Sheridan College transforms student experience with OneCard Mobile ID for Apple and Android

Sheridan College improves the campus experience and increases student engagement with TouchNet OneCard Mobile ID for Apple and Android.

With recent advancements in mobile technology combined with advancements in integrated ID management systems, Sheridan College has created a onecard program that allows students to use their phone as their key to campus—literally.



Students use their iPhone, Apple Watch, or Android smartphone to open doors with their Sheridan onecard.

As an integrated campus ID program, Sheridan onecard can unlock doors, purchase goods, access student services, attend events, and more. Add the capability of storing the student ID on a smartphone and you turn students’ mobile devices into their campus key and wallet. Altogether, these functions transform smartphones into “one stop shops” where students can easily use a variety of campus resources, which increases student engagement and satisfaction.

Sheridan College is the first institution in Canada to use TouchNet OneCard and 360u to offer mobile student IDs for Apple and Android users.

“We wanted to meet students where they are at.”

Founded in 1967, Sheridan has grown from a local college of 400 students to one of Ontario's leading postsecondary institutions, educating approximately 27,000 full-time and 4,000 part-time students on three campuses in Oakville, Brampton, and Mississauga. The catalyst for Sheridan’s mobile ID initiative was to provide a better student experience that meets the expectations and responds to the needs of the Sheridan student population.

Students live their lives on their smartphones, and they come to campus expecting to use their devices as they do off campus. Additionally, part-time Sheridan students often felt excluded from the community as they visit campus at night when services are limited, including the Sheridan onecard office hours. Getting to the card office during regular office hours was difficult for those with jobs and other responsibilities during the day.

To address students’ mobile expectations and foster a sense of belonging on campus, Sheridan invested in people-centric technology that enhances the student experience, incorporates the Sheridan onecard as part of everyday life on campus, and provides access to services all hours of the day or night. As Aesha Brown, Associate Director of Business Services Projects and Campus Card at Sheridan College, succinctly stated, “we wanted to meet students where they are at.”

Successful coordination and communication

Sheridan College worked hand-in-hand with TouchNet throughout the implementation process to fine tune integrations and the end-user experience. The launch had two phases, with the Sheridan onecard in Apple Wallet rolled out in August 2022, followed by Sheridan onecard for Android in August 2023.

As the first institution to implement TouchNet OneCard Mobile ID for Apple and Android through the 360u app, Sheridan was instrumental in developing and testing this new solution as well as OneCard API updates that enhance the technology. Sheridan and TouchNet also coordinated with dozens of additional vendors to make sure that services connected to the onecard were compatible with it.

Sheridan engaged their marketing team to ensure the ID program was on brand and effectively communicated to students. As a community college where the average tenure of students is two years, Sheridan takes a targeted approach to driving adoption of their onecard by focusing on communications to new incoming students at the start of each term. This approach has been successful, leading to many positive outcomes:

  • 84 percent adoption rate of the mobile ID in the first 14 months after launch
  • 90 percent faster to obtain a mobile onecard than a plastic onecard at the start of a term
  • 65 percent fewer plastic cards produced
  • Estimated $38,250 (CAD) in savings by printing fewer plastic cards
  • Approximately 50 less hours of staff time spent on printing and distributing plastic cards
  • 25 percent of mobile onecards produced while Sheridan’s card office was closed

Mobile IDs are a powerful tool to increase student engagement and enhance their experience. Popular campus resource buttons placed within the app increase the efficiency and impact of resources by making it easier for students to find and use them across the campus. Students can scan a QR code with their mobile phone at the library to borrow materials, use the NFC “tap” technology to open classroom doors and make purchases with their declining balance account on and off campus, communicate with services like the health center, and more.

“I found myself losing my card a lot. When Sheridan went mobile, the moment that I installed it everything changed. It’s become a game changer because I have my phone in my hand all the time, it’s not something I lose, it’s basically my life line.”
– Sharmeen, recent graduate of Sheridan College

Lessons and advice

Sheridan College learned many valuable lessons in developing their ID program. They surveyed their three campuses to find all of the potential use-case scenarios for their onecard and determined if the mobile ID fit them. They quickly realized how many areas the onecard touches on campus and, as a consequence, that the new ID program is not simply a job for the onecard office, but a campuswide project requiring the breaking down of silos between departments and changes to the way they collaborate.


Library services were an integral part of the project to ensure students could use their mobile onecard to access printers and check out materials.

Sheridan’s advice for other institutions is to ensure mobile IDs align with the strategic plan of your campus. Also, find out if your institution already has a mobile app strategy. Speaking to your student body to get feedback from them about a mobile student ID is key to understanding their needs and demonstrating to leadership the need for a mobile ID program.

Create a comprehensive business plan and speak to other institutions that have gone through the process of implementing mobile IDs. Every campus is unique so hearing from multiple peers can help predict what will be important to your institution. A phased approach to the project plan is recommended as an undertaking this large is much more manageable when in phases.

Get creative to improve the student experience

The motto of Sheridan College is “Get Creative” and the onecard office has and continues to embody it. They are merely beginning to take advantage of what the mobile ID can offer, with plans to use data to study student behavior and find insights to continuously improve operations, predict the next challenges and opportunities for mobile ID technology, and enhance the student experience. They are also partnering with food service delivery companies to integrate the Sheridan onecard into their platforms and give students even more options for purchasing food through their mobile devices.

TouchNet OneCard Mobile ID for Apple and Android provides Sheridan with a solution to meet their objectives. First, it gives students the ability to conveniently enable their Sheridan onecard without having to visit the card office and, second, it connects their student ID with services and functions across the campus. The results are an enriched student experience and a more connected and engaged campus.