Integrating Course Catalog & Curriculum Management Software with Your University Website

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Clean Catalog’s course catalog and curriculum management software typically lives at its own URL as a stand-alone site, and colleges and universities can choose from a number of different ways to integrate their catalog with their website. Below are a couple of the more common ways of using your catalog content on your college’s website without doing any additional data entry.

The fastest — and most common — way of integrating our course catalog software with your college or university’s website is to just link to it. That is, Clean Catalog will live at catalog.yourschool.edu, and on your main website you’ll have a page called “catalog” (or something like that) with a link to your catalog at catalog.yourschool.edu.

Typically colleges also link to more than just the homepage, though. For example, if there’s an accounting program page on their main college website, their may be a link that says “click here for full degree requirements,” which then links to the accounting degree page on your Clean Catalog site. For example, Bevill State Community College has an Electrical Systems Technology page on their main website, which then has a link to the Electrical Systems Technology page on their catalog site.

While not the fanciest solution, linking works well for everyone involved. It’s easy to set up, Clean Catalog links never break even if URLs change, and users of your college website are able to easily find the content they need.

The Integrated Way: Connect to Our API

Clean Catalog provides an easy-to-use API that allows developers to pull information from catalog sites for use in other systems, like a student information system or the college website. This lets you manage all your data in one place while still using the information however you’d like in another system.

For example, River Valley Community College uses Clean Catalog’s API to pull course requirement information for degrees from their catalog site onto their website. On their website, program pages — like their accounting program — have a “Program of Study” tab that pulls information directly from their catalog site. When the catalog site is updated, that information updates automatically on their program page.

While this system can take some developer time up front — River Valley did it as part of a website redesign — once it’s built it’s an elegant way to re-use catalog content on your website without doing any additional work.

Other Options — iFrames, Manually Duplicating

We typically recommend one of the first two options for integrating your catalog with your website, but there are a few other options we’ve seen colleges use. If you want, you can embed catalog pages on your website with an iFrame, and we can provide options for styling the pages within your site. This isn’t the most elegant solution, but it can be a quick way to get content from your catalog onto your website without doing any duplicate work.

In some cases, it makes sense to just copy and paste from your catalog site onto your website. Doing double-entry like this is obviously less than ideal, but Clean Catalog’s markup is simple and easy to copy, so it’ll translate smoothly to other formats. Typically, though, this is a temporary solution while a more robust integration is done.

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