Overview

Few organizations have as many moving parts as colleges and universities, and communication between each entity can be challenging.  Administration, faculty, staff, marketing, student affairs, and other departments all play an integral and very distinct role, and Landmark College in southern Vermont is no exception. 

One of the things that makes Landmark unique is their mission of helping people with learning disabilities develop strategies for lifelong learning.  They enable students who have struggled their whole lives to become strong, independent, and confident learners.  Fulfilling such a critical need requires strong collaboration between various areas of the college, but Landmark lacked a framework for easy communication of current events and announcements.  They started looking into SharePoint solutions, and after narrowing their options they gave Aerie Consulting a call.  The college soon discovered a vast array of possibilities were just ahead, opportunities that go well beyond communication.

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Challenge

Landmark College had been a huge success for years, but they struggled internally with an aging intranet that offered little to the faculty or students.

“We couldn’t do anything on our platform,” said Database and Applications Analyst Deb Wilson.  “It was completely stagnant, and day-to-day communication with staff and students was really difficult.”

Like most higher education institutions, Landmark College has a steady stream of announcements, events, and news releases to send out.  They wanted a central hub where staff, faculty, and students could get fresh information on all facets of the college, tailored to their individual needs.

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“We created a strong foundation in the beginning, a place where all the old content could be merged and branded.  Now it’s a living, breathing thing.”

 Deb Wilson
 Database and Applications Analyst

Solution & Results

Creating a SharePoint platform that could fulfill so many different needs for so many people seemed like a daunting task to the project managers at Landmark at first, but Aerie Consulting helped bring the big picture into focus.

“They were extremely thorough with understanding our needs.  They presented a mockup of the SharePoint infrastructure they thought we needed – and nailed it,” Wilson said.  “Aerie came on site, met with each individual group, talked about their needs and set their expectations.  When they came back they had a solution that addressed all of it.”

The SharePoint platform accomplished exactly what Landmark College was looking for.  They now have a centralized hub managed by various administrators, each of them charged with keeping fresh, current information on the intranet site.  Most importantly, they have an integrated system that will help the college grow.  Aerie has been with them every step of the way.

“We created a strong foundation in the beginning, a place where all the old content could be merged and branded.  Now it’s a living, breathing thing,” Wilson said.  “Site designers manage their own content, keep it up to date, and publish announcements and events.  The impact on departmental collaboration has been enormous.”

Wilson also notes that as more and more staff buy-in, it has become easier for everyone to work on new projects that will provide more integration than they’ve ever had before.  The latest wave of development is “student central,” where pupils can get quick and easy updates on classes, grades, and events.  Aerie Consulting continues to play a strong role.

“I help them ascertain the needs and they create mockups people vote on and love,” Wilson said.  “We work together and they lay out the pieces and make it happen.  We love it!”

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