Cleveland State Community College is located in Cleveland, TN near Chattanooga. Last year they came to us needing a website that would be more focused on motivating potential students to attend CSCC. Prior to this website it had been ten years since they have revitalized their website, so this was an exciting experience.
There are a few industries that find themselves in the struggle between their website strictly being a marketing tool, and it being something of an intranet for its existing audience - whether they be students or staff. Academics are one of these industries. While an intranet is very valuable and the website is a sensible place to put it, in the end you have to decide what your goals will be and stick to them. Cleveland State recently decided to take the marketing approach rather than the intranet approach they were previously using.
The site effectively highlights notable CSCC programs and uses student stories to bring some personal touch to the website. We’ve cleared a lot of content and clutter out with the intent to simplify the experience for the user. On the homepage, the main CTAs lie directly under feature photography: Apply Now, Request Info, and Tour CSCC. We’re trying to engage the potential student right off the bat. The navigation is focused directly on the target audiences. On every page you have a chance to use the audience navigation to jump to any section easily. Once inside, you’ll find an unorthodox navigation structure under Quick Links.
If you’re not into the Audience navigation, the main navigation starts your journey by splitting the large functions of the school. The taxonomy of the site is such that it can hold a lot of content while remaining simple to navigate. You can dive quite deep into each of the main navigation sections; when you hit what seems to be the bottom of the content, you can expand accordion pages to reveal more.
Finally, you’ll find a utility navigation at the top of the page that houses some of the quicker content and external links. This is the place for CSCC’s internal audience to find what they need while keeping it out of the way of the main goal of the site: to bring in more potential students.
Poke around the site! We’re proud of it and so happy that it’s doing well for Cleveland State Community College.