Tarrant County College Engages Students with a Mobile App
by Carol Clements on May 29, 2014
Soon after the Tarrant County College (TCC) web team launched a new website in 2009, students and administrators began asking, "Why isn't the site mobile-friendly?"
Robert Heyser, Interim Director of Web Communications for TCC, wasn't surprised to hear it. Visits to the college's website from mobile devices shot up a whopping 16 percent in the eight-month period between August 2012 and March 2013. They'd gone from approximately one in ten visitors accessing their site on a smartphone or tablet to an astonishing one in four.
They weren't the only college in this situation.
"The 2013 E-Expectations Report found that 68 percent of college-bound students said they have viewed college websites on a mobile device," said OmniUpdate CEO Lance Merker. "Not only is mobile use growing, but a full 43 percent of students surveyed use their mobile devices for all their web browsing." Colleges and universities can expect similar growth in 2014 and beyond.
As the sixth largest educational institution in Texas—a state known for big things—Heyser knew TCC needed to change their approach to support their site visitors.
Unfortunately, TCC's web content management system (CMS) at the time could not easily provide a mobile-friendly site, much less make changes on the fly.
"We looked at lots of options, then chose to make the switch to OmniUpdate's CMS, OU Campus," he said. "Using OU Campus meant we could build our mobile site first and implement our main site in the CMS later—when we were ready and resources were available."
Hear from Heyser about how TCC went mobile in the complete Community College Week article, including:
- The TCC team's process in deciding whether native apps, responsive design, or a mobile app was the right fit for their needs
- How Heyser used primary and secondary research to determine what content would be featured on the TCC mobile-friendly web app
- Steps the web team took to build and implement the mobile app
- What the TCC team is working on now