JCC Launches Mobile Applications

In response to the ever increasing number of students using smartphones and other mobile devices, Jefferson Community College has launched four major mobile initiatives over the last six months aimed at making it easier for students to stay connected to JCC and access JCC information from any place using popular mobile devices.  In August 2012, the College unveiled a redesigned, mobile-friendly website, which included the new MyJCC portal.  Most recently, Jefferson has launched Blackboard Mobile and myJCC Mobile, with free applications available for Apple iOS and Android™ devices.  All four initiatives provide students with quick access to information in an easy-to-read and easy to navigate format on a mobile device.

The percentage of visitors to Jefferson’s website using mobile devices was 5.6% in 2011 and nearly double that in 2012.   In the month of January 2013, 12.6% of visitors to the website were using mobile devices.  “We needed to provide a means so students, along with faculty and staff, could easily read and navigate on a smaller device than a traditional desktop or laptop computer.” said Monica Papagni, director of institutional technology at Jefferson.  

First, the College’s website was redesigned utilizing responsive design which configures the layout of the website based on the screen size of the portable device.   Responsive design eliminates the need for the College to maintain two separate websites – one for traditional desktop or laptop computer use and another for mobile device use.  Jefferson is one of just a handful of colleges in New York to incorporate responsive design technology in its website.   

At the same time, the College launched the “MyJCC” portal which provides students with single sign-on access to key campus applications including student records (SOAR), courses (Blackboard) and JCC email (Cannonmail).  Previously students were required to log in to each application separately with different usernames and passwords.     The portal, which is accessible via the JCC website or directly at myjcc.sunyjefferson.edu, was developed in collaboration with CampusEAI Consortium, an institutional technology consulting firm based in Cleveland, Ohio.    

During the fall semester, the Blackboard Mobile™ Learn (BB Mobile) application was made available to students and faculty, providing access to their courses and organizations on a variety of mobile devices including Android™ and iPhone or iPad OS.  The app is available on any mobile app store by searching for BB Mobile.

In January, the College and CampusEAI collaborated once again to take the MyJCC portal a step further with the development of myJCC Mobile.

“The myJCC Mobile applications are built to maximize Apple iPhone and  Android devices, which are the most common mobile devices used by students to access the College’s website and MyJCC portal,” said Donald Horton, director of JCC’s computer center.  “The applications are written specifically for easy viewing and data entry on a smartphone screen.”

The myJCC Mobile app allows anyone with an Apple or Android smartphone to easily access public information such as Jefferson’s faculty/staff directory, events calendar, Cannoneer athletics, campus maps, College videos housed on YouTube and a listing emergency contacts on campus.  Furthermore, students who log-in to myJCC will have access to additional information including their mid-term and final grades, registration holds and status, course schedule, unofficial academic transcript, plus the ability to register for courses, and receive current messages and announcements from JCC.    

“Usage statistics tell us that students use these functions most frequently when logged into a desktop or laptop,” said Horton.  “Providing equivalent functionality in a mobile app will be very popular and provide students with quick and easy access to their data.”

To download the myJCC Mobile App, smartphone users can go directly go to the Apple App Store or Google Play and search for "myJCC". 

Additionally, both the Blackboard Mobile and myJCC Mobile apps are available  by visiting mobile applications on the college website.