Palomar Community College District (District) recognizes the value and potential of publishing on the Internet via its website. The website is an interactive publication of the District and reflects institutionally set standards for publications. The website represents the key features of the District that will aid in student success and provides relevant and useful content for our staff, faculty, administration and the community we serve.
District faculty, staff and student organizations may create web pages that carry out official District business in support of the District’s mission.
These guidelines apply to web pages hosted on District equipment and representing District divisions, departments, programs or official organizations.
The content of the District’s website results from contributions by institutional, departmental, organizational and individual Content Providers who are responsible for the content of their web pages. In some cases, the District’s website provides access to personal information posted by individual members of the college community. Individuals who develop District web pages must adhere to these guidelines in conjunction with the District’s Board Policy and Administrative Procedures. Additionally, contents of all District web pages must follow District standards regarding nondiscrimination and accessibility.
The District’s Public Affairs Office (PAO) provides general oversight of the District’s website by ensuring a high level of accuracy, quality, and timeliness of information and ensuring proper use of the District’s brand identity. The Academic Technology Resource Center (ATRC) ensures regulatory compliance, technical compatibility, and operational support for the District’s website. In addition, the design and organizational structure of the website are monitored so that the online presence reflects positively upon the District.
To advance the use of the web as a resource for people seeking information both on and off campus, the PAO, Information Services and ATRC encourage and remain aware of other groups who develop course content and other academic, administrative or application content. These departments work in partnership with such groups to ensure their efforts are supported and sustainable.
The visual aesthetic, structural organization and information architecture of the District’s website are defined by website standards published and approved by the District. The organizational branding and messaging aspects of District web pages are managed by the PAO. The District’s branding standards are found at the following location:
The day-to-day development and maintenance of District web pages is subject to these standards and is overseen by the ATRC.
In accordance with the website standards above, the Web Coordinator creates all new General Organization pages and facilitates website maintenance. The Web Coordinator also serves as a resource to Content Developers. Content Developers are current District faculty, staff or students who develop and annually review web page content on behalf of District divisions, departments or organizations. The Web Coordinator is conversant with the website as a whole and provides oversight and guidance to departmental and divisional Content Developers listed in Appendix A regarding the placement and contextual integration of new web-based information within the existing structure.
Each section of the website will be monitored by the Web Coordinator, who will work with Content Developers to be sure that each section is in compliance with the District’s Style Guide and the overall vision for the website.
Web Page Definitions
1. District, Institutional, and General Pages
These pages are the “front end” of the District’s web presence. The branding and messaging aspects of these pages are the responsibility of the PAO in the same manner as other District publications. The information architecture, visual congruity, back-end code structure, and overall site integrity are the responsibility of the ATRC. Appendix A lists the Content Developers assigned to the District, Institutional, and General Pages.
The Web Coordinator creates District web pages that adhere to the existing template and branding standards, receives functional direction from the PAO in the creation of new pages that fall outside the parameters of the existing template and branding standards, and works with Content Developers to ensure adherence to the Style Guide and standardized templates. All new District, Institutional and General Pages built according to the existing template and branding standards are subject to review and/or supervision by the ATRC and the PAO. To that end, the Web Coordinator activities include the following:
- Maintains the overall look and feel of the website, including maintaining the design standards used as a part of the District’s Style Guide;
- Makes changes to the overall structure or layout of the website (new templates, new overall organization, etc.);
- Oversees the website including content audits and standards maintenance;
- Supports the technical, graphical (logo/banner creation), or web-based requirements in accordance with the District’s branding guidelines.
For significant changes to structure, navigation or look of the website, the PAO consults with:
- the Web Coordinator to prioritize institutional and specific departmental needs and provide UX/UI design guidance and/or assistance;
- the Web Advisory Group (two student ambassadors, two faculty members, and two staff members);
- the Executive Cabinet.
2. Division, Non-Instructional Department, and Organization Pages
These pages are created and maintained by Content Developers from the divisions, departments, and organizations. These pages provide an official representation of the District and shall comply with the guidelines in this document and related guidelines available from PAO, Information Services, and ATRC. As with other District publications, these pages must be approved by the appropriate dean or director and by the PAO. Appendix A lists the Content Developers assigned to the Division, Non-Instructional Department, and Organization Pages.
3. Instructional Department/Discipline Pages
Faculty and staff maintain these pages for instructional purposes. These pages may link to off-site pages. Online learning and instructional pages/content are the responsibility of individual faculty members in the same manner as other instructional materials.
