UA General Catalog Gets a Facelift

UA General Catalog Gets a Facelift

By University Information Technology Services
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A task force came together to reimagine the UA's online General Catalog.
A task force came together to reimagine the UA's online General Catalog.

Finding information about UA academic programs is now easier thanks to a newly redesigned General Catalog, which launched on June 1.

The online catalog – frequently accessed by students, parents, faculty and advisers – has been updated to reflect the University brand and includes an improved search function and a new ability to sort by policy, academic career or alphabetically.

The catalog will always be available at catalog.arizona.edu, eliminating the need to reset internet browser bookmarks on a yearly basis.

The new General Catalog includes the UA schedule of classes for all credit courses, the academic calendar, course descriptions and a list of all academic programs. Also included is information about academic support services, student programs and policies, student engagement and leadership opportunities, as well as information related to student safety, health and wellness. 

Gail Burd, senior vice provost for academic affairs, helped lead the effort to create a more comprehensive, user-friendly General Catalog by convening a campus task force to reimagine the catalog. The goal was to create a site where students, parents and the larger community could learn not only about UA's academic policies and degree programs, but also about the wealth of academic opportunities and support services available to them.

The task force included representatives from Academic and Curricular Affairs, the Department of Physiology, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the Dean of Students Office, Online Program Development and Student Engagement Initiative, the Office of the Registrar and the Graduate College. They worked closely with many campus units to bring the vision for the new General Catalog to fruition. 

"It took a 'village' to do this project, and it was a truly collaborative effort," Burd said. "Advisers, faculty, staff and students from across campus worked hard since December, plus a great team at University Information Technology Services did an amazing development and implementation job to pull all the great ideas together in a clean, efficient and functional website for our students."

This is the biggest overhaul to the General Catalog since it first was made available online in the early 1990s, Burd said.

The General Catalog redesign project leveraged UA Sites, a new Drupal-based suite of University-branded web tools and templates. UITS Campus Web Services and University Relations Digital Marketing have been working together to develop UA Sites.

"By using the UA Sites web platform as the foundation for the General Catalog, we were able to develop this site in six weeks and avoid using an external vendor, which was a cost savings to the University," said Donna Bieg, assistant director for UITS Campus Web Services. "This project has been a great proof of concept for the success of UA Sites, and we look forward to officially launching the UA Sites service in collaboration with University Relations and the UA Digital Group later this summer."

The campus is invited to submit feedback about the new General Catalog. Email suggestions or questions to Cindy Williams at williamscindy@email.arizona.edu.  

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