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Mobile App for Penn InTouch

March 29, 2011, Volume 57, No. 27

Penn InTouch, the secure online gateway for University of Pennsylvania students to their profiles and academic, financial and contact information, is now available as a mobile application.

Penn InTouch Mobile is designed to be compatible with mobile Web browsers on all newer phones and includes many basic functions from the full Penn InTouch site. The application also can be accessed from the Penn mobile menu at http://m.upenn.edu, from links on the full Penn InTouch site or directly from a mobile browser at http://m.upenn.edu/pit.

“The new mobile system reflects many of the same features displayed on Penn InTouch, only formatted differently to fit the smaller mobile screen format,” said Robin H. Beck, vice president of Information Systems and Computing. “We feel certain that this exciting new capability will allow us to better serve our increasingly mobile community.”

More than 90 percent of Penn students now use mobile devices. Faculty, employees and alumni increasingly view mobile apps as a necessity.

“We trust students will find the Penn InTouch system to be friendly, intuitive and informative,” said Michelle H. Brown-Nevers, associate vice president for student services and University registrar, “and that they use it frequently to stay in touch and keep their profile information up-to-date.”

Students have long used the original Penn InTouch on their personal computers to search for courses, plan their schedules, register for courses and track progress towards their degree requirements. This service is also the go-to site for accessing grades, transcripts, billing accounts, financial-aid information and work-study opportunities, and its front page serves as a communication center for personal alerts and announcements.

In some ways, the new application goes beyond the regular Penn InTouch in terms of convenience and accessibility. While viewing details of their current academic program when “on the go,” students can simply tap their advisors’ names on most devices to send them an email. They can check the status of their financial-aid applications and view any aid already awarded, including work-study jobs and associated earnings to date. General announcements related to Penn InTouch and Student Registration and Financial Services as well as dates and deadlines are available at the tap of a finger.

Right now, students will still need to access the full site for some actions, including course registration, dropping and/or adding courses and obtaining transcripts or loan information, but they can use the mobile app to search for courses and, when enrolled, check their schedules. It also allows the students to identify emergency contacts, update address information and indicate preferences for releasing academic and/or financial information to parents, guardians or sponsors.

When the University wants to contact students in an emergency, students will get UPenn Alerts, if they have registered their contact information. If a financial-aid application is incomplete, PIT Mobile can let the student know.  And if a hold is put on a registration, the University will let the student know why.

Additional information, including sample previews of the Penn InTouch Mobile screens, is available at www.sfs.upenn.edu/mobile/

Almanac - March 29, 2011, Volume 57, No. 27