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'Student-powered' app provides personalized calendar based off syllabi

March 15, 2019
<p>A notification from the Skoller app. Photo courtesy of Skoller. </p>

A notification from the Skoller app. Photo courtesy of Skoller.

An application that organizes student’s schedules for them based off submitted syllabi called Skoller was made available to all students across the United States at the beginning of the school year.

Since this extension, students from over 2,000 different schools — including some from Michigan State — have adopted Skoller, a number CEO Carson Ward hopes will grow as the company expands.

In January, shortly following Skoller’s extension to all schools, the company partnered with the Alpha Omicron Pi national sorority — whose Beta Gamma chapter is at MSU — in a “dollar for download partnership,” Co-Founder Logan Matthews explained.

With each download of Skoller that uses the Alpha Omicron Pi code, the app donates $1 to Alpha Omicron Pi’s national philanthropy, The Arthritis Foundation.

Skoller provides students with a personalized calendar featuring assignments and due dates, as well as a grade calculator for each of their classes based off the information on their syllabus. After one student in a class submits the syllabus, other students can join that class and gain access to these resources.

Ward said this software is “completely changing the way students keep track of assignments, due dates and grades.”

“We grab the important information from their syllabus and when we are finished, they open the app to find everything already organized for them,” Ward, a 2016 graduate of Belmont University said. “It’s completely powered by students and it's fueled by syllabi.”

Ward created the program after realizing during his own college experience that relying on school technology to keep track of assignments was a “big issue." Ward and Matthews, a 2018 graduate of Belmont University, were both members of the golf team at Belmont University and noticed the difficulty in staying organized while missing school for sports.

“We saw the need that we had in our own personal lives and the pain that we were feeling in terms of trying to keep up with everything and that's why we decided to create it,” Matthews said.

Ward and Matthews, along with the rest of their team, tested the software in 2016 at Belmont and Samford University. The software remained available to only select schools until August 2018 when the team decided to extend it to all universities across the United States.

“We have students adopting the app from all over the country," Ward said. "Our next big focus is to learn how to turn one student into 500 on a specific campus."

Ward explained that the company plans on doing more partnerships like the one with Alpha Omicron Pi's chapter at MSU in the future, and said they hope to extend to at least 50 local organizations and a few more national ones in the fall.

“We love to work with companies that are willing to give back on behalf of Alpha Omicron Pi and our members,” Alpha Omicron Pi’s Director of Public Relations Courtney West said. “The roll out has been great and our members reaction to it has been wonderful. We have over 1,800 sign ups right now so we are really happy with that and we hope to continue our relationship.”

In the long term, the team hopes Skoller becomes "the platform that every single college student in the country turns to organize and manage their academic lives,” Matthews said.

“We’ve truly grown this from an idea on a couch to a company that has over 16,000 accounts from (2,000) different schools across the country,” Matthews said.

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