Why create and manage dozens of websites at different colleges and universities when you can consolidate all the information into one comprehensive resource? That’s the thinking behind the innovative Texas Health Education Service (TXHES) website, which serves as a clearinghouse for news and other helpful information for students interested in an advanced health profession program at a Texas higher education institution. Even better, when prospective students are ready to apply, they can do so with a single application provided accessed through the Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service (TMDSAS) website or to the pipeline program Joint Admission Medical Program (JAMP) website.
It’s an ingenious way to provide students with a streamlined application process and the resources they need to succeed in an advanced degree program while enriching the pool of applicants—especially those from marginalized and underserved communities.
We were impressed that so many colleges and universities chose Omni CMS as their higher ed partner. Seeing that overall portfolio of schools really solidified our decision.
increase in new visitors on TMDSAS website.
increase in average session duration on TXHES and JAMP websites.
increase in page views on TXHES, TMDSAS and JAMP websites.
Challenge: “We Were Stuck with an Antiquated Dreamweaver Platform”However, not so long ago, the TXHES, JAMP, and TMDSAS websites were clunky and rarely up to date thanks to an antiquated Dreamweaver platform. “Changing something as simple as the date was difficult and tedious,” said Enrique Jasso, Jr., associate director and podcast host for TXHES. “Using Dreamweaver complicated everything—and I’m a programmer! We were stuck at a point well beyond just giving it a fresh coat of paint and changing a few design elements. ”
Omni CMS: “Impressed by Its Portfolio of Colleges and Universities”
Jasso and his colleague, Weylin Neyra, a digital media designer and web specialist, began shopping around for content management systems (CMS) to solve their problems, eventually choosing Modern Campus Omni CMS for four distinct reasons: higher ed portfolio and focus, feature capabilities, ease of use and customer service.
Knowing that Modern Campus works exclusively with the higher ed market was a big selling point for Jasso and his team. They found it reassuring to learn that Omni CMS had built-in capabilities and nuances designed specifically to address the needs and challenges of higher ed.
“We were impressed that so many colleges and universities chose Omni CMS as their higher ed partner,” Jasso said. “Seeing that overall portfolio of schools really solidified our decision.”
Challenge: “Keeping Track of Everything Was a Nightmare”
Before implementing Omni CMS, Jasso and Neyra struggled with keeping the workflow organized and the website up to date.
“Keeping track of everything was a nightmare, and it really undercut the overall purpose of being an information hub,” Jasso said. “If we couldn’t even keep our dates accurate, why would people trust us?”
Omni CMS: “More Built-In Features Than Other Vendors”
With Omni CMS in place, Jasso had numerous tools purposely built for higher ed at his disposal.
“It was amazing to see what we could accomplish with the right tools in place to restructure our website from the ground up,” Jasso said. “Omni CMS offers so many more built-in features than other vendors.”
In particular, Omni CMS was instrumental in streamlining day-to-date updates.
“Being able to make global edits throughout the site is so helpful, especially since we’re a small team,” Neyra said. “We used to have ten different templates per website that had to be manually updated. And both websites had 300-500 pages each. Now, we simply make edits to one template, and it updates them all.”
Challenge: “Difficult and Tedious CMS”
The TXHES, JAMP and TMDSAS websites require multiple changes a day—sometimes as many as several dozen. Furthermore, update requests come from dozens of graduate programs at universities across Texas that use the JAMP and TMDSAS websites for application submissions and as a student resource center.
Keeping up with so many changes took away from the real mission of the organization. It forced the team to focus its valuable time on maintenance, rather than on student service, meaningful partner engagement and website improvement.
“It was difficult and tedious to do the most basic changes,” Jasso said.
Omni CMS: “Nimble and Easy to Update”
Implementing Omni CMS eliminated the fuss over unwieldy tools and shifted the team toward their real purpose: supporting students as they made decisions and moved toward an advanced healthcare profession.
“The Omni CMS platform makes it a lot easier to update the website and gives us the ability to be more mobile and active in a virtual environment,” Jasso said. “Omni CMS was also nimble enough to resolve all of the ongoing issues that we had experienced in the past. Plus, being able to have multiple content contributors and decentralized content updates really positioned us well to address the challenges that arose during the pandemic.”
The Omni CMS platform made it a lot easier to update the website and gives us the ability to be much more mobile and active in a virtual environment.
