A BitPeel Success Story

Oakwood logo

Oakwood University was the lead university in a 3-university cluster to receive $6,000,000 to build and maintain pathways to completion, graduation and career success. A portion of those funds was directed at creating the GEMConnect application.

GEMConnect provides students with a career pathway checklist for each academic year leading up to graduation. Students can login to GEMConnect using their smartphone or mobile device to learn about and complete a variety of career objectives such as, skills and career assessments, professional certifications, career advising, mentoring, and job placement assistance.

Uncp pathways

Oakwood’s grant award from the UNCF Career Pathways Initiative (CPI) aims to improve career placement outcomes for students graduating from four-year Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs).

Based in Huntsville, Alabama, Oakwood University is a historically Black Seventh-day Adventist institution of higher learning with over 120 years of experience helping others succeed.

A Hybrid Approach

iPhone | Android | Web

Oakwood believed students would engage more with native applications and wanted to leverage some powerful native features such as in-app notifications. Meanwhile, accessibility for all was imperative and the first version of the application needed to be ready for the incoming freshmen students.

Given the requirements, BitPeel recommended a hybrid application to effectively gain coverage for multiple platforms, speed up development time and reduce the cost of the application.

Building high-fidelity hybrid apps with native navigation and a single shared web view allows for the reuse of mobile web views across platforms. In turn, this reduces development time, allows small teams to do more and reduces both initial and ongoing project cost.

App store badge
Google store badge

Additionally, GEMConnect can be accessed form modern web browser effectively covering other platforms such as the Windows Phone, Blackberry and desktop computers.

"The GEMConnect App replaces the concept of waiting for graduation to be the gold ring at the end of [a student's] journey...On the way to graduation, GEMConnect tunes [students] up with the competencies and experiences that will make [them] an asset to any employer."

Dr. Leslie Pollard

President, Oakwood University

Feature Highlights

Career Aptitude Evaluation

Oakwood Administrators add recommended online career assessments, students record results and notify their career advisor of activity.

Professional Certifications

Oakwood Administrators add professional certifications, students browse relevant certifications and notify their career advisor when completed.

Internships and Jobs

Oakwood Administrators add jobs and internships and students can browse, favorite and notify their career advisor when applied.

Gemconnect device

Digital Career Portfolios

Students work with Career Advisors in crafting a digital career portfolio with a career statement, list skills and document work experience.

Chat With Career Advisors

A high level of communication is a key indicator of student success. Students direct message advisors in real time directly form withing app.

Alumni Connections

Successful alumni are invited to download the app and offer advice, mentorship and complete a bio.

Gemconnect device

"Bitpeel was key to the success in designing and developing the GEMConnect platform for Oakwood University. They are amazing collaborators and helped take the project to the next level. The clear communication coupled with outstanding results was refreshing. I look forward to working with BitPeel on the next project. "

Ralph Richardson Jr.

Project Manager, GEMConnect

Successful Launch

When the GEMConnect application was unveiled to incoming freshmen, the BitPeel Team scaled the servers to handle the incoming rush of signups from the event. Hundreds students where able to sign up without a hiccup.

Gemconnect crowd

Launch Day Video

There was an amazing level of energy on launch day. The staff at Oakwood University, Ralph Richardson Jr. and BitPeel came together to create and app which will meaningfully impact the lives of others in a positive way.

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