New App Nudges Students To Higher Education

by By Dianne Anderson

Life just got easier with a new mobile app that allows students to access almost anything they need to get ready to enter colleges and universities.

Frederick Jones, who graduated from San Bernardino Valley College earlier this year, said the app is a breakthrough to help schools work with counselors to reach traditionally underserved students.

Local school districts, universities and community colleges also track students from middle school to college, all while providing helpful resources via the platform.

“We’re working with different universities, we’re expanding all over. Right now, with Albion, Merced and Stanford. We’re trying to reach out to the Historically Black Colleges and Universities so we can get a lot of our urban students involved and set them up for success,” said Jones, a spokesperson for Siembra Mobile, Inc.

Jones is now a student success coach in his first year at Cal State University San Bernardino in the California Student Opportunity Access Program (Cal-SOAP), which supports first-generation college-bound students.

He said SBVC’s new partnership with Siembra is turning students’ attention to college while they are still in high school.

Nearly everything is virtual these days, and the streamlined approach is similar to a virtual college fair where students text and communicate with college counselors, he said. Students receive regular alerts, called “nudges,” about what is required of them, and how to apply to colleges and universities.

Jones, past president of Umoja Tumaini club at Valley College, said his goal has always been to engage lower-income, first-generation students with resources to increase retention and matriculation.

The app is free to K-12. It’s also something most students find easy to use, and less hassle in getting students through the outreach and recruitment process.

“We’re getting a lot of traction. We’re trying to work with Cal-SOAP so we can get the student information into the universities of their choosing,” he said.