• Academic Catalog Project

Suffolk University Web Services along with the Colleges Registrar's Office has developed a plan to update and edit our academic catalog in our Web site Content Management System (CMS).  To accomplish this, we have used word files to create our catalog project in the CMS.  We have created a navigation structure for the catalog that represents the table of contents from the print catalog.  We import our Course Descriptions from our Student Information System (Datatel Colleague) database and then publish this web version of our catalog to the web site so that we have a full online version of the catalog that replicates the current print version of the catalog.  We allow edits and reviews to take place within the CMS.  The next cycle will determine if the web version or the print version becomes the official version of our catalog.

We allow page editing and reviewing for the next catalog cycle by utilizing the following:

  • Establish workflow and authorization packages for the catalog that indicate which users have rights to edit individual areas or pages of the catalog.
  • Develop a training manual and train users in CMS catalog editing process.
  • Import the Course Descriptions for each program from our Student Information System.
  • Review all catalog pages and course description pages for any content and technical issues.

Once the final files are approved and ready to publish, we will

  • Extract the text for the pages, using an XML script or CMS template variant, to a text file
  • Use Microsoft Word or other word processing software to format the print version of the catalog.
  • Deliver files to the printer to generate and deliver the print version of the catalog.
  • Once the print version is delivered, we will publish out the web version of our web site and make the print copies available at the same time.

In addition to the print and web versions, we will create a downloadable PDF version and, for future development, we will research the PDF creator part of the site to create PDF pages on the fly from the CMS.  In addition, we will work explore other digital file formats for presentation on a CD/other medium with our Admission Offices.

Anne Macdonald, Managing Associate Director for Web Services, has presented methodology at the eduwebconference in Atlantic City in July, 2008, and will present this topic at the HighEdWeb Conference in Springfield, MO, in October, 2008. Please use the menu to the right for links to each of the conferences, the Catalog pages on our web site and to the PDF file outlining the presentation.

Please contact Web Services at webadmin@suffolk.edu for any additional information on this project.