Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College

New Resource for the Senior Class

Posted on November 13, 2008

Screen snap of the Senior tab

insideWheaton's "Seniors" tab, a valuable new resource for Wheaton's Senior class, was introduced on November 12, 2008. Ana O'Brien, of the Office of the Registrar, was the mover-and-shaker behind this idea. Ana shared some practical advice for anyone who would like to do something similar in a recent conversation with Colleen Wheeler, of the Web Strategy team.

Where did the idea for the "Seniors" tab come from?
I first thought about using insideWheaton after my department was introduced to the "New Students" tab. I was impressed by how useful it could be to have this single source information for new students. Later that day, I was back in my office discussing deadlines for seniors when something clicked...

So, what happened next?
I called David Caldwell to ask what was possible. That got the ball rolling.

How long did it take to get from that first meeting to the "live" tab?
I think I met with David in late August and the tab was live on November 12. I had access to a test tab soon after meeting with David, and then it was a matter of gathering colleagues from various campus departments. When that group met, we agreed on the information to post, and assigned an owner and deadline to each piece.

So, who is on this "Seniors tab" team?
Andrea Holden from Student Life, Chris Gilbody from Student Financial Services, Jessica Weaver from Alumnae/i Relations & Annual Giving, Lisa Gavigan from The Filene Center, Alex Trayford from Academic Advising, and me.

Were there some rough spots?
The toughest part was just sitting down and writing something by a deadline--and nudging others to do the same. The technology was so straightforward that it was pretty much a "non-issue" for me.

Would you do it again?
Absolutely. It was well-worth the effort.

It sounds as though it's made a positive difference even though it's still pretty new to you.
Yes, it certainly has! Having a resource focused on the needs of Seniors is huge for us. I'd say that, before the tab, our response rate was about 20%, and now it's closer to about 40% AND we don't spend as much time chasing students. We used less time, energy and paper and got a better result. We were creating most of the content already, and the new tab collected it into one convenient location. Yes, I would definitely do it all over again.

What advice do you have for others who might be wondering if this approach could work for them?
insideWheaton is a great resource and I encourage everyone to use it. It did require us to rethink the work we were already doing but, for the most part, it's meant no additional work.

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