Working with Irvine Valley College to better align their website to Guided Pathways, we launched a new Academics section called "Find Your Path". The goal of this project was to create an online space that provided tools to students to discover which academic programs and career paths align with their interests and skills and gain access to career data (such as expected job growth, average salary, etc). Additionally, we created responsive 'program maps' that allow students to get a firsthand look at each academic degree or certificate and the required units/classes for graduating.
We spent the initial months of the project learning more about IrvineValley college and its users. Through discovery workshops, interviews, and focus groups, we learned about who Irvine Valley College was and the different entry points users were arriving at. Understanding that each student had a range of confidence levels in their career goals and varying funds of knowledge surrounding their academic and career options, we developed User Journeys to map out different ways to explore and ultimately arrive at the main goal - a sample program map in their program of choice.
Prior to design, we identified the content needs for the website and developed initial drafts of content for the top-level pages. We then worked with Irvine Valley College faculty to identify the content needs for an academic program page. Based on these findings, we developed a writing template to use to help standardize the information on all academic programs and make it easier for students to explore the program options.
Branding & Design
Working with stakeholders across the campus, we developed the "Find Your Path" brand for the academics section of the website. We introduced colors to identify each of the interest areas and serve as tertiary colors through the website. Once the branding and design visuals were in place, we build a design system for the website. The design system included templates for high-level pages as well as components and modules that we then used and reused in different combinations.
Development + Implementation
We completed the front-end and back-end development of the site within Drupal. The site was built responsively optimizing for various devices (desktop, laptop, tablet, mobile). The site was developed based on Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 AA accessibility guidelines.
Skills and Interest Assessment
Leveraging the Assessments API from LightCast, we developed an onsite Skills and Interest Assessment. The assessment was based on Holland Occupational Themes (RIASEC) and gave students an option to answer 6 or 60 questions about themselves. Upon finishing the assessment, students were given their top RIASEC traits as well as the careers that best match their traits. Since the assessment was onsite, we then could connect the careers with the Irvine Valley College programs that would lead them to those particular careers. Students were also provided a unique ID to return to their assessment results.
We used the Career Coach Careers API from Lightcast (EMSI) to display labor market data and descriptions on the academic program pages and interest area pages of the Irvine Valley College website.
Sample Academic Program Maps
The Irvine Valley College faculty and counselors developed over 185 sample academic program maps for their degree, certificate, and transfer options. Program maps were based on the academic program and then provided multiple plans depending on the ultimate goal of the student (i.e. if the student is planning to transfer to the University of California vs. the California State University).
The program maps were built in the backend of Drupal and we then designed a clean, responsive way to display the maps on the front end.
Launch & Post Launch
We worked with Irvine Valley College’s ITS department and the internal marketing team to create a strategy for the launch of the website and for collaborating with the campus at large. Following the launch, we offered continued support for overall site maintenance.