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High-tech Student Team At Clarkson University Creates Innovative Web Site
[An image of the Clarkson Web site for newspaper use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/clarksonweb.jpg]
Potsdam, N.Y. – A cross-disciplinary team of students and communications office staffers at Clarkson University has developed a new Web site that reflects the unique interdisciplinary and technological focus of this innovative institution. Improvements to navigation mean that frequent users such as high school students and alumni can access the information they need quickly and easily.
The site, located at www.clarkson.edu, was designed by the team to be fresh, engaging and interactive. It portrays a professional and focused image of all facets of Clarkson.
A team of Clarkson students worked throughout the 1999 – 2000 academic year to design and build the new Web site. Collaborative projects such as this one are typical at Clarkson University, where coursework spans business, engineering, science and liberal arts. Guided by communications office staff and Clarkson faculty, the student team learned design and programming skills as they brainstormed and implemented the concept. All the members of the student team felt that the experience had a tremendous impact on their education.
“One of the biggest things I’ve learned through that experience and with my current job is that you have to have a customer focus,” said Carrie Evans, a recent technical communications graduate who is now employed by IBM. “You have to be user-oriented to succeed. My role was to get the team to start thinking about who’s going to be using this site and how they are going to use it.”
“The students who worked on this Web site represent the communicators, innovators and leaders who thrive at Clarkson,” says Vice President for Academic Affairs Tony Collins. “They’re accustomed to collaborating on innovative, team-based projects. These opportunities to work on open-ended, team projects prepare them well for the kinds of challenges they’ll encounter very soon in their careers.”
The students came from a wide variety of majors like technical communications, management information systems, electrical & computer engineering, interdisciplinary engineering and management, computer engineering, marketing, computer science and even the MBA program.
The Web is the information source of choice for today’s high school students. More than 83 percent visit college Web sites as they explore their college choices. The Web visit is for many their “first campus visit.” The Web also has growing importance for universities in communicating with alumni, employers and foundations.
“The Web is a powerful and effective tool for reaching prospective students, alumni and corporate audiences,” says Director of University Marketing Chris Ritter. “The site that our team has created represents Clarkson’s strengths well.”
In market testing, the new Web site scored very well with alumni and prospective students, outscoring the old Clarkson site and another college site significantly. Prospective students praised the site’s layout and scored it high on ease of use.
“The new site has been launched, but the work to integrate the site and add more innovative ways to express what the Clarkson education is all about continues,” reports Webmaster Michael P. Griffin. “True to the spirit of the original project, our student teams continue to provide much of the support. We’re fortunate to have such a talented and motivated group of students to work with.”
Anyone is welcome to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments about the University’s new Web presence.