Community College Introduces “Tough” New Student Handbook
When they arrive at the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) in Baltimore, Maryland for the beginning of the school year, all entering freshmen receive a student handbook, which is designed to assist students in acclimating themselves to their new academic environment.
Last year, college officials decided to update and expand the Student Handbook and to make it less subject to normal “wear and tear.”
They found the solution to this “tough assignment” in yupo synthetic paper, manufactured by yupo Corporation America in Chesapeake, Virginia. As a synthetic, yupo is 100% waterproof and highly resistant to tearing and to staining. In addition, yupo is acknowledged for its superior surface finish characteristics.
“We wanted our new student handbook to be viewed by incoming students as an indispensable tool,” says Margaret McKinley, Publication Designer in CCBC’s Marketing Department. The new handbook reflected extensive planning, including focus groups the Marketing Department conducted among members of the student body. At the top of a long list of ideas that evolved from these sessions was the suggestion that the handbook include a semester planning section.
“Once we decided to incorporate a new planner section, we knew the handbook had to be very durable,” McKinley says. “As you can imagine, these student handbooks are subjected to a great deal of abuse and the inclusion of the semester planner was only going to increase wear and tear.”
McKinley was familiar with yupo but had never specified it. When she mentioned the handbook project to a friend who is also a printer, he immediately recommended yupo for the cover. “In fact, he raved about yupo,” she recalls. “He touted it as pretty much indestructible. You really can’t rip it and it holds its own against pretty much everything, so I was convinced that yupo was the perfect cover material.
The spiral bound handbook measures 6″ by 9″ and is a hefty 188 pages. The content is organized within seven different sections, ranging from the Chancellor’s “Welcome Message” to financial aid information to codes of conduct. The handbook also includes maps of each of CCBC’s various campuses along with listings of important phone numbers and addresses. The largest section is devoted to the semester planner.
The arresting four color cover is printed on yupo 86 lb. cover stock and features photographs of students and teachers against a sharp blue and white background. The entire book was printed and converted by The Printing Corporation of America, located in Timonium, Maryland.
Based on reports from follow-up focus groups, the new student handbooks are proving to be very popular. The handbook also is proving to be quite tough. “Our students are referring to the planning section on a regular basis,” McKinley says. “The handbooks are being constantly shoved into and pulled out of their book bags and knapsacks but they’re holding up quite well, just as we expected.”
“But there’s more to this story than durability,” says McKinley. “YUPO’s got an outstanding whiteness to it, a nice sheen, and that really makes the cover colors pop. The photos are very true to real life, very vivid, and the color quality is great.
“People have called and sent us e-mails about how great the handbooks look. Truth is, once we saw yupo, we knew this was the way we would go. It just makes total sense for the piece,” McKinley says.
The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC)
The CCBC was founded in October 1998 , combining the three colleges Catonsville, Essex and Dundalk Community Colleges. CCBC today is a single-college, multi-campus institution. The public college anticipates and responds to the educational, training and employment needs of the community by offering a broad array of general education, transfer and career programs, student support services, and economic and community development activities. For more information visit www.ccbcmd.edu.