LAPU Launches Courses Via Mobile App Amidst Growing Enrollments
Los Angeles Pacific University rolls out new mobile app that makes coursework more accessible
San Dimas, CA., Jan 27, 2021 // Los Angeles Pacific University (LAPU) this week announced the launch of a new app designed to make courses and student services fully accessible on mobile devices. Amidst growing enrollments, the fully online institution is responding to demand from adult learners for increased accessibility, flexibility, and community.
Designed intentionally for adult learners as a fully-online, low-cost university, Los Angeles Pacific University reported 17% year-over-year growth in new enrollments (undergraduate + graduate) through the first session of the Spring 2021 semester.
Long before COVID, adult learners have had to navigate a postsecondary system that wasn’t designed for students juggling work and family responsibilities or looking to advance in a current career. For many, the pandemic has only exacerbated the affordability, convenience, and relevancy challenges faced by learners, and created an increased demand for mobile-friendly learning. A June 2020 report by Wiley and EducationDynamics on online college students indicated that 74% of students in online programs want to use their mobile devices for their courses. Yet, only 13% have used mobile devices to participate in a discussion forum within a course.
“As an institution built to serve adult learners, we are acutely aware of the myriad obligations and time constraints that our students have,” said Dr. John Reynolds, president of Los Angeles Pacific University. “With the majority of our students balancing jobs and families, convenience and accessibility are not luxuries – they are necessities. We built the myLAPU app for exactly that reason. We wanted our app to go beyond the usual directory and resource functions of a campus app; and to provide robust, meaningful access to courses and learning activities.”
Built in partnership with Ready Education, the app integrates multiple information systems of the university, including various student service functions as well as the learning management system. In addition to student service activities like registering for courses, buying books, viewing and paying student bills; learners can access their coursework, submit assignments and discussion posts – all without leaving the app. Concurrently, instructional media and technology designers are developing all new LAPU courses with a mobile-first approach. All existing courses are being scheduled for redesigns that will focus on mobile-friendly engagement.
Dr. Frank Rojas, executive vice president of LAPU, adds, “One overarching goal of the project, in addition to addressing practical features like access to courses and student services, was to create a sense of community and connectedness – something often lacking in online learning environments.” The administration’s goal was to leverage technology to build on cornerstones of accessibility, presence, community and connectedness. Rojas concludes, “We’re thrilled that students can now submit assignments, contact their Success Coach, and interact with classmates on the integrated social platform; all without leaving the app.”