WideScreen Services Enhances Onboarding by
Blending Personal and Digital Experience

“The age of technology is a blessing and a curse.”

These words came from a student survey distributed by Stumptown University (SU), a private, four-year university in Portland, Oregon. Comments like these flooded in after SU’s 2016 roll-out of its first-ever Stumpy App.

The app was meant to be the easy, on-the-go replacement for traditional registrar communication to millennials beginning their university experience. SU administration officials were proud of this accomplishment; they had collaborated with a mobile app company that specializes in empowering organizations to custom-build the app experience.

The app did what it was supposed to. It held all the information students needed in one place: personalized class listings, a student/faculty directory, maps, even dining card balances. Unfortunately, the downside of having the freedom to design an app is that it’s limited to the knowledge of the client and subsequently, the student interpreting the interface.

This wasn’t Instagram. It was sensory overload. There were too many layers to unpeel to get to the crucial information that students needed. Many didn’t know who their academic advisor was, or didn’t know how to access information necessary to register for classes. An assistance phone number or email was not offered because the designers assumed the students would see the app as child’s play—after all, this was the millennials’ playground.

Before SU began their collaboration with WideScreen Services, the survey gave them insight that incoming freshmen needed a more intuitive approach.

SU’s advisors took it upon themselves to dive deeper into the feedback, interviewing participants about what critical changes were necessary to create a functional program. When advisors realized the job was bigger than they could handle, they reached outside for help. Enter WideScreen Services’s established digital platform and coaching program. Where Stumptown University lacked a thorough plan, WideScreen Services brought in the strength and confidence of coaches trained specifically for incoming freshmen and their ever-evolving needs.

The partnership of a more personal approach to issues like time management, stress reduction, and goal setting, and the comprehensive technology of the iCoach® platform was exactly what students needed to succeed. Helping students strike a balance between young adulthood and independence is a critical part of what makes WideScreen Services’s coaches thrive.

Since implementing WideScreen Services’ program, the retention rate for freshmen at SU has risen from 50% to an incredible 75%.