One of the most important recruiting tools for higher education is a College’s website. A recent survey by Noel-Levitz Higher Education Consulting found that 65% of prospective students will become more interested in a college because of a positive online experience.
Meredith’s Department of Marketing has made several new efforts to improve Meredith.edu, in support of the College’s enrollment and recruitment goals.
Redesigned Admissions and Financial Assistance Sites
The Department of Marketing, in partnership with the Office of Admissions and the Office of Financial Assistance, worked with Horizon Productions on the redesign. Horizon Productions also produced video and other Web 2.0 elements for the sites.
The sites feature targeted information for specific audiences. The admissions site includes pages for prospective students, accepted students, alumnae, parents and school counselors. The financial assistance site includes pages for prospective students, current students, parents, graduate students and employers.
The new sites let Meredith students share their stories – through an admissions video and through student testimonials and quotes.
Other features include the following:
• clear navigation that makes it easy for prospective students to find the information they need;
• big, beautiful photos to help give visitors a real sense of the Meredith experience;
• a section highlighting the benefits of Meredith’s location in Raleigh; and
• a robust financial assistance website that features types of financial assistance available, including extensive scholarship and grant listings, as well as information on how to apply for scholarships and other types of aid.
Soon, tweaks will be made to the look and feel of the College’s home page. The changes will not affect the links available from the home page, but will be aimed at providing a better bridge from the home page to Meredith’s new and improved recruiting sites.
Content Management System
These sites are the first on Meredith.edu to be built in a Content Management System (CMS). This CMS, known as Expression Engine, supports the integration of video, photos, slideshows, social media and other Web 2.0 technology into websites.
“Expression Engine will make it easier for faculty and staff who are content experts (but may not have knowledge of traditional web development and design software) to add, change and manipulate web content,” said Executive Director of Marketing Kristi Eaves-McLennan. “This is significant because, once applied to all of the external facing pages of the Meredith web site, Expression Engine has the potential to dramatically improve the functionality of the site, while making it simpler and more efficient to maintain.”
Realignment of Web Staff
In another change that has been made to support Meredith’s web communication efforts, Andy Richards, web specialist and applications developer, is now a member of the College’s marketing department.
This change in where the position reports will align all of Meredith’s web design and development personnel in one office. It will help the Technology Services staff focus on server, security and other priorities while improving coordination for Meredith’s web maintenance.
“These efforts, along with the redesign of the graduate programs web site earlier this year, are all part of a long term effort that will make Meredith.edu a more robust marketing tool,” Eaves-McLennan said.
Have you presented research or attended a professional meeting recently? Has your department earned an award? Share news of these accomplishments and more with the Meredith community. Faculty and staff are invited to email items to Melyssa Allen, “Campus Connections” editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.