Alyana Feliciano â€” Spring 2018
DES 505 â€” San Francisco State University
Helping low income and first generation students achieve higher education through visual design solutions
Problem and Solution
Scale and Scope
Importance of Study
What I Learned
Font and Color Analysis
01_ Personal user experience Coming from a low income background means that getting a college education was the answer to upward mobility
Inclusive. Education. Access. Design. User Driven. APPLY +
in my family. The problem was, no one in my family knew how college worked and we lacked even the most basic resources to pay for applications or tests. It wasnâ€˜t until I met my educational advisor who helped me with every step of the process that I was able to attend college and eventually major in design. I began working as an educational advisor for the San Francisco College Access Center, through the recommendation of my past mentor.As a visual communication student, I found so many problems in the process of going to college that needed a design solution. Even small steps such as entering fee waivers on the SATs or lack of updated information really discouraged my population of low income and first generation students. Numerous studies show that while all students encounter struggles in the college application process, it can be especially difficult for low-income students. My idea is to create an app that acts as a toolkit to guide and support low-income students through the arduous college application process. My app will be created with the intention of helping students overcome common struggles such as mistranslating applications, lack of information, and lack of connection to available resources. There is a breadth of knowledge about the process however, it is sometimes difficult for students to identify the information that pertains directly to them due to the sheer amount of resources out there. My app will solve this by allowing the user to create personalized profiles that maximizes inclusivity and will ultimately connect them with the information they need.
Students lack a resource that streamlines important, up-todate, and relevant information for students applying to college, ultimately deterring many students for applying.
The purpose of this project is to develop an effective application and website that will give inclusive and relevant support to any student who wants to apply to college.
scale and scope There are a lot of determining factors in
a sample size of my project. Starting out
how one applies to college. Even what
small in a city can help me gather data
high school someone attends changes
and have some controlled factors. I can
the probability if they will recieve help,
compare different schools depending
matriculate, and transition into college.
on neighborhood and determine where
Because of this, I want to focus on the
students are succeeding the most,
San Francisco Unified School Disctrict as
depending on socioeconomic factors.
_02 Low-income prospective college students, for example, are less likely to have informational resources in their immediate families, requiring that they rely on information from other sources. (Brown, Wohn, & Ellison, 2016)
Learn. Research. Read. Question. Thinking.
Setbacks Without a Map: College Access and the Online Practices of Youth from Low-Income Communities (Brown, Wohn, & Ellison, 2016) This article focuses on how both low and high income young people today have unequal access to information about higher education and other post-secondary options. The difference is evidence when low-income prospective college students are ‘less likely to have informational resources in their immediate families, requiring that they rely on information from other sources’. The researchers surveyed students from low-income communities to see how they used the internet to learn about college. They found that students are capable of finding the information but have challenges when trying to interpret the infor-
In-State Tuition for Undocumented Immigrants and Its Impact on College Enroll-
Stability of Income and School Attendance among NYC Students of Low-Income
ment, Tuition Costs, Student Financial Aid, and Indebtedness.
Families. Economics of Education Review
(Amuedo-Dorantes & Sparber, 2014)
(Gennetian, Rodrigues, Hill, & Morris, 2018)
This article talks about laws and policies created at the federal level, such as the 1996
This study explores the problem of low income children, family income stability, and
Immigration Reform and Responsibility Act, that prevents ‘unlawful’ residents from re-
attendance. This shows some problems in the role of household income when it comes
ceiving a post secondary education and benefits. Contrary to this law, many states have
to different transitional ages. The study found that higher income was associated with
passed policies that allow undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates, com-
better school attendance in all grades. I want to include this study because colleges look
pared to international student tuition rates which is significantly higher. The study finds
at hardships of their applicants. Many students lose out on instruction hours, a lot of
that the enrollment rates of Mexican non-citizens are much higher in states with in-state
perceived ideas from adults is that kids are lazy or don’t want to go to school, but in fact
tuition policies compared to those without. The study also finds that the largest costs of
many students face issues in due to income problems. This is an example of institutional
the state level policies are by non-Mexican foreign-born groups, that have lower enroll-
racism which often gets overlooked.
ment rates with high borrowing rates to be able to fund their education.
Technology Computer Usage and Access in Low-Income Urban Communities. (Araque et al., 2013) This article talks about studies done to examine effects of computer access within low-income families who participate in ‘Computer for Families’ programs. The study measures: “general computer use, access, and knowledge; employment; education; and children’s computer access, usage, and academic performance”. The study found that participates in the Computers for Families programs compared to those who didn’t participate had “access to internet from home, use a computer for more than 1h per day, complete online job applications and resumes electronically”. This article also mentions the digital divide, which “describes the perceived advantages affecting those unable or unwilling to make use of technology in their daily lives”.
