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Penn State app seeks to boost student engagement

Penn State has launched a new student engagement mobile app for its campus community designed to help undergraduates, regardless of their college or campus, extend their learning with out-of-classroom experiences.

According to an official university release, the Engagement App is a university-wide platform that helps connect students with a wide range of engagement experiences available to them at Penn State. The app also provides a way for students to connect with other students and faculty who have similar interests.

There have been a number of examples that link student success and retention to their general engagement with the college experience. However, pairing students with the organizations and activities that more closely tie them to their campus community continues to be the key challenge.

“Penn State students have a wealth of out-of-classroom opportunities within their reach, but they may not know how to find them,” says Michael Zeman, director of the Student Engagement Network at Penn State, the group responsible for the app’s development. “The Engagement App is designed to help students identify and track experiences that align with their interests, so they can embark on a meaningful out-of-classroom journey to complement their in-class learning.”

The Engagement App is designed to help Penn State students identify opportunities to participate in student organizations, undergraduate research, study abroad programs, community service, or internships. Students can search for opportunities within the app and filter results based on college, campus and major.

Other features of the app include:

  • Search for or post events with the ability to link them to personal calendars.
  • Tracking for experiences and charting personal growth.
  • Ability to connect with students and faculty  that share similar interests.

The Engagement App is free for Penn State students and is available for download in the App Store or Google Play. To get set up in the app, students log in using their WebAccess account, and the app will automatically retrieve their Penn State information.


The development of the app was led by Penn State’s Student Engagement Network alongside external vendor, Navengage. Additional features and functionality are expected to be added to the app over the coming year.

Penn State’s Student Engagement Network is a joint initiative between the university’s Undergraduate Education,  Student Affairs and Penn State Outreach. The Student Engagement Network’s mission is to improve campus participation by connecting students with experiences that empower them to make a positive impact as members of the community.

As part of a kick-off event, Navengage contributed $1,000 to Penn State student organizations. Further resources for engagement, including coaching and funding, are also available through the Student Engagement Network.

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