The Best Time of the Academic Year to Switch to Course Catalog Software

July 2, 2019

We work with colleges and universities year round to implement our course catalog and student handbook software, and — in our humble opinion — moving to course catalog software is always a big win for the institution. It provides an accessible, inclusive way for the community to access your catalog or handbook, and it makes managing your content vastly easier on the back end.

That said, depending on your institution, we've found that summer — after the current year's course catalog is completed — is often the best time to move to course catalog software.

Give Stakeholders Time to Review the Catalog, without a Pressing Deadline

Summer is sometimes a slightly slower time at many colleges and universities, which can give stakeholders more time to review and communicate about the catalog. We always take care of the initial catalog setup and content population, so there's no huge tasks for anyone at the college to do, but giving staff time to review the organization and design of the catalog can help you get the most out of your software.

If you already have a PDF version of the catalog you made for the current academic year, it keeps you from having to launch the catalog software on a pressing deadline. Having a few extra weeks to review — and, importantly, communicate to stakeholders — can ensure that you have buy-in throughout the institution before launch.

Give Staff Time to Learn the Editorial Process

Our editing system is intuitive and easy to use, but it still helps to give staff time to learn and adjust to the new process. If you implement your catalog in the summer, when you start working on the next year's catalog — in, say, January or February — staff will be familiar with the catalog and already know how it functions, and it'll be easier for them to learn the editing process — and they'll just be working with editing existing content, which is generally easy and straightforward.

If you want a full-campus editorial buildout, we do all the technical implementation for you, but it helps to give yourself time to decide who's editing what and what you want your approval process to look like. We know that can sometimes take a few meetings, which can take a bit of time.

All That Said, It's Always A Great Time to Move to Course Catalog Software

While moving to course catalog software in summer can make things slightly easier for everyone, it's never a bad time to make the switch. Whatever time of year you're making the switch, you'll always get the benefits of switching to course catalog software.

And if you're trying to meet a deadline for this academic year, we'll work with you to make it happen. We have a well-oiled system for building out catalogs that keeps you from having to do any data entry, and we often work with colleges to make quick turnarounds. If you're interested, contact us using the form below.