An outside consulting firm will spend the next two years rebuilding the college’s website with an eye to making it easier for prospective students to navigate.
Stephanie Geyer, Noel-Letvitz Higher Education Consulting associate vice president, discussed plans for an overhaul of the website during the Faculty Association meeting Sept. 28.
Key bits of information that students want to know can be hard to find on the current website, Geyer said.
She said the five questions prospective students want answers to are: Do you have the major I am looking for? Can I get in? Can I afford it? Will I fit in? Is it close to my community?
OCCC has signed a 23-month contract with Noel-Levitz to help with the massive undertaking, said Paula Gower, Marketing and Public Relations director.
The cost of the website will be about $150,000 with $100,000 being paid this year and about $50,000 next year.
The money will be paid out of the school’s contingency funds, Gower said.
Gower said students can rest assured there will be no rise in student technology fees to cover the costs nor will additional staff be hired to help maintain the new website.
“This is more than a website redesign.” Gower said “It’s a completely new website.
“We are redesigning the framework of the website for functional criteria. This requires particular attention to web content, usability, interaction design, and information architecture.
“It is our hope that the new website spins out the information for students in an easier way.”
The current plan is for OCCC to relaunch the website during the summer of 2011.
During the Faculty Association meeting, Geyer said, she believes the process “will be seamless and painless.”
Gower said OCCC is working in partnership with Noel Levitz to survey current students, former students, community members and faculty regarding the new website.
The goal is for the redesigned website is to attract new students while helping retain existing students, Gower said.
Geyer is currently holding focus group meetings on campus to get student feedback about problems that plague the current website.
During the meeting, Geyer also alleviated faculty concerns about their personal web pages hosted on the OCCC servers.
Geyer said she also will consult with faculty about their personal web pages.
She said the new site “will not detract from personal websites nor make faculty take them down.”
John Richardson, OCCC online marketing coordinator, said he hopes everyone on campus will offer suggestions to Geyer and her group.
“We want to do additional focus groups to get people’s feedback,” he said.
“Whether it be through e-mail, the Pioneer, Facebook, Twitter or an alternative website, we want people to feel involved with the process.”
For more information or to make suggestions about the new OCCC website, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contact Joey Stipek, email email@example.com.