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DCCCD’s New Historic Catalogs Page: A Blast from the Past

 

Contact: Ann Hatch
214-378-1819; ahatch@dcccd.edu

For immediate release — June 29, 2012

(DALLAS) — A blast from the past — the Dallas County Community College District’s past catalogs, that is — reached the district’s students and employees in May with the launch of the Historical Catalog Project. A special DCCCD team spent three years gathering, compiling and posting the first phase of a two-part effort that will enable both students and employees to access and use the old documents.

“The Historical Catalog Project Team made (and preserved) history with the launch of phase I of its unique Historical Printed Catalog Collection website. The 46-year collection will provide students, faculty, staff and colleges/locations with access to online historic college catalogs — eliminating the need to keep, find and/or rely on old print copies of DCCCD or college catalogs,” said Brenda Welcome, manager of Web communications for DCCCD’s office of educational affairs, who led the team.

To find the new historic collection on DCCCD’s website, visit the Current, Active and Historical Catalogs Web page.

The effort involved several years of work and multiple steps so that the project team could produce the new Web page. Team members secured a clean, complete copy of each catalog (with a check-out system to track them); used quality assurance measures as the documents were returned from the scanning company the group used; rescanned the covers; set up digital files; laid out plans for the website (including search features); created Web banners; coordinated the look and feel for all previous catalogs so that they would match current ones; tested the sites and PDFs; and launched the finished product.

The online approach to posting old and current catalogs saves time, money and paper. For example, the first printed catalog — called a bulletin — for El Centro College was 53 pages (1966-1967); the first districtwide catalog was published in 1981. Today, the DCCCD catalog would have more than 2,500 pages and would weigh several pounds, according to Welcome.

Using the new Current, Active and Historical Catalogs page means, said Welcome, that students, staff members and institutions that receive a variety of documents from the district (such as transcripts and applications) don’t have to rely on old hard copies of DCCCD or college historic catalogs. Using the new resource also means that students won’t have to wait to have their courses evaluated by other colleges and universities that receive those documents (especially when they are trying to register for courses outside DCCCD) — and those institutions won’t have to wait for course information in order to evaluate student transcripts from DCCCD.

“No more digging through boxes or desk drawers to find descriptions of old courses. No need to safeguard those precious hard copies of old catalogs,” added Welcome.

Phase II of the project is under way and will offer exciting new features; more information about the second phase will be shared as work progresses. Welcome, who works in educational affairs at the District Office, led the effort and thanked all DCCCD staff who helped during usability testing for the new website, including the Chancellor’s Cabinet, the Degree Audit User’s Group, the Academic Advising Council, TSI coordinators, the Registrar’s Council, the Dual Credit Council, District transcript evaluators and the RLC Academic Advising Team.

The historical project team members include: Brenda Welcome, DCCCD educational affairs office, project team leader and information architect; Cody Ridgway, District Service Center programmer and Web developer; and Tara Kirk, DSC team leader for records management and former DCCCD records management employee.

Project support team members and their roles included:

District Office

  • Dr. Sharon Blackman (administrative-level support)
  • Jonathan Blundell (researcher)
  • Velma Hargis (administrative-level support)
  • Dr. Andrew Jones, former employee (administrative-level support)
  • Kimberly Jones (researcher)
  • Daniel Medford (researcher; historical catalog Web banner designer)
  • Don Perry (administrative-level support)
  • Lori Steward (researcher)

District Service Center

  • Charlotte Cherry, retired employee (catalog archive)
  • Robb Dean, retired employee (administrative-level support)
  • J.D. Haight (administrative-level support)
  • Dawn Hellmund (SharePoint search feature)
  • Marc Knox (online information systems support)
  • Dorothy Pool (catalog library)
  • Guido Roncal (quality assurance; scanning)
  • Diane Yates (records management)

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Fast Facts: DCCCD Current, Active and Historical Catalogs Web Page

  • The collection includes all catalogs (district and colleges).
  • In the collection, users can click on any college logo to view a specific college historical collection of catalogs.
  • From fall 1966 through summer 2002, the print catalog was the official catalog of all DCCCD institutions.
  • In fall 2002, the online catalog became the official catalog for all DCCCD institutions, although a print catalog was still published until summer 2006.
  • Historical print or archived online catalogs ranging from academic years 1966-1967 to 2007-2008 are no longer active.
  • Catalog years 1966-2006 are available in PDF and are searchable within each PDF.
  • Catalog years 2003 to the present are online catalogs.

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