Stakeholder Liaisons: Maggie Paine, Joe Antonioli

Stakeholders interviewed: Barbara Marlow, Scott Atherton, Bert Phinney, John Nordmeyer, Bob Clagett; discussions with entire admissions staff; focus group with prospective students from Addison County and focus groups with Noble and Greenough juniors and seniors; interview with Nobles head guidance counselor.

Easy Access to Information

Overall site and admissions site should make access to information easy

  • On the home page, highlight the undergraduate college and make it easy to get to admissions information. Currently it's clear how to get information on LS, BLSE, BLWC, and Schools Abroad, but not clear that Middlebury is an undergraduate college or how to get admissions information.
  • Improve navigation (drop-down menu?)
  • Improve search

    • Consider artificial intelligence: ability for prospective students to type in a search term or questions and for the server to recognize what information they want and to deliver it.

      • "Ask Middlebury" feature, similar to Ask Jeeves. Ex: What if I don't have a graded essay?

    • Provide search tool that allows you to type words directly into it

  • Improve organization of admissions site. Should act as gateway/jumping off point for prospective students and parents. Links to key information should be available and clear. Need to analyze what should be on home page and what one click away.

    • Recurring questions/concerns

      • Can't find international student information and application requirements
      • Financial aid is hard to find and comprehensive fee is buried.
      • Don't know where to start
      • Too many clicks to find information
      • Hard to find majors and programs, pre-professional programs
      • What are the requirements for admission?
      • What are the admissions deadlines?
      • Online course catalog is hard to find and then it's hard to navigate through the courses and other information.
      • Orientation information hard to find
      • Preprofessional program information hard to find and not comprehensive enough
      • Meet the staff is hard to find.
      • CCAL is not an intuitive name for student organizations and its site is hard to find.
      • Admissions officer school visit schedule is hard to find.
      • Academic calendar is buried-too hard to find
      • Lack of information on outcomes-grad school acceptances, graduate careers, etc.

    • Academic department sites vary greatly in their ability to convey what it would be like to major in this field at Middlebury, why you would want to study that subject here, and what graduates are doing. Need to provide student perspectives; info on research opportunities, equipment (where applicable), what graduates are doing, testimonials that demonstrate success. Perhaps this can be addressed by repurposing content developed for other uses (development, admissions, MiddTube, etc.) and pulling appropriate content onto department pages and into prospective students' personalized pages.

Overall site and admissions site should differentiate Middlebury from its peers and bring the College to life

  • Site should be "cool," up to date, convey sense that Middlebury is current.

    • Site should be engaging and interactive with stories, photos, videos, slideshows, blogs, fun features.

      • "Eye candy:" animation, photos, graphics were cited in prospective student focus group as key.
      • Must reflect the beauty of the campus, sense of place, the intellectual excitement of classes and research, and convey what it would be like to be a student and that this is a welcoming and diverse campus community, etc. Student life is key (dorms, dining halls, people, activities, town of Middlebury, not isolated)
      • Content should convey advantages of top liberal arts schools and differentiate Middlebury from peer schools

  • Ability to engage students with fresh content on a regular basis.

    • Create admissions specific content on regular basis, but also repurpose and pull in content created for other uses
    • Make it easy to keep content up to date by automatically pulling information from Banner, other areas of the web site, and databases wherever possible
    • Blogs written by current students and other student-generated content
    • Ask a Midd Kid type feature, where students answer questions that come in
    • Online chat with students and admissions officers
    • Videos

      • Available on all platforms
      • Ability to deliver embedded video on Midd site

    • Virtual tour

  • Quick facts, similar to viewbook overview
  • Larger font size for text on the site
  • Provide overall advice on the college search/application process from either dean or other admissions office member; keep adding info throughout year and try to make personal connection to the dean.
  • Life after Middlebury section with more on pre-professional preparation, internships, jobs, grad schools, graduate careers
  • Online presentation about Middlebury, similar to the group information session, with photos and/or video to illustrate the points made. Post on web site, YouTube, and MiddTube, and make available as podcast.

Personal Home Pages

Admissions sees a need for personalized/customized home pages for prospective students, for guidance counselors, and for themselves.

  • Personal pages for prospective students should:

    • make a personal connection to individuals by regularly delivering content of interest to them;
    • Pull content from elsewhere on the site;
    • deliver information on deadlines and requirements;
    • allow students to check the status of their applications, update their interests, see events in their area, find out when an admissions officer or alumni rep will be visiting their area, and connect with professors and staff they met on campus;
    • enable information displayed to change automatically, as a student moves from inquirant to applicant to matriculant;
    • enable admissions counselors to communicate with students they interviewed after students are accepted using the personal home page;
    • enable students to use their Facebook log-in to access their personalized Middlebury site and to access it from their Facebook page

  • Personal page for Midd admissions officers should:

    • provide automatically updated information on statistics (how many apps today, etc.);
    • travel itineraries
    • list of students/schools and where they are in the application process (including list of applicants who get in).

  • Personal pages for guidance counselors should

    • deliver information about their particular schools and students. (historical data on students from their schools who have applied to Middlebury, list of students who have applied and where they are in the process until they are admitted or denied).

Technical requirements

  • Make going back and forth from Middlebury to Facebook, YouTube, and other social networking sites easy. Take advantage of existing technology.
  • Content and web pages that load quickly and are deliverable to web-capable cell phones, such as iPhone and Blackberry.
  • Data automatically entered into Banner from prospective students' first online contact through enrollment.
  • Ability for students to upload supplementary materials (supplementary essay; graded essay; and also video, music, art) rather than sending them separately or sending a DVD.
  • Ability to post admissions officers' travel itineraries automatically, as dates for school visits are added or changed.
  • Random questions come into admissions and are dispersed to different counselors. Is it possible to have automatic response to the frequently asked questions?
  • Retain online sign-up for preview days
  • Ability to track where prospective students go after they visit the site.
  • Incorporate the existing online alumni admissions program, which allows people to sign up to become alumni admissions representatives, get assignments, and make comments.
  • Create a database of counselors, heads of schools.

Posted by Ryan Kellett on January 30, 2009
Tags: Uncategorized

Total comments on this page: 0

How to read/write comments

Comments on specific paragraphs:

Click the icon to the right of a paragraph

  • If there are no prior comments there, a comment entry form will appear automatically
  • If there are already comments, you will see them and the form will be at the bottom of the thread

Comments on the page as a whole:

Click the icon to the right of the page title (works the same as paragraphs)


No comments yet.

Name (required)
E-mail (required - never shown publicly)