New Guide app helps freshmen navigate first semester
Freshman Ana Alexandrova is checking things off her first semester’s to-do list — with the help of Wayne State’s new Guide app.
Alexandrova — a member of the Irvin D. Reid Honors College who chose to study at Wayne State because of its strong science programs and unique urban atmosphere — is using the Guide app to make the most of her college experience.
Guide, which launched during the summer of 2017 as a student success initiative led by the Office of the Provost, provides ongoing, responsive guidance via push notifications and alerts. The free app offers customized support to help students stay on track and connect with campus resources as they register for classes, meet with advisors, navigate financial aid and more.
“High school doesn’t really prepare you for the amount of extra things that you have to do in college, and Guide helps me stay on task, prioritize and feel more confident,” Alexandrova said. “I love the feeling of being able to check something off a list.”
She’s already accomplished a few of her first semester goals. In addition to balancing a full academic schedule, Alexandrova has found an on-campus job with the Dean of Students Office and, with the help of her biology professor, secured a research participation opportunity with the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute.
Guide has also helped Alexandrova — who is undecided on a major — consider potential career paths and degree options by assessing her own self-defined interests and strengths. After expressing an interest in environmental sciences, physical sciences and linguistics and noting her personal strengths in organization and data, Guide recommended that Alexandrova consider a major in environmental science.
“I didn’t realize how many potential career options there are,” she said. “It’s not as black and white as being a teacher, a doctor or a lawyer. The app really helped identify just how many viable, in-demand career options exist beyond those traditional roles. Knowing about those options makes choosing a major seem much less daunting.”
In addition to exploring majors and career options, Alexandrova uses the app to make sure she’s keeping up with important Wayne State events and deadlines.
“Guide is helpful because most of the things on my radar are more classroom related, like studying for an exam or turning in an assignment,” she said. “Guide makes sure the bigger, long-term things — like getting involved on campus, completing the FAFSA, and scheduling classes for next semester — are in check, too.”
While Guide is currently available to freshmen, plans are in place to expand its reach with content designed specifically for returning students, transfer students, international students and veterans. The app, developed by the Education Advisory Board, is just one of the many digital resources available to WSU students, like the Wayne State Mobile app.