Switching from Acalog to Clean Catalog — Russell Sage College

Russell Sage College switched from Acalog to Clean Catalog to reduce the workload on their staff, get an improved user experience, and get an all-batteries-included software package.

Russell Sage College recently switched from Acalog to Clean Catalog for their course catalog software — a process that took less than 6 weeks with minimal effort from the college’s faculty and staff. Learn how Sage made leaps in accessibility, versatility, and usability when they transitioned to Clean Catalog software.

Before and After

Before we get into the details, a brief look at how we transformed Sage's previous Acalog catalog into a modern, great-looking catalog:

Before: Sage's Acalog Homepage Before: Sage's Acalog Homepage

After: Sage's Clean Catalog Homepage< After: Sage's Clean Catalog Homepage

Before: Sage's Acalog Course View Before: Individual Course View

After: Sage's Clean Catalog Course View After: Individual Course View

Before: Sage's Acalog Google Lighthouse Score Before: Sage's Acalog Google Lighthouse Score

After: Sage's Clean Catalog Lighthouse Score After: Sage's Clean Catalog Lighthouse Score

The Challenges

Prior to switching to Clean Catalog, Russell Sage College used Acalog for their online course catalog. However, their Acalog catalog lacked the accessibility and user-friendliness that Russell Sage wanted to provide to its students, faculty, and community. A significant shortcoming in their previous catalog was that it lacked a mobile-friendly design and a responsiveness to different screen sizes. For most colleges, approximately half of all website traffic comes from mobile devices, so having a catalog that can be easily accessed on cell phones and tablets is vital. The unresponsiveness of Sage’s previous catalog not only deterred users, but it also hurt their website’s ability to gain traction on search engines such as Google.

The college also had to jump through hoops to make updates and improvements to their previous catalog. Acalog required expensive upgrades to achieve higher levels of functionality and accessibility. Sage’s IT Department also needed to devote significant time to implement these upgrades.

Our Solutions

The Sage staff communicated that improving accessibility was a top priority for their new catalog. Our team delivered on that end-goal by building a fully responsive, mobile-friendly, well-structured catalog. The new catalog is simple to navigate and search, and also includes a one-click PDF generation feature. Users are able to print the information for a specific course, degree, program, or the catalog in its entirety. For simplicity of catalog management, the PDF versions are synced with the live version of the catalog, so there will never be multiple catalog versions circulating.

Once the functionality of the catalog was built, our team collaborated with Russell Sage staff to tailor the catalog to their preferences and brand standards. We implemented the college’s branding and signature lime green into the website’s design so that the catalog appearance is unique to the college. The catalog format and navigation were also customized to complement Sage’s curriculum structure.

Our team also built an online student handbook into the catalog, at no additional charge. By having the course catalog and handbook live together, users can search the website for any information they’re interested in without having to navigate between different documents both online and offline. This also simplifies content management for Sage’s staff, who can edit all publicly accessible information from one easy-to-use portal. Workflows and approval processes have also been established to streamline the process of adding, deleting, and editing content.

The Process

Clean Catalog’s quick, hands-off transition process was a selling point for Russell Sage when considering upgrading their course catalog. After years of paying for upgrades to their Acalog catalog, which their IT team was then required to implement themselves, the Russell Sage staff wanted a full-service, all-inclusive solution for their course catalog. They found that solution with Clean Catalog, all at a more affordable rate than their previous catalog provider. The process kicked off with the Sage team handing off their Acalog catalog to our team, and we took care of the rest. From start to finish, the catalog migration and build-out was completed in less than 6 weeks.

Once the catalog was finalized, several training sessions were held to teach the college’s staff how to operate the back-end of the catalog. Clean Catalog has an open-door policy on trainings, offering them anytime staff members need assistance or a refresher on catalog management. However, the Sage faculty have found the software very intuitive and easy to manage, even for less tech-savvy individuals.

Looking Ahead

Russell Sage College is currently accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). When their accreditation is up for renewal, the process of submitting their course offerings and accessibility requirements for approval will be simplified based on the structure of their new catalog. In fact, Clean Catalog’s software ensures that each catalog meets WCAG 2.1 Level AA and Revised 508 Standards by default.

Moving forward, the Clean Catalog team will also provide ongoing revisions and updates to the college’s catalog, at no additional charge. The process is hands-off for the IT department, freeing up bandwidth to tackle other projects. Our team also encourages all clients to request updates and advancements that they would find beneficial, as they continue using their new catalog software.