Simmons to launch new website

By Haley Costen
Staff Writer

According to Courtney Dee, director of Online Communication and Design, the college will be launching a new website during winter break.

“One of the big changes is we’re doing is going from school-centric to putting programs first,” Dee said.

The new website will still feature school sites, but more information on programs, specific faculty and research, Advancement and Student Life will now be more front-facing on the new, according to Dee.

“Our profile online is definitely increasing with our new online programs, and it has also been awhile since we’ve really took a look at how we’re presenting ourselves online,” Jane Showalter, Senior IT Business Analyst and project lead said. “Its also very much tied in with Strategy 2015 to raise our profile online.”

Strategy 2015 is a program created in 2010 by President Helen Drinan. It’s objective is to strengthen the undergraduate college, expand the non-traditional undergraduate program for women over twenty four, collaborate flexible undergraduate to graduate opportunities, increase opportunities for online education, and create a college-wide student-centered culture.

Though Dee says that the website is something that her department looks into changing every three years or so, this change is a Strategy 2015 project.

“We’re trying to make a lot of information easier to find,” Dee said. “Programs sometimes get lost on the school sites and we wanted to elevate those.”

“We really wanted to showcase the stories that are going on at Simmons,” Showalter said. “Sometimes when you go to the current website, it looks the same even if something exciting is happening. It might not be visible.”

The new website will have a feature that displays events at Simmons and will showcase student, faculty and alumni profiles, according to Dee. Some of the content will come from the 300 The Fenway blog, but will be written in a consistent form that can be used across the website, Dee said.

Showalter emphasized the importance of website visitors getting a sense of what the college’s goals are and what its story is.

“We hope everyone at Simmons can look at the website and see themselves reflected in it much more than the current site,” Showalter said.

The year-long project is a partnership between technology and marketing. The team has been conducting regular meetings with a stakeholder group in order to give input and keep campus representatives updated.

“We’re very excited,” Dee said. “I think it will be a great way to showcase all of the events and all the people that make Simmons what it is.”

Editors Note: A previous version stated that Jane Showalter was  knowledge management intern. Her correct title is Senior IT Business Analyst.