New School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) Website Launched

New School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) Website Launched

A new School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) website has launched at the University of San Diego, aiming to deliver information to prospective graduate and undergraduate students of the school. 

As with any major redesign undertaking at the university, we talked with our prospective audience as well as the SOLES academic and administrative leaders to gage goals and needs for their website moving forward. This is a standard element in USD's website redesign process, as websites must be relevant, timely, and useable for its prospective students in order to attract the high-quality applicants that the university is seeking. 

The new SOLES website is filled with new features that prospective students will be able to use in their search for the perfect academic fit within the school. Among these features are:

  • A responsive design which allows site visitors to access information anywhere at any time.
  • Customized audience pages for our prospective, admitted, and current students to learn about school news, events, or programs in a more personalized way.
  • An engaging video hero area on the SOLES home page which highlights the collaborative student experience on campus. The video was directed and produced by the university's University Communications team.
  • A faculty and staff directory with filtering, search, research information, and larger photos for learning about the award-winning faculty at the university.
  • An integrated study abroad system which highlights opportunities for students based on world region, country, or term. The information provided comes directly from StudioAbroad which contains all of the study abroad opportunities available to students at the university.
  • A new database-driven academic graduate program finder which allows a prospective student to consider their future employment and career goals and find the right program based on a series of questions and prompts.
  • New systems such as job listings, graduate leadership internshipsundergraduate leadership internships, alumni database, student organizations, and student scholarships. These are all database-driven and will allow for the continued easy update and delivery of information to interested parties.
  • A new News Center, Events Calendar, and Featured Spotlights, all sharing information about the school, its faculty and staff, and related centers and institutes. This follows the same format as the university's News Center while highlighting SOLES-specific information.
  • Newly written and edited content throughout the website, which guided the architecture and the design process for the new site.

The information architecture is strategically organized, and content was mindfully raised from the department and center level in the previous website to the school level on the new website, alleviating the need for students to track information in multiple places to find what they are looking for.

From a content provider and maintainer standpoint the site remains housed within the university’s CMS solution (Cascade Server) and now utilizes the modular functionality that the USD website is based on. This will make adding features such as accordions, icons, and imagery in a grid-layout much more efficient future forward than the former maintenance experience allowed.

As with any major website launch, the work is just getting started. Now that the site is live, we aim to use data and analytics to gauge the usefulness of the site for its core audience and adjust to any changing and evolving needs over time.

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