Founded in 1910, North Carolina Central University (NCCU) prepares students to become global leaders who transform communities. A public, historically black university in Durham, NC, NCCU offers 81 degree programs. NCCU requires all students to volunteer in the community for 120 hours as part of their education; last year, students gave more than 200,000 hours of service, valued at nearly $3 million. Washington Monthly ranks NCCU in the top 40 in the nation for contributions to the public good.
With their public site and internal portal built on a homegrown CMS atop Adobe ColdFusion 9, NCCU’s platform made site updates complicated. And NCCU’s in-house ColdFusion development talent was moving on; finding other resources to support the sunsetting software would be difficult, if not impossible. It was clear that NCCU needed to quickly shift to a new, more agile platform, but what wasn’t clear was their next best step.
NCCU’s previous CMS platform didn’t allow for the level of agility the University wanted. And like many universities, NCCU’s lean web team meant that allocating additional resources toward making the existing site work or serving as the single point for all site changes simply wasn’t in the cards. The team wanted a new platform that could support their agile goals, meet their security, version control and compliance requirements and provide them with access to resources that would effectively augment their in-house staff.
NCCU’s web team had previously demoed 12 intranet platforms before ultimately selecting Drupal and Acquia for their intranet solution, so when it was time to revamp their public-facing site, they returned to Acquia, ultimately choosing to build their internal and external sites on Acquia Cloud Enterprise. Acquia Cloud Enterprise’s open source community was especially helpful for NCCU’s small web team, allowing them to take part in powerful collaboration and problem-solving with the EDU community and the larger Acquia community.
Currently, the myEOL portal is in soft launch and the public site will launch late summer 2019. In preparing both sites, NCCU’s web team has been very pleased with their experience with Acquia’s technical support and developing in Acquia Cloud Enterprise. Building site elements takes half the time it did in ColdFusion, and administering user and version control has been painless. Technical support migrating from ColdFusion has been a true partnership, with Acquia being able to share step-by-step best practices. The web team has been able to streamline workflows and be more responsive, providing solutions to stakeholders more quickly. And Acquia’s extensive documentation and training are helping everyone learn and improve, helping to make the case for investing in additional professional development. The team is looking forward to both the myEOL portal and the public-facing nccu.edu going live and to full launch.