The Experiences of Low-Income Latino/a Students in the California Community College
Summer Nudging: Can Personalized Text Messages and Peer Mentor Outreach
System at a Time of Education Budget Cuts.
Increase College Going among Low-Income High School Graduates?
(Araque et al., 2013)
The Educational Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) are a California Community Col-
This article explains the ‘Summer Melt’, a phenomenon that college-bounce high school
leges wide support for many disproportionately served low-income people such as Latino/a
graduates ‘fail to matriculate in college anywhere in the year following high school’, and
students. Many of their services go beyond the classroom and provide a social safe space for
the simple, low-cost interventions in takes to make ‘substantial improvements in the
many of these students as they go through other challenges such as housing, etc. EOPS helps
students’ post secondary outcomes’. One of the interventions used personalized text
find and connect resources to their students. The study found that students ‘experienced
messages ‘to remind college-intending students of required pre-matriculation tasks and
additional difficulties in completing their educational objectives due to budget cuts’. The cuts
to connect them to counselor-based support’. Other interventions hired peer mentors
also made students perceive that their education was less socially significant. The study
who were close to their age to provide support and outreach during the summer. These
suggests that there needs to be full and equal access for this student population, as well as
low cost interventions helped increase the college enrollment rates for students who
educators, and administrators.
Obama Seeks to Expand Internet Access to Low-Income Households - Opposing
Low-Income Students and Highly Selective Private Colleges: Geography, Searching,
Viewpoints in Context (Newsweek, 2016) The Obama administration launched a program that expanded high-speed internet and broadband connections to over 275,000 low income households’. It is important that we have policies that help our marginalized communities by giving access to information. The administration found that the lack of internet causes gaps in homework as students aren’t able to research from home. This also helps low-income families apply for employment online. Opportunity for All? Technology and Learning in Lower-Income Families (Rideout & Katz, 2016) This study examines access to internet connection and low-income families. ‘Most low and moderate income families have some some form of internet connection but many are under-connected, with mobile-only access and inconsistent connectivity.’ Also, there is a lack in many low-income homes, simply because families cannot afford them. Despite the barriers, low-income communities are thriving by creatively using media and new technologies to support children’s educational pathways and connect with family. This study is important because it’s supports my claim to mobile access within these specific communities.
and Recruiting. (Hill & Winston, 2010) This study found that “only 10% of the students at the nation’s most selective private colleges and universities came from families in the bottom 40% of the US family income distribution” and that there is a “larger share of low-income high ability students in the national population than there are actual student bodies in these highly selective schools”. These schools include Harvard, Stanford, Wellesley, and Swarthmore. This study found that these schools pay less attention to geography and more into SAT/ACT scores. This becomes problematic because by not paying attention to geography, schools ignore low-income communities and show bias against low income students at these specific schools. The Costs and Benefits of Enrolling in an Academically Matched College. Economics of Education Review (Howell & Pender, 2016) This study examines the benefits of fitting low-income students to schools that match them academically in response to increased efforts in raising college completion rates. The study found that ‘undermatched, low-income students across the distribution of academic ability would experience a substantial boost in bachelor’s degree completion, if they attended a college that better matched their academic credentials’. On top of this, the study also found that if all undermatched, low-income students were moved into their “safety” colleges, it would not overly burden these schools. Another finding suggests that the financial impact on these institutions would be substantial even if the institutions were to cover full tuition and fees for the additional low-income students.
TYLA BROWN, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR JCYC COLLEGE COLLEGE PROGRAMS
JAQUELINE GONZALEZ, ACADEMIC ADVISOR AT THE EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY PROGRAM (EOP)
ERIC GUTHERZ PRINCIPAL MISSION HIGH SCHOOL
MARIA SERVELLON COUNSELOR MISSION HIGH SCHOOL
Where is an ideal place for you to receive all your college info?
Importance of study After conducting research on two different groups, current high schoolers and college students/graduates, I found that the answers give me more insight to the issues. 54% of college/graduates participants were LI/FG. More importantly, I found that a high percentage of students found it extremely difficult to go through the application process. COLLEGE STUDENTS
PA R T I C I PA N T S
I wish I got my information from an organized body (app or whatever medium or mode) which would inform us the specialization of each school and also what they offer so that we would be more informed when it comes to choosing which school to attend. K.S, San Mateo, CA Would‘ve loved to have app/text reminders when I was applying! Recently thought of this when I was helping my cousin apply for schools. It would‘ve been useful to have all the information aggregated in one place Y.T, St. Louis, MO
wish I had all of my college information in one place on an app A.B, Seattle, WA
I would have liked to have almost like a personal guide or chat I could access whenever I had questions. G.A, San Francisco, CA
A one-stop info centre; be it website or pamphlet with specific categories such as enrollment, majors, finance etc. T.K, Oakland, CA
I wish I had gotten my information and reminders through apps, online, or even more hands on approach by having colleges visit during high school L.T, New York City, NY
I… never thought about that. Student fairs are okay, but an unified website or app would have been nice. K.K, New York CIty, NY
I wish there’s an app where we can have an advance search on the high institutions about its location, fees, ,the subject that available and the type of program which makes it easier to choose the best place to enroll N.R, Kealakekua, HA
of those surveyed were either LI or FG
of those surfound it diffiveyed werefor cult to apply either LI or FG college (testing,
financial aid, applications, etc)
Currently in college or gradu-
of those surveyed used the internet to find information
Current high school seniors
Note, HS students surveyed are from Mission High School.
