Case Study – Wallace State Community College
Applying for accreditation can be a major lift for higher education institutions, especially when it comes to preparing your course catalog for a formal review. However, your catalog system can be tailored around your accrediting institution to meet many of their requirements by default. We recently teamed up with Wallace State Community College to launch a new course catalog that adhered to the specific accreditation requirements of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). After launching, we spoke with Kristen Holmes, Wallace State’s Vice President for Students and CMO, about their experience switching to Clean Catalog software and how it has impacted their accreditation renewal process moving forward.
Prior to switching to Clean Catalog, Wallace State was using a PDF catalog. Holmes was unhappy with the upkeep required to manage their previous catalog, stating “our process prior to Clean Catalog was very manual and labor intensive, with no ability to distribute the work, which was done by one person.” Not only did a PDF format present issues to efficiently managing catalog content, but it proved to be a hurdle when applying for accreditation renewals. Their previous catalog required in-depth reviews scanning for incomplete content, missing information, and time-consuming edits prior to submission. Since these edits had to be routed through one person with access to the living PDF document, the process was tedious and required many admin hours to complete. Prior to building out their new catalog, the Wallace State team emphasized the need for their new catalog to address some of these pain points.
Once Wallace State shared their existing PDF catalog, our team began the migration process to Clean Catalog software. During the buildout, we frequently referenced the SACSCOC’s website for accreditation requirements and formatted the catalog site to best reflect those. We even integrated a custom Accreditation Reporting page specific to SACSCOC requirements. Once a shell of the site was ready, we began collaborating with the Wallace State team to customize the design of their site. Holmes summed up their experience by saying “the Clean Catalog team has been amazing. They converted our old catalog to this digital platform for us and continue to provide a quick support response whenever we need it. Based on our experience with Clean Catalog, I wholeheartedly recommend the product.”
Knowing that preparing for accreditation renewals was a major pain point of their previous catalog, our team built Wallace State’s new catalog to meet many SACSCOC accreditation requirements by default. We disclosed affiliation status with SACSCOC on the catalog site, prominently displayed archived catalog versions, and ensured that all required pages were easily found using the site’s search function. Even further, we formatted the back-end of their catalog site to facilitate simple, inline editing so that adjustments could easily be made while preparing accreditation. Built-in features, such as Missing Information Reports and a Course Catalog Reporting Dashboard, also allow their team to quickly identify broken links, accessibility issues, and pages that have missing or incomplete information. These tools will not only make preparing for accreditation reviews a breeze, but also simplify managing their catalog during the academic year.
Holmes and her team are thrilled with the backend of their new catalog site, describing it as “much easier and more efficient, saving time and effort by distributing the workload and streamlining the approval process. It’s a very intuitive platform so little training is needed for the average user to master it.” Even so, the Clean Catalog team continues to provide support to Wallace State’s staff as needed, offering training sessions for any new staff members who need onboarding.
After launching their new course catalog, Wallace State’s staff can expect to regain countless admin hours previously spent managing their previous PDF catalog. With built-in tools to filter by incomplete content, review past revisions, and search for required content, their staff will be able to delegate tasks and efficiently prepare their catalog for accreditation renewal. The automatic PDF generation feature will also allow them to easily print the catalog in its entirety during accreditation on-site visits, a final step of the SACSCOC review process. The combination of these tools and the customizations of their catalog have Wallace State one step ahead the next time their institution is up for an accreditation renewal. The Clean Catalog team had such a blast teaming up with Wallace State and we are so excited to see how their new catalog system continues to serve their team in the future.
Vice President for Students and CMO