University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration

Creating a new digital strategy to drive the future of social work

Project description: 

When you're one of the top-ranked Social Work and Social Services schools in the nation, it's imperative to own your voice as a leader in the field. When you are housed within the University of Chicago and your founders were the original creators of much of the social welfare disciplines that are followed nation-wide and globally today, you have an even bigger responsibility to tell your story. The Bowfin team wanted to create a web-presence that elevated the School's award-winning faculty and research efforts, but also supported their strategic enrollment goals. 

Bowfin has a long-standing relationship with the University of Chicago and the colleges within the University. Our work started with the development of the SSA faculty portals, allowing UC team members to manage materials, schedules and communications with students through Drupal CMS.

Since that time, we have supported the development of SEO and recruitment strategies across the globe.  We are currently developing their next-generation website and intranet, leveraging Drupal CMS, as well as integrations with a variety of their existing systems.

 

We work with Bowfin because it's not a typical client/vendor relationship. Their interests are aligned with ours, and they always have our success and the success of our students in mind.
Challenge: 

Starting with a strategy, we met with dozens of stakeholders including staff, faculty, domestic & international students, and broader University staff. Each year, the school receieves hundres of applications from all walks of life. The School needed to better support student needs through a responsive and intuitive user-experience, but it quickly became clear that the breadth, depth and prominence of their work would provide challenges. We worked with their teams to develop a new digital recruitment strategy, website, digital magazine and intranet strategy - all designed to deliver a cohesive digital experience to students in the real world. 

Solution: 

Our advanced team of experts develope the digital strategy, website and digital magazine ahead of schedule and on budget leveraging their existing Drupal platform and infrastructure. The new site launched with great success, providing new opportunities for recruitment and supporting their new enrollment management strategies. With the site and magazine launched, we worked with their internal teams to support the release of a new student experience & intranet - fueling student engagement and support. During the launch, several audience groups voiced an interest in more video content, so the team supplemented the existing site with a video strategy and content adding to the vitality of the site. 

Results: 
Our work with the University of Chicago has driven a variety of enrollment results over the last 3 years.
10%
increase in overall prospective students.
3X
increase in reach for international students
100%
increase in faculty engagement through the new faculty portal