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Santiago Canyon College Case Study

So-Cal Community College Makes a Seamless Conversion to Its Enhanced Web Site

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Screen Shot of Santiago Canyon College Web SiteNestled in the hills of East Orange, Santiago Canyon College (SCC) serves the educational needs of over 14,000 students, while still growing. When the college’s Web site needed to be re-engineered to support this growth, the decision was made to hire School Web Services.  SWS combined the ability to preserve and convert the existing site with the capacity to substantially enhance the site’s potential. The SWS Campus Platform provided the features of distributed management and dynamic, “always fresh” content that SCC wanted for its employees and students.

A project of this scale presents a number of exciting challenges. When a large-scale site is already in place, it is certain that many people have invested time and vision into its creation. The new Web platform should incorporate the strengths of the former site, as the new site development team honors the contribution of those involved in the site’s original creation. One thing the SCC project team made clear to SWS was that the college’s current Web site had to be preserved. In other words, SWS was hired to implement the SWS Campus Platform and convert the college’s static content into database-driven content—all without disturbing the “look and feel” of the Web site.

To accomplish this, SWS worked closely with the SCC project team, which consisted of staff members, deans, the Vice-President of Academic Affairs, and District I.T. Management. The existing SCC site was quite large; thus, SWS had a big job in converting the site’s content and appearance. The conversion took a total of three months. Every other week, SWS provided on-site updates to the SCC project team, showcasing the progress of the work completed and discussing all related issues. In the end, SWS converted over five hundred pages of information into the Campus Platform. In addition to the site content itself, SWS also migrated fifty SCC faculty Web sites onto the new SCC Web server.

After forty-five days of project review and testing, plus on-site training workshops, the new Santiago Canyon College Web site was launched. Because the new site was nearly an identical copy of the existing Web site, the change was not strongly noticeable to the public. However, the faculty and staff of SCC now had the powerful tools of the SWS Campus Platform— including browser-based content management, Web tools for faculty and staff, dynamic content, to name a few — and this new concept of self-serve Web authoring was an instant success at SCC.

“When Santiago Canyon College began to experience the growing pains of an increasing student body, one that is more and more computer-savvy, we realized we needed to increase our Web site’s capability and usability. School Web Services consulted with our district and our college, providing the software and services to improve both district and campus sites, but also responding to the individual vision we had for Santiago Canyon College. Furthermore, I enjoyed working with School Web Services and appreciated the immediate attention always given to us.” (Mary Halvorson, Vice-President of Academic Affairs)

Santiago Canyon College discovered that it is possible to preserve an investment while continuing to grow and change. The SWS Campus Platform enabled the college to maintain its existing site’s look and feel, but also provided the user-friendly tools that empowered faculty, staff and administrators to create, update and maintain their own content. The staff of SWS made sure the two joined seamlessly by providing vital conversion, consultation, and training. Today, with simple, ongoing support from SWS, SCC can look forward to a Web site that grows with its student body.