POTSDAM - Clarkson University : There's an app for that.
The university recently unveiled applications for both iPhone and Android phones to help prospective students get a closer look at the college without having to travel.
Clarkson is the first north country college to have an app, allowing students to take virtual tours of the campus and view student profiles. For the college, it is simply one more way to reach out to high school students.
"For us, it is the type of student we look for and the type of student that does well here. They're on the Internet, they're on the phone," Dean of Admissions Brian T. Grant said. "This is a market that we know; when I look out the window, all the students are on the phone or typing away."
The free smart phone programs can be downloaded off the Internet and already more than 150 people have done so since they were launched, according to Director of Web Development Julie M. Davis.
The same program is available on the two different phones; the iPhone program was launched in October and the one for the Android went live this week.
"It is a lot taking into consideration that they didn't market it at all," said Rebecca S. Bakken, business development manager at MobiLaurus, the company that developed the program. "It was basically people going into the store themselves and looking for it."
Mr. Grant could not provide specific numbers of how many prospective students have contacted Clarkson because of the programs. As the college admissions process becomes more and more competitive, it is one more way to reach out to high school students.
"In our business, we never know if we would have gotten them through other means, but we're happy they're here," Mr. Grant said.
The process to develop the programs began more than a year ago, with a graduate program Mrs. Davis took about building apps. Though she did not build the program, the class got her thinking about getting one for Clarkson, she said.
If students like what they see, they have an option to send a message to Clarkson with their contact information so they can learn more about the college.
"You don't accidentally drive by Potsdam, so this is the start of the conversation," Mr. Grant said. "This is in their pocket at all times; they can show it to their friends. Students are so busy, so having access 24 hours is a lot easier."