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Western Idaho College Student Life Web Site Committee Philosophy Proposal and Recommendations2/23/03.

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Presentation on theme: "Western Idaho College Student Life Web Site Committee Philosophy Proposal and Recommendations2/23/03."— Presentation transcript:

1 Western Idaho College Student Life Web Site Committee Philosophy Proposal and Recommendations2/23/03

2 “The practice of student affairs…must shift from a campus-based model to a learner-based model, wherever that learner is...The emphasis will shift from providing resources in a campus environment to linking the learner with those resources wherever the learner is located and wherever those resources are needed.” Upcraft, M. & Goldsmith, H. (2000). Technological changes in student affairs administration. In The Handbook of Student Affairs Administration, M. Barr and Associates (Eds.). Jossey-Bass: San Francisco.

3 Abstract The purpose of this committee was to create a new web site philosophy. Based on the content of that philosophy, it was determined that the current web site should be critiqued and redesigned. Results of the critique led to several recommendations and options for implementation. It is the opinion of this committee that in order to make the philosophy and the web site congruent, our recommendations should be put into practice.

4 Student Services Web Site Trends  Processes are redesigned from the external student’s/customer’s perspective instead of the internal perspective of the institution.  Barriers to information are removed by providing online access.  Consistent institutional brand image is presented in all materials.  Consistency and excellence of the service experience are developed at each touch point.  Focus of services shifts from transactional to experiential. Burnett, D. J. (2002). Innovation in Student Services: Best Practices and Process Innovation Models and Trends. Retrieved February 18, 2003 from

5  “Especially for small colleges in small towns, you’ve got to provide some sort of visual connection.” – Paul Pribbenow  Administrators estimate that 60-70% of the hits on their sites come from outside their campuses. McCollum, K. (1999). Colleges revamp Web pages with professional help. Chronicle of Higher Education, 45, Why is a divisional web site important?

6  2001 Internet use by age  9-17 (Prospective Students): 68.8%  (Traditional Students): 65%  (Non-Traditional Students, Parents, & Alumni): 63.9% U.S. Census Bureau. (2002). Statistical Abstract of the United States. pp 713.  It is estimated that 70% of student interactions with the institution will take place through self- service. Burnett, D. J. (2002). Innovation in Student Services: Best Practices and Process Innovation Models and Trends. Retrieved February 18, 2003 from Why is a divisional web site important?

7  Improved customer satisfaction through  24/7 information access  Equal accessibility  Exceeding customer expectations “Due to services that they are able to receive from other web based companies, students—and staff and faculty—increasingly will expect services to be available on a 24/7 basis and to be personalized based on their needs and interests.” Kidwell, J. J., Mattie, J., & Sousa, M. (2000). Preparing your campus for e-business. In The E is for everything, R.N. Katz & D. G. Oblinger (Eds.). Jossey-Bass: San Francisco.

8  Market our services by  Improving our competitive position on the Web  Showcasing opportunities to potential students and faculty  Utilizing our publicity outlets  To be technologically advanced  In comparison with other higher education institutions  Within the field of Student Affairs Why is a divisional web site important?

9 What is the divisional web site trying to accomplish?  Improving access of all students: traditional and nontraditional, minority and disabled  Providing necessary services to all constituencies: on-line forms, efficient communications, current information  Heightening awareness of our services  Increasing enrollment and retention  Keeping constituencies aware of division events To further the mission of W.I.C. by:

10 Who is our target audience? Internal Constituencies  Students  Faculty  Staff  Administration  Board of Directors External Constituencies  Prospective students  Parents  Alumni  Potential employees  Local and world community

11 The previous factors—commitment to constituencies, furthering the mission of the college, concern for present online trends and a shifting paradigm in student services—led us to develop the following philosophy for the Western Idaho College Student Life web site.

12 Web Site Philosophy In order to further the mission of Western Idaho College and to serve current and future constituency groups, it is necessary to create a dynamic online representation of our division. Therefore, the philosophy of the Student Life web site is to provide diverse populations with quality customer service in a centralized, online resource. This web site is designed with the user in mind, to provide ease of access, viewing, and navigation in an effort to enhance each online interaction with the Student Life Division at Western Idaho College.