Challenge: “Pretty Much on Our Own”
Before Omni CMS, Jasso and his team had no technical support for system problems, and because the Dreamweaver system was so old, there was no community of users to turn to for help. Furthermore, the TXHES, JAMP, and TMDSAS websites are stand-alone resources for multiple colleges, which means that there is no designated IT department to call when something goes wrong.
“We were pretty much on our own,” Jasso said.
Omni CMS: “Customer Service with a Personalized Touch”
By implementing Omni CMS, the TXHES, JAMP, and TMDSAS team has a full customer support department of higher ed IT specialists at the ready.
“They were so helpful with the day-to-day changes,” Jasso said. “The commitment that we’ve seen from every single person that we’ve interacted with reinforces the feeling that they want to see our vision come to life and make sure our needs are met. They are always ready to collaborate and find solutions, and I’ve never felt that we’ve had an idea too broad or too far out there for them to entertain. I wasn’t expecting that kind of personalized touch with a CMS provider that has such a large, impressive portfolio of higher ed customers.”
3 Additional Benefits of Modern Campus Omni CMS
Benefit 1: Student Engagement
Once the team had the Omni CMS in place, they began reaping additonal benefits, beyond what they initially expected. One in particular was the increase in student engagement.
“First and foremost, we are educators, so we want to take the resources we have and share them with as many people as possible,” Jasso said. “Students don’t read, so having a CMS that makes it so much easier to have the information accessible and interconnected was an unexpected benefit. It makes our website so much more effective.”
In the first year with Omni CMS, the JAMP website improved its average time on page engagement by 325%—an exceptional increase in the time students actually spent on the website. Once students find the information they need, they spend much more time reading it instead of moving on to another website.
In the first year with Omni CMS, the JAMP website improved its average time on page engagement by 325%.
Benefit 2: Expanded Reach of Information to Minority and Marginalized Students
One of the main missions of the TXHES and JAMP websites is to help economically disadvantaged students understand the application process and requirements for applying.
Before onboarding Modern Campus Omni CMS, designing a new site or pages specifically targeting certain populations was complicated and time consuming—and the team didn’t have any data to rely on for making such decisions. But with Omni CMS, Jasso and Neyra can build an entire website section in a day if needed to address a specific concern that they’ve identified through reporting within the CMS. According to Jasso, this represents a major differentiator for the universities supported by the TXHES and JAMP websites.
“That’s really what sets up apart nationally,” Jasso said. “We can now move quickly and deliberately to take the data and build pages of content in a way that’s directly applicable to the students.”
With Modern Campus Omni CMS, TMDSAS page views skyrocketed by over 46%, and unique pageviews by 31%. Bounce rates decreased by 23% to 33%. And students returned to the website for longer periods of time, with the average number of sessions per user improving by 25%. These numbers indicate that because more students are able to find what they are looking for, they spend more time exploring all that the website has to offer.
decease in TMDSAS website bounce rate.
increase in unique page views on TMDSAS website.
increase in the average number of sessions per user on the TMDSAS website.
Benefit 3: Poised for Future Growth
With Modern Campus Omni CMS in place, both TXHES and TMDSAS are now positioned for growth.
A year into having Omni CMS as their platform, the websites have seen a marked increase in engagement from both students and advisors throughout the country.
“We are getting our information out to hundreds of thousands of people, not just those who are applying right now but those who are applying in the future,” Jasso said.
After implementing Omni CMS, the TXHES and JAMP websites saw their average session duration jumped 900%—from 15 seconds to 2:30. Pages views also increased from 1.93 to 3.11 per session—a 61% increase. More students are now visiting the TXHES and JAMP websites for information.
Jasso couldn’t be happier: “Because of Omni CMS, for the first time we are positioned in such a way that we can really blow open the doors on what we can accomplish.”
About Modern Campus
Modern Campus, the innovator driving Omni CMS and Destiny One, empowers higher education institutions to thrive when radical change is required to successfully respond to lower student enrollments and revenue, rising costs, crushing student debt and even school closures.
Powered by the industry’s leading “student first” modern learner engagement platform, presidents and provosts can create pathways for lifelong learning, while marketing and IT leaders can deliver Amazon-like personalization and instant fulfillment. Award-winning products and average annual revenue growth of 19% for its 550+ higher education customers have earned Modern Campus a 98% retention rate and a reputation for customer obsession.