Website RFP Issued By Five Colleges

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Five Colleges, Incorporated, a consortium made up of Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts, is seeking proposals for a website redesign. Our website is a critical tool for encouraging the students, faculty, and administrators at our institutions to collaborate within the consortium, and it demonstrates how collaboration enhances each member campus.

While our member campuses and many other consortia have embraced newer web design approaches, our seven-year-old site does not invite users to engage because it is difficult to navigate, it is not responsive, and it is inconsistent with the design and functionality standards of other higher education websites. Some of our constituents have become so frustrated with our site’s limitations that they are either exploring creating separate sites or have already done so. As the most visible means of communications for the consortium, our website is critical in our efforts to carry out Five Colleges’ goals. Website usage data and user feedback lead us to be concerned that the site is losing traffic and alienating users, resulting in lost opportunities to educate users and convey our message, and giving a negative impression of Five Colleges. Currently our website, and all our Five College institutions’ primary websites, are on Drupal. We will remain on the Drupal platform.

Background:

Five Colleges, Incorporated, (also called the Five College Consortium) is a nonprofit educational corporation established in 1965 to promote the broad educational and cultural objectives of its associated institutions: four private, residential liberal arts colleges (Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College) and the Amherst campus of the University of Massachusetts. Five Colleges, Incorporated, promotes and administers long-term forms of cooperation that benefit faculty members, staff members and students. These include:

● Academic programs: ongoing efforts to enhance the curriculum and enrich the academic experience of students and faculty members.

● Enterprise initiatives: joint administrative and infrastructure efforts such as a joint automated library system, a fiber optic network connecting all campuses to the world, and an automated five-campus course schedule.

● Partnerships: efforts that go beyond our campuses to reach other organizations, prospective students, and the general public.

In recent years, we have increasingly come to rely on our website to share information, provide resources, and offer opportunities for collaboration. But it is clear our current website is not up to the task.

Scope of Work:

1. Designed to engage our key constituency, allows easy interaction with our site, and presents useful and actionable content.

2. Reinforces our goal of providing value to our campuses through collaboration.

3. Scalable architecture allowing for flexibility in functionality and navigation.

4. Offers clear and intuitive navigation and search capabilities.

5. Incorporates responsive web design.

6. Device independence and content adaptation.

7. Accessible to all.

8. Has a content management system that can be easily used, scaled up, and maintained.

9. Easy to maintain, update, and keep secure.

Target Audience

Current faculty, students, and staff who engage with the consortium Our primary target audience is made up of people who engage with the consortium: faculty members who participate in our academic programs, administrators who belong to our committees, members of the consortium’s leadership groups, students looking for courses on other campuses. We want them to easily find and use such resources as:

● the course schedule

● the Center for World Languages

● the Five College directory

● faculty resources

Due Date:

March 1, 2021

Address:

Kevin Kennedy (kkennedy@fivecolleges.edu)

Agencies to consider include Prosek Partners and Porter Novelli.

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