I picked Tyla Brown because I want my app to mimick what college access programs do, at a larger scale. She told me that there are a lot of different factors that determine the success of the program. Programs need memorandum of understandings, support from schools, and most importantly data. She highlighted that data from direct service is used to prove to the grantors (federal and state government) that LI/FG need the support.
MOST STUDENTS ENROLLED IN A COLLEGE ACCESS PROGRAM ARE SUCCESSFUL IN NAVIGATING THE COLLEGE APPLICATION AND INFORMATION PROCESS. WHEREAS OTHER STUDENTS WHO WOULD OTHERWISE BEEN ELIGIBLE MISS DEADLINES OR LACK INFORMATION TO CORRECTLY SUBMIT THEIR APPLICATIONS.
Maria is not only a college and career counselor at Mission High, but she is also in charge of the newcomer population, meaning students who are new to the country. Maria and I discussed a lot of the setbacks students faced beyond school. Many of our students lacked basic support in school and found that a lot of immigrant parents want students to go to school but there are a number who believe that students should go into the workforce to help the survival of their families. This is partly due to parents not having formal education.
Eric and I discussed the importance of anti-racist teaching and how it affects students of color trying to achieve college. At an institutional level, Eric has made changes that would help prevent students from missing class time, such as kicking a student out of class or trying to prevent suspensions. The “school to prison
pipeline“ are one of the setbacks that students of color, specifically Black students face and eventually deter them from achieving higher education.
JAQUELINE GONZALEZ, ACADEMIC ADVISOR AT THE EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY PROGRAM (EOP) SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY
What I‘ve Learned
S I N C E Y O U W O R K W I T H A S P E C I A L I Z E D P O P U L AT I O N , F O S T E R Y O U T H , O R L O W - I N C O M E , A N D F I R S T
I found that while trying to combat multiple layers of setbacks, and requirements, we cannot hand
G E N E R AT I O N Y O U T H , W H AT A R E T H E T R E N D S Y O U ’ V E F O U N D I N G E N E R A L W H E N I T C O M E S T O
hold students because they will become dependent. Originally, I wanted to make an app that has all
YO U R S PEC I FI C CAS E LOA D ?
applications pertaining the college going experience in one form. This idea would be a disadvan-
They need a lot more guidance; not necessarily hand holding but you definitely need to follow up
tage to students because it would not teach them to be resourceful. I need to balance what can be
and talk to them and make sure they follow a plan. The most important thing is follow through, you
done and what students can learn. In my discussion with Maria, the college and career counselor, I
know, checking in and emailing them because a lot of them, it’s their first time coming to college.
mentioned that I wanted to add a feature where students can take a photo or upload their transcript
They’re stressing about housing in San Francisco, they’re stressing with how expensive everything
file and it would calculate their GPA and recommend specific things like retaking a class, or taking a
is and are trying to find jobs right away. They’re stressing about not having a family, a support
more challenging class. She pointed out the fact that students need to learn how to read their own
system so they come to our space and want to talk and hang out, but, we have to redirect them in
transcripts, and find ways to discuss concerns with their counselor. She suggested a feature where
terms of academics. We teach them continued development in skills like organization, budgeting
students can input their transcripts and the app/website translates what requirements they’ve
skills, we do a little bit of everything with these students and thats where the holistic process
fulfilled and what else needs to be taken. These are part of the user’s experience that I need to take
into consideration when developing and designing my project. •
APPLY+ should encourage dialog between the student and important key players such as teachers, counselors, advisors, mentors, parents, and community members.
H O W A R E Y O U C O M M U N I C AT I N G W I T H Y O U R S T U D E N T S A N D W H AT H A V E Y O U S E E N W O R K A N D N O T WORK?
