DiscoverU: Virtual College Counselor
A collaboration between Dartmouth's Digital Arts and Native American programs, the DiscoverU app is designed to help Native American high school students navigate the college planning and application process. The goal is to create a web and mobile app that would serve as a virtual college counselor. Initially focused on the Native American population, the app could easily be adapted for other underserved high school students. The DiscoverU app will provide customized and age-appropriate information to 9th to 12th grade students and would replace the paper planner currently used by many Native high schools with a digital version, providing the same functionality and much more.
In 9th grade, the digital planner provides mentorship videos, games, simple tips and fun facts about Native Americans who have succeeded in college and in their careers. In 10th grade, students start building their resume by keeping track of extra-curricular activities, work, and internships, while planning more advanced courses for their junior and senior years. 11th grade students begin studying for SAT/ACT tests. DiscoverU will push vocabulary and math challenges and games, give test times and locations, send reminders to students and their family about deadlines and offer virtual tours of colleges they might be interested in attending. When they are ready to begin the application process in their senior year, much of their information is already stored in a database, ready for them to build their application. The app will also provide financial aid information, links to important websites, as well as information about colleges with programs for Native American students.
BY L. LOEB, J. MCDONALD, D. ZHUANG, L. TRAN, B. HUANG, S.J. LEE, N. SEYMOUR