Integrity improves online access to Washington University’s academic support program

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Our partnership with Washington University in St. Louis has led to lots of new opportunities for us to make the university as amazing on the web as it is on campus. Just this week, we launched a brand new website for the university's Center for Advanced Learning – Cornerstone.

Cornerstone provides academic support to thousands of students every year. They offer a wide range of services for every student – from disability resources to leadership development to walk-in and appointment-based academic advising.

The program sought out the help of Integrity in building a website that would make accessing these much-needed resources easy for students – and spreading awareness easy for faculty, staff and student mentors.

We custom designed and developed a flexible, responsive WordPress website that features a streamlined site architecture, persona-based landing pages and an easy-to-update, easy-to-access calendar that showcases all that Cornerstone has to offer the students of Washington University.

We kicked off the project with an examination of Cornerstone's existing website, and particularly of their method for maintaining their mentoring calendar. As it turned out, the existing event entry workflow was complicated and made the experience so tedious for mentors that the calendar was often out-of-date simply because there was no easy way to maintain it.

They were using an embedded Google Calendar. While we at Integrity are huge fans of using Google's calendar internally and personally, it simply didn't make sense for Cornerstone, whose mentors had to log in to external Google accounts in order to add their schedules to the calendar.

We replaced this convoluted system with the Modern Tribe Events Calendar plugin for WordPress sites, which we've had plenty of experience with. The Modern Tribe calendar isn't just clean, responsive and complete with features like search and category filtering. It's also easy to manage directly through WordPress with a single login.

We even created custom WordPress user types so that Cornerstone administrators can provide limited access to mentors, who can log in and add, edit and update their schedules without being confused or distracted by pieces of the CMS outside of the calendar.

washington-university-cornerstone-wordpress-website-custom-widgetWith a custom-designed widget to pull upcoming events onto the site's homepage, we elevated the visibility of the calendar so it's easier than ever for students to see exactly when and where they can find academic support.

It's also easier than ever for administrators to keep the site populated with the most relevant content. Using Advanced Custom Fields, we built content manageable "tiles" that can be dragged, dropped and stacked, ensuring the most important information is always emphasized. The tiles are color-coded to distinguish the various services offered by Cornerstone.

We're looking forward to keeping in touch with Cornerstone to see just how much the process of maintaining and accessing the mentoring calendar improves following their upgrade to Modern Tribe.

We think we can help your business define and implement an easier web workflow, too. Just give us a call and we can get started!

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