The ATRC staff will support instructional departments by helping them create a web presence that is reflective of their disciplines, complies with institutional policies and procedures, and is in accordance with the District’s Style Guide.
4. Directory Pages
These pages are maintained by the PAO for District-related purposes and provide information about an individual’s role at the District.
5. Professional Pages
These pages are the responsibility of the individual faculty or staff members and provide a platform for additional professional information about the individual and/or about their role and responsibilities at the District. These pages may link to off-site pages and must comply with institutional policies and procedures.
6. Off-Site Pages
Off-site pages are hosted outside the palomar.edu domain. These pages are outside the jurisdiction of the District and are the sole responsibility of the individual or organization responsible for posting the originating link.
Legal and Institutional Compliance
All Content Developers will adhere to relevant federal and state laws and the policies and procedures of the Palomar Community College District.
Copyright and trademark laws apply to online publishing, as well as to print publishing. Content Developers must have permission to publish the information, graphics, images, audio, video or photographs on the pages they manage if they are not the copyright or trademark owner, unless exempted by law (such as TEACH Act (Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act of 2002) or content that is in the public domain). Online publications are subject to the same District policies and standards as print publications. The Academic Technology Committee provides feedback on copyright law as it relates to faculty use of online and digital media in the classroom.
Palomar Community College District computing facilities, including its websites, constitute a “non-public forum” and therefore the District can impose reasonable regulations regarding the content and appearance of any and all web pages hosted on District-owned or contracted computing facilities as required by law. Nothing in these Guidelines shall be construed to limit the District’s commitment to the principles of academic freedom.
Individual units within the District may define content specifications for web pages within their area. Such specifications must be consistent with this document but may provide additional detail and/or restrictions. District Content Developers are responsible to ensure all published information is accurate and current.
Templates are provided to help Content Developers create and manage web pages. Page management tools are also available along with guidance and support from the District’s Web Coordinator and the PAO. As with other District publications, web pages must be developed using an approved template and be approved for content by the PAO and by the appropriate Dean, Director, or designee.
- Each main or home page of a department or organization must include complete contact information.
- Non-District sponsored advertising, solicitation or for-profit activities are prohibited.
- Excessive computer resource consumption that impairs the overall server, network or system performance is prohibited.
Instructional pages are considered to be instructional materials. Faculty can work with their Content Developer to post their own instructional pages with assistance as needed from the Web Coordinator. Photos and content must be relevant to the instructional subject matter.
Templates are provided for instructional pages to facilitate page development by faculty as well as to offer a consistent appearance to these pages across the District’s website. Instructional pages must incorporate District website navigation utility for the user, including at a minimum, the District’s branded navigation bar.
The District has adopted WordPress as the standard web development platform. Therefore, pages shall be developed using approved themes within this framework. Any web page development outside this framework must be developed in coordination with the Web Coordinator. District file naming conventions and image format standards are available from the Web Coordinator. Templates are provided for department, program or organizational pages, as well as for professional pages.
Photo and Content Guidelines and Process:
Once a page has been approved for content, the page will be verified by the Web Content Developer or Web Coordinator for accessibility in accordance with the Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG) standard, as well as for functionality and technical stability. During the approval or verification process, the Web Content Developer may be asked to add appropriate navigation links to District standard pages or to adjust images or content if needed to conform to publication guidelines, technical or accessibility standards. The Web Coordinator or appropriate Web Content Developer will then publish the page to the Palomar College website.
If the content is determined by the Web Coordinator or PAO to be orphaned, obsolete or “stale,” such content can be deactivated or removed from the website in coordination with the Web Content Developer. Photos and content must meet District and brand guidelines. Guidelines for photos can be found here:
Misuse and Errors
The District computer services, network resources, and computer facilities to enhance its educational and administrative processes. Complaints alleging misuse of District web pages or related technology resources will be directed to the appropriate supervisor or administrator for action. The District reserves the right to deactivate any page or link from the website that deviates from this document, District policies, and procedures, or that violates copyright or other state/federal laws, or that contains malicious or unsafe code. The Web Coordinator will notify the Content Developer and appropriate administrator of page or link deactivation. Incorrect or non-working links or typographical errors will be resolved in the most expeditious manner possible through consultation between the Web Coordinator and the Content Developer.
The following are a few examples that violate the law, district policy or procedures, or both:
- libelous statements
- use and distribution of pirated software
- destructive software
- illegally used copyrighted images or text