We have Campus Solutions, which is a part of Oracle where I have access to their ID numbers,
a toolkit in figuring out what students will need
transcripts, degree process reports, etc. But that’s it. We usually receive our caseloads of students through a spreadsheets and that is how I email my students individually. We don’t have the tools where I can email students in an important platform, like the student portal. Like high school students, college students need to learn how to check their emails as well… San Francisco State in
APPLY+ should not be an app that does all the work for students, rather be a supplement or
APPLY+ should be easy and intuitive to use, and can be accessed by all students, not just the LI/FG even if they the target population
general, sends so many emails so my messages get buried under that. Students are falling through the cracks because they are missing important information.
03_ Idea. Sketches. Design. Refining. Color. APPLY +
Ideas and sketches
Font and color analysis Clean and simple Gradients are a great trend and they are dynamic, giving a change in a flat look. I chose these colors, contrary to my old yellow and black look because they are very neutral and give the feeling of fresh and near look.
HIGHLIGHT/ACCENT CERULEAN COLOR CODE HEX: #99E8FF
LIGHT SAPPHIRE BLUE COLOR CODE HEX: #B0BEFF
BLUE COLOR CODE HEX: #2699FB
BLACK COLOR CODE HEX: #000000
LIGHT GREY COLOR CODE HEX: #F8F8F8
PANTONE BLACK C
A better Helvetica Apple released SF Pro with two options, one for body text fonts and a display font; both optimized for function. I really
BODY TEXT SF PRO TEXT 8PT TYPE 12PT LEADING
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz Lorem xipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Curabitur mi tortor, fermentum posuere arcu vitae,
liked both looks, because it is simple, yet has a friendly and approachable feel.
bibendum lobortis arcu. Vivamus in scelerisque metus. Nullam vel ipsum sit amet diam iaculis faucibus. Interdum et malesuada fames ac ante ipsum primis in faucibus. HEADING SF PRO DISPLAY 30PT, 25PT 12PT LEADING
Good morning, Jose. Welcome back!
</apply> was my first initial name for
This is the initial account creation
Initial screens just have announ-
This is the screen after a few months,
the app because I wanted to mix tech
page. I want basic information from
cemnts and look like a calendar. As
it can help show and encourage
(code) with college (apply). I realized
a productivity app, students need
students how much work and pro-
calendars and reminders as they are
gress theyâ€˜ve made.
that it is hard and confusing to read.
busy during the school year.
Sometimes it‘s hard to get a hold on my counselor so I‘m not sure if I‘m taking the right classes for me. It would be nice if I could text my counselor but I know that she isn‘t allowed to give us her number. If we could have a way to talk to our counselor or teacher without having to wait for an email, that would be really good.
Student feedback Seniors I‘ve asked my students to look through my initial app and website and they gave me a few recommendations. Since they aren‘t design students, I didn‘t get a lot of feedback in terms of usability but more of what students would like to see in terms of features. A lot of them said that it‘s useful and would have liked to use the app in their application process.
It would be nice to a have a checklist so I know what to do. I think a lot of this stuff is so confusing and we don‘t have a place to look for all of it. Raven A.
I wish there was a place where I can find all of the scholarships. I know the college center prints a bulletin but I have to wait every month. I know that there are opportunities that come every week or everyday. Jackie Z.
I really don‘t know what to major in and it‘s hard because my family wants me to become an accounant. I don‘t like math and I don‘t know anything about being an accountant so I wish there was a place where I can find recommendations or see what others are doing with their major or career. Xiaowen L.
I know college professors will not remind us about assignments and they are strict but it would be nice if we can recieve reminders about important deadlines... Danny H.
There should be a place where I can put all my information like passwords and student portal id numbers. I applied to 12 schools and have to remember each password. It takes so much time and energy to recover them if I lose the info. Stephanie E.
Would be cool if there was a way I can compare different majors or different schools in one page. I hate having to go back and forth cause there‘s millions of pages
Can I prefill this info out then have it transfer to my applications? David C.
04_ Final Design Proposal APPLY +
UX/UI. Develop. Create. Test. Refine. APPLY+
Letâ€˜s make college possible.
Major changes Compared to my initial wireframes, I changed the appâ€™s colors to be more inviting. My concept is a modern and easy to look at. I use subtle drop shadows to make my cards/modals look more dynamic/floating.
Next steps MORE THAN JUST COLLEGE
I believe there are better alternatives to college, I want to help students find the right path for them. I want to work with more career options as well because not everyone fits the university and college mold. There are programs that help with careers that range from hospitality and management to UX/UI.
MORE THAN JUST SAN FR ANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
I have to admit that a lot of my data and experience stems from work, and my knowlege about the California school system, specifically San Francisco, which has an abundance in resources in terms of help and support, but at the same time missing a lot of students.
MORE THAN JUST A PUBLIC, 4 YEAR UNIVERSITY
I want to add features that will address schools outside of the public university system, and intergrate applications from applications such as Common App and CSS profile.
APPLY + Project Portfolio 2018
APPLY+ Project Portfolio 2018
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The culturally competent college access application.