Capturing the hearts and minds of prospective new students is something Roanoke College strives for. It takes an innovative approach to its public web experience by also bringing the inside world of the college to the outside, giving prospective students a look into what college life at Roanoke is really like.
Roanoke College is an independent, co-educational, 4-year liberal arts college located in Salem, Virginia. The college has been an Ingeniux customer for a long time, starting with Ingeniux CMS 4.3 (it is now on Ingeniux CMS v9).
In its recent redesign of its web experience, Roanoke decided to split its website into a marketing website and an Intranet (Inside Roanoke). When issues arose with its development partner, Ingeniux stepped in to help the college get its new web experience implemented.
Roanoke’s new marketing website is designed to engage and inform prospective and new students. It provides a wealth of photos, videos, and marketing content.
Inside Roanoke is for current students, faculty, and staff. Technically, it's an Intranet, but it's publicly available from the main website. According to Michael Santoroski, Director of Web and Software Development Services at Roanoke College, Inside Roanoke is an important part of the college's marketing. He said that prospective students want to know what it's like to be a student. Inside Roanoke gives them that view into college life. Parents also find Inside Roanoke a quick way to find the information they need to support their children attending the college (e.g. Find out how to buy textbooks or learn the right type of sheets to purchase for residence). Santoroski said that there is a lot of content for an internal audience that is also germane to an external audience.
"Higher education has so many outside constituencies that building a website that is walled off isn't possible."
There is a lot of cross linking between the marketing website and Inside Roanoke. For example, on the marketing site, a section on Biology provides information about becoming a Biology major. But it also offers links to Inside Roanoke that link to the Biology department where a prospective student can see what the department is doing on a day to day basis, including things like what events are scheduled for students, what classes they need for Junior year and more.
An author can write a story about biology and have that story show on the marketing website and the internal site. The same is true for calendar events, news and feature stories.
Ingeniux CMS enables this cross sharing of content in several ways. First, both websites are hosted on the same server and have the same Administration site. Second, Ingeniux provides a robust taxonomy feature that supports a structured content model, enabling Roanoke content authors to create and categorize content in a way that allows its reuse across both websites. Santoroski said that they leverage Ingeniux taxonomy for everything, including videos, stories, calendar events.