Evolving a College’s Web Presence
St. Thomas Aquinas College (STAC) is a small, private college located in Rockland County, New York, less than hour from New York City. The college prides itself on the close community offered to its students and the personal approach they follow when engaging with prospective students and their parents. While the admissions team had strong print and email recruitment materials, the college’s website was not conveying the true STAC brand and was in need of a complete redesign.
The STAC team reached out to the Zone 5 higher education team to discuss not only their need for a redesign but a new CMS as well. Following extensive discussions with the college’s IT team and web content managers, Zone 5 recommended Drupal as the preferred new CMS.
During the site’s creative development process, STAC officials wanted to be sure that the new cite not only highlighted the college’s key brand attributes and messages, but that the site’s overall look and feel was also complimentary to the current recruitment communications program. With these directives in mind, Zone 5 developed more “evolutionary vs. revolutionary” creative direction for the new site.
The new website launched officially in January of 2014, the response thus far has been extremely positive. Early reports from the admissions team and thru Google Analytics indicated an immediate increase in site traffic and engagement. Unlike with the old site, admissions counselors are now much more inclined to direct prospective audiences to the new site. Their confidence paid off. Early reports indicated a measurable increase in new-student applications and enrollees for fall 2016.