Grand Rapids Community College
GRCC wanted students to feel welcome.
group of people working together

The Project

GRCC transforms lives and challenges inequality through accessible, affordable college education.

Kalamuna led a complete redesign of GRCC’s Drupal 8 website to attract new students, support and retain current students, and connect with the broader community. Areas of focus included organizing site information, improving accessibility, and creating a visual design that connected with students.

Within the first quarter after launch, traffic to the “Apply to GRCC” page increased by 90.5% over the previous year.

The Big Goal

Since 1921, Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) has been making post-secondary education more inclusive.

They wanted their website to appeal to both prospective and current students. Prospective students need to understand whether GRCC’s programs and classes are a good fit for their learning and career ambitions. Existing students need easy access to support services, financial aid, and whatever else is required to complete their intended academic programs. The navigation needed to be intuitive for everyone.

This project included a highly collaborative restructuring of the site’s information architecture, reimagining the brand’s visual expression online, and retheming their existing Drupal 8 website.

Explore content intuitively
mockups on desktop tablet and mobile

In a highly collaborative process that spanned spreadsheets, content maps, and group sketching sections, we created a student-centered information architecture for GRCC. Now, existing students benefit from a thoughtfully-structured student resources submenu offering single-click access to landing pages full of helpful content. Prospective students can explore the over 145 programs that GRCC offers by both subject area and academic pathway. This new See Programs section transforms their previously manually-updated, department-organized content into an easy-to-use tool integrated with the academic catalogue. Within the first quarter after launch, traffic to the See Programs page grew exponentially, over 100x the previous year.

Design for inclusion
design board

Inspired and informed by our Discovery findings, we created moodboards to shape how GRCC’s brand would be expressed online. The final visual design features images of GRCC’s diverse student population with a simple, clean aesthetic. Beyond meeting WCAG 2.1 AA web accessibility standards, the new site earned a 96.3 accessibility score from Siteimprove, well above the industry standard of 77.

Drive enrollment
mockups desktop and tablet

The new Apply to GRCC page helps prospective students see themselves at GRCC. Users can select enrollment information pages specifically targeted to their needs or schedule an appointment with an admissions specialist. Within the first quarter after launch, traffic to this page nearly doubled over the previous year.

Empower faculty and staff
design mockups on desktop and mobile

We prioritized faculty and staff needs when designing the site’s admin experience, using a structured, component-based approach to balance ease with flexibility. Well-crafted permissions and editorial workflows allow content to be reviewed before publishing. We built the site alongside their in-house developer, working together as a single, unified team.

Hear from Leigh.

This quick video summarizes Leigh’s experience working with Kalmuna on this project.


“Before working with Kalamuna, our website was unnavigable. Kalamuna was able to find a solution that could fit the needs of our internal stakeholders and, more importantly, our students. They worked as an extension of our team, as everyone was very well-versed in the higher ed industry. After the redesign launched, I watched users become more intentional across our website. That is the biggest triumph for me. I have coworkers saying, ‘I just open our website and smile now everytime I do.’”

-Leigh Jajuga
Director of Web Content and Digital Strategy, GRCC