College of Charleston develops iPhone app

The College of Charleston has a new way to show itself to prospective students: a tour of the school that can be downloaded for free to Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch.

School officials said the download is the first of its kind in the country. It was developed with City Slicker, an interactive development company based in Charleston and run by 1990 College of Charleston graduate Tommy Dew.

"Students are already coming to the College of Charleston from as far away as Singapore," said Jimmie Foster Jr., the college's director of freshman admissions. "Now, with the iPhone app, they won't have to get on a plane to experience the college. Whether they are on campus or not, they'll be able to take a guided tour - and meet some of our students - any hour, any day."

City Slicker developed the application for the college for free as a demonstration for other institutions that might want to buy one, said Stan Gray, the college's director of strategic communications.

Gray said the college could work with City Slicker to develop a separate application to spotlight specific aspects of the school or in an attempt to raise money.

"But right now, it's just a recruitment tool," Gray said.

The application, called "College of Charleston Tour," is available as a free download from the Apple iTunes app store.

Four College of Charleston students narrate the tour, which the school said offers viewers an "insider's look" at the college where the President's House and almost every other building on campus can be seen.

The application features Global Positioning Satellite assistance, 18 videos of campus and about 60 images of life at the school.

City Slicker has also developed "Charleston City Slicker," a self-guided tour of the city Apple selected as a "staff favorite" and a "pick of the week."

A press release issued by the college said the College of Charleston application allows prospective students to use their "preferred methods of looking at and applying to colleges and universities. Students no longer have to be in front of a computer to tour a college campus."

Dew said he's proud to have worked on the project.

"As a college alumnus, it is especially gratifying to provide technology that helps to differentiate my alma mater," he said.