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Campus Life and Learning Apps to Increase Engagement at 23 Colleges

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Virginia's Community Colleges (VCCS) have selected Blackboard Mobile™ to provide custom campus life mobile applications for its 23 colleges, the company announced today. With an engaging and interactive mobile platform, system officials aim to increase the connection between the system's 400,000 students and their campus communities.

Blackboard will provide a customizable enterprise application platform that VCCS will use to build individualized apps for each of its 23 colleges. Officials anticipate the apps, which will offer access to campus services and resources, including the institutions' student information system, will reinforce the brands of Virginia's community colleges, helping them to become more competitive and accessible to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and prospective students. The enterprise application platform will also enable officials to collect and analyze data on usage.

"Community college students are often balancing coursework with careers and family obligations, and many commute to class," said Joy Hatch, vice chancellor of Information Technology Services at Virginia's Community Colleges. "Blackboard Mobile extends the functions of our campus and allows our busy students to engage with our community, even when they are not physically on campus. The new apps will also help strengthen the brand of our institutions in an increasingly competitive higher education environment."

Blackboard Mobile Central is a native application for iOS and Android devices with a broad range of features and capabilities including instant access to maps, news, directory, courses, athletics, events, videos, and more - all within a single application. The same application will offer access to Blackboard Mobile Learn, allowing students to view grades and assignments, create discussion posts and comment on blogs and journals, upload content and view documents, view course rosters and more, directly from their mobile devices.

VCCS considered various vendors as well as building an app in-house, but chose to partner with Blackboard because of the company's out-of-the-box modules, plugins, and standardized platform, which will allow for quick deployment. VCCS officials also recognized the need to work together and with a reliable industry partner for an enterprise mobile approach. Blackboard will provide expertise and resources to develop and maintain the apps across the system.

"Our colleges are not driving mobile initiatives—our students are," continued Hatch. "Mobile technology has the potential to change the foundation of our institutions, and this partnership will enable VCCS to carry out an enterprise strategy for mobile technology."

Blackboard Mobile apps are available as native applications for all major device platforms, including Android™ and iOS®, as well as the mobile Web for all other Web-enabled devices.

For more information about the Blackboard Mobile platform, please visit or follow @Bb_Mobile on Twitter.

About Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard is the world's leading education technology company. We challenge conventional thinking and advance new models of learning in order to reimagine education and make it more accessible, engaging and relevant to the modern-day learner and the institutions that serve them. In partnership with our customers and partners in higher education and K-12 as well as corporations and government agencies around the world, our mission is to help every learner achieve their full potential by inspiring a passion for lifelong learning. For more information about Blackboard, follow us on Twitter @Blackboard.

Source: Blackboard Inc.