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MAPP | My Action Plan with Purpose |

MAPP is a multidimensional roadmap supporting students through the journey.

Photo of Quame
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Today, a group of non-traditional students at the University of California - Berkeley asked,"what are the needs of tomorrow?" Some of the students in this group had taken very different paths to UC Berkeley. A few had transferred in, were raising children, or dealing with the shadows of being formerly incarcerated. They understood that students coming in behind them will still share their experiences, and they will be impacted by their respective needs. They also understood that their present day will impact their lives tomorrow. They reimagined the question: "what can we do today to better serve the next generation of students?"


We identified three fundamental needs for all students navigating higher education: support, vision, and purpose.

My Action Plan with Purpose (MAPP) centers these needs and provides learners with an interactive roadmap for them to use throughout the journey. MAPP will lead students to, through, and beyond college.

How is it interactive? 

  • Tech component: Vision

Students visualize their dream careers/lifestyles on an interactive vision map. A vision MAPP is similar to a vision board, but with layers. Action/task lists are generated within the vision web and link to student's calendar. Vision MAPP layers include holistic health, financial freedom (education, savings, and investments) academic success, and community contributions. Vision MAPP could be exported to spreadsheet and document formats.  

  • Human Element: Support 

Mentors are student's accountability partners. Mentors work with students on building, maintaining and revising vision MAPPs. Mentors help students complete action/task lists and connect them with resources and opportunities relating to student's individualized roadmap. 

  • Planning: Purpose

Throughout the process, students and mentors will explore the big question, "what is the contribution that this MAPP and this student will have on their communities? How will the student use this to be a more active citizen of the world?" The vision MAPP has a notes/multi-media journaling feature for students to reflect on this question through different points in their journeys.

User Journey 

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Our user journey illustrates a path by which a user learns about MAPP, signs up, and begins a journey towards academic, personal, and professional success.

Pain Points

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Non-traditional students encounter different challenges than traditional students. MAPP is designed to meet those challenges and allow for a seamless and welcoming transition into the larger campus community.

Workshop: Interactive Road Map 

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The My MAPP interactive roadmap is a visual representation of an individual's personal, academic, and professional growth.

Workshop: Community Interface
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The resource sharing component of MAPP relies on the community database. Based on the user interests, for example, career, academic, sports, etc... The user will have access to countless opportunities regarding that interest. Users will be able to upload information regarding jobs, activities, research opportunities, etc... to share with other users.

Survey Data
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We administered a survey regarding organization and mentoring to the campus community and found common patterns. Approximately 53% of respondents use mobile apps to organize their life, most set both short term and long term, and 71% of respondents have had mentors. Together, this information articulated to us the need for a supportive online community that shares resources in order to help one another achieve their goals.

Process Photos

Who is your idea designed for and how does it reimagine higher education to support the needs of tomorrow?

Students, academic advisors, and mentors. It reimagines the academic planning process by going beyond academic achievement into personal growth and development.

This idea emerged from:

  • A group brainstorm
  • An OpenIDEO outpost or chapter
  • A Design Jam or Workshop event

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

We'd love support in developing a prototype of MAPP. What does the interface look like? How could we make it accessible across tech devices and skill levels? We'd also love your thoughts on mentor, student matching.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Launch pilot program with transfer, formerly incarcerated, and re-entry students at UC Berkeley and measure the impact of the program on students' academic and life plans by gauging students' sense of support, vision, and purpose before and after the program.

Tell us about your work experience:

MAPP team consists of five transfer students from a range of different majors and backgrounds and our two mentors, an academic advisor with over 20 years of experience at the UC Berkeley campus and an alumnae-entrepreneur who preaches human-centered design in all she does.

How would you describe this idea while in an elevator with someone? 2-3 sentences.

For nontraditional new students navigating the university campus is like trying to read a roadmap in an unfamiliar language. MAPP is a tool that translates the mountain of information into something familiar. With its interactive components of vision, support, and purpose, MAPP takes you on a holistic journey to academic, professional, and personal development.

What is the specific problem your idea is trying to solve? 1 sentence.

Centralizes resources and opportunities available to nontraditional students while providing cohesive tools to evaluate progress.

How is your idea different or unique from what is currently on the market?

Gives students with constrained undergraduate experiences the tools to utilize their full potential.

How do you plan to measure the impact of your idea?

We plan to track the number of points users accumulate by completing tasks and achieving goals. Reviews will also be a crucial component of feedback to gauge how users are reacting to the product. The number of downloads the product receives will also be another measurement of success. Additionally, we aim to audit the engagement of the user, making sure they’re being guided towards the appropriate resources.

How might your idea be transferable to a large number of people?

Expand availability beyond UC Berkeley's student body. Engage students from other campuses, different demographic backgrounds, and goals.

What are your immediate next steps after the challenge?

The next steps after the challenge would be to start a conversation with different organizations on campus in order to make MAPP a reality. We plan to partner with an organization called Stiles Hall and use the population they serve as trail for what we envision at all college campuses. Furthermore, we will seek to partner with UC Berkeley's Haas Business School as a potential investor.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Nicole Sorci

I agree with @RicoOyola. I really like the formerly incarcerated aspect. I am currently working on a research project that examines education and employment opportunities for former inmates. This could be a valuable tool for that community. Great research!

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