for courses and view their billing and financial aid status, as well as use new features that leverage the Aruba infrastructure – such as the blue dot navigation – to find their way around campus.”

Moving forward, Mott plans to use the new app to promote and provide details for campus-wide events, enable a virtual tour of the art and photography that resides on campus, and enable push notifications for use with registration, food services, and financial department functions. In addition, they’d like to integrate a rapid response feature so faculty can use the app in the classroom to push out questions that students answer in real-time to ensure their understanding of the lecture material.

Since launching the app, there have been over 2,500 app downloads and Yaros expects that number to increase as they add new features and capabilities.

“Having a full-featured mobile app for our school – as well as the right Wi-Fi infrastructure to support it – is a must, and helps us stay competitive,” Yaros noted. “With our Aruba infrastructure in place and the mobile app up and running, we can continue to add important features and functionality, ensuring that Mott Community College remains competitive from the technological, as well as educational, perspective.”

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