13 Based on the aforementioned philosophy, the following are critiques of the current Student Life web site.

14 SWOT Analysis StrengthsWeaknesses OpportunitiesThreats

15 Strengths A web site has been developed Good foundation Centralized informational source Simple layout Prominent display of name and logo Events calendar

16 Weaknesses Wasted resources Outdated information Inconsistent page to page design Broken links Grammatical errors Not stimulating, i.e. no pictures Distracting color usage

17 Opportunities Growth potential Constituent outreach Recruitment tool Redesign for constituents with disabilities Information exchange Public forum Online documents

18 Threats Danger of becoming obsolete Customer dissatisfaction Contractual and legal liabilities Overshadowed by competitors Loss of potential students Lack of browser neutrality Unfavorable impression

19 Based on the previously mentioned critiques and philosophy, the committee developed the following recommendations.

20 Recommended Immediate Changes  Create functioning Career Services link  Complete Housing page  Include complete contact information  Insert full description of program, dates and activities on Orientation page  Remove scrolling text on Athletics page  Review site for spelling and grammatical errors  Update all information

21 Further Recommendations 1. Standard Header and Footer for all pages Example footer Example header Remove blank space Make header one line © University of Central Arkansas To view this footer online go to

22 2. All divisional pages have standard left buttons Example buttons To view these buttons online go to © Hendrix College, 2002 Further Recommendations

23 3. Pages for Current Students, Prospective Students, Faculty/Staff, Parents, and Alumni will have customized links of interest in addition to standard left buttons 4. Continuous improvement a) Update regularly b) Include an ‘expiration date’ for information* c) Audit often and thoroughly *To view expiration dates in use go to Further Recommendations

24 5. Include divisional mission as opposed to college mission 6.Include welcome by Vice President for Student Life Division 7.Create text only site for audio-reading technology to ensure accessibility 8. Require each department of Student Life to create and/or maintain web page Further Recommendations

25 9. Include legal and contract issues a) Policies and Procedures b) FERPA c) Campus Security Act d) Student Right to Know e) Student Handbook As per Aronson v. University of Mississippi, 2001 an attorney should review all posted information due to the fact that all written materials comprise a contract between the student and the university. This also includes material on a university’s web page. Further Recommendations

26 10. Web site assessment tools A. For Free “Guide to evaluating information technology on campus” by EDUCAUSE; a campus wide assessment of technology use “Guide to evaluating information technology on campus” by EDUCAUSE; a campus wide assessment of technology use Fix your website.com Fix your website.com B. For Purchase Bobby, an “accessibility software tool designed to help expose and repair barriers to accessibility” Bobby, an “accessibility software tool designed to help expose and repair barriers to accessibility” Further Recommendations

27 Based on the prior recommendations, critiques, and philosophy, the committee presents the following options for implementation.

28 Options for Implementation Option one: Now Immediate Changes and Education Option two: Expansion Seeking Funding and Finding a Consultant Option three: Commitment Budgeting and Additional Web Designer

29 Option one: Now Immediate Changes and Education Conduct immediate revisions using current web manager Conduct immediate revisions using current web manager Improve current web manager’s technical skills via continuing education and workshops* Improve current web manager’s technical skills via continuing education and workshops* Complete routine updates Complete routine updates Purchase design software to maintain progress† Purchase design software to maintain progress† † † Software recommendations can be found at: *Continuing Education costs vary as to location and content.

30 Option two: Expansion Seeking Funding and Consulting Write budget proposals Write budget proposals Hire reputable Web Design Consultants Hire reputable Web Design Consultants Consult on needed changes Consult on needed changes Consider results of assessment Consider results of assessment Utilize current web manager for maintenance Utilize current web manager for maintenance Estimated cost: $ Idaho Web Designers and rates can be found at: Idaho Web Designers and rates can be found at:

31 Option three: Commitment Budgeting and Web Designer Write budget proposals Write budget proposals Search and apply for possible grants Search and apply for possible grants Appeal to Alumni for private funding Appeal to Alumni for private funding Create search committee for another Web Designer Create search committee for another Web Designer Hire reputable and skilled Web Designer Hire reputable and skilled Web Designer Estimated cost: $46, Estimate from

32 Budgetary Considerations 1. Allocate funding for Web Designer Grant possibilities Grant possibilities Contact Alumni Contact Alumni 2. Outsource web design company to direct web development Ex. IBM and education possibilities Ex. IBM and education possibilitiesIBM and education possibilitiesIBM and education possibilities Ex. Notre Dame and Brainstorm Ex. Notre Dame and BrainstormNotre Dame and BrainstormNotre Dame and Brainstorm 3. Purchase assessment tools 4. Fund continuing education for current web manager

33 These recommendations have the potential to carry the Student Life division further into the future, but we must fully commit ourselves and our resources to that purpose.

34 “Regardless of the first point of contact, every interaction with a student/customer must deliver the same quality of service.” Burnett, D. J. (2002). Innovation in Student Services: Best Practices and Process Innovation Models and Trends. Retrieved February 18, 2003 from

35 Katherine Case Sancy Faulk Marie Mainard Nick Wiard Student Life Web Site Committee Western Idaho College

36 Thank You For Your Time and stuff…


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