Branches and Student Groups
Augustana Web Guild
The Web Guild is one of two student groups that operate under the EDGE Center umbrella, and it provided the basis for the expansion of the Center. It features an unusual model, as it is a student group that functions as a fully self-funding business. Building websites since 1998, the group has grown to have more than 190 clients on annual contract and has built a reputation for offering reasonably priced, high-quality work with a constant focus on customer service. While the majority of clients come from the Quad Cities, the Web Guild has also worked with clients scattered throughout the country.
The Web Guild offers more than just initial website design and development. We frequently provide guidance to clients as they work out the information architecture and content strategy that they want to include in the website. The group's students and the EDGE Center staff also advise clients on website usability and accessibility, as well as on how to leverage content to improve search engine optimization.
For more information, visit the Augustana Web Guild's website.
Advertising Developers (ADs)
The second student group that operates from the EDGE Center is the ADs group. This is a team that participates in the American Advertising Federation's National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC). At the start of every school year, teams participating in the NSAC receive a case study outlining a problem that is faced by a national company. Recent client companies have included Pizza Hut, Mary Kay, Glidden Paint, and Nissan. The ADs group then spends fall and winter terms conducting research (both primary and secondary) and formulating an advertising plan to address the company's needs.
During spring term, the ADs team finalizes the advertising plan and formalizes it as a plans book that is submitted to a panel of judges. Typically, the judges include three advertising executives who are members of the American Advertising Federation and an executive from the client company. The team then travels to make an in-person presentation to the judges as part of a district competition.
At Augustana, students from any academic area can participate and they can do it for all 4 years!
The design branch of the EDGE Center was one of the first additions based on the Web Guild model. The number of requests for logo, flyer, business card, and letterhead designs was a major impetus for the creation of the Center. The advantEDGE Design team works on a number of these projects. It has led to significant participation from graphic design majors, many of whom use internships in the EDGE Center for academic credit and even have used it for their Junior or Senior Inquiry projects.
advantEDGE Design also has done significant work on book layouts for the A Book By Me project. This has given graphic design students significant experience working on print layout, allowing them to get practical, hands-on experience in InDesign. All of the computers in the EDGE Center run the full Adobe Creative Suite, and designers typically walk away with practical experience using Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign.
One of the major projects done by the advantEDGE Design team is the campus directory (often known as COSMO). The COSMO project incorporates graphic designers and two summer sales interns. The sales interns are responsible for selling advertising in the COSMO to local organizations, and they work closely with the advantEDGE designers to lay out the ads and develop the directory.
EDGE Event Planning
The EDGE Event Planning team is currently centered around one major client: the International Family Therapy Association (IFTA). The team manages the annual IFTA Congress, an international conference for family therapists that draws more than 300 attendees. The Congress moves from city to city; recent conference locations have included Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Panama City, Panama; and Orlando, Florida. EDGE Event Planning team members handle event logistics and attendee management leading up to the conference, and two team members travel to the event location to run the Congress on the ground.
IFTA also recently introduced a secondary event, the IFTA Institute, which provides a shorter, less expensive conference to reach family therapists who may not be able to afford to attend the annual Congress. The EDGE Event Planning team offers the same logistics and management services for the Institute that they offer for the Congress.
EDGE Marketing Team (EMT)
The newest branch of the EDGE Center is our EDGE Marketing Team. The EMTs are students interested in marketing and communications who provide assistance to external clients and to Augustana's CORE department. Most of this work is in social media management, but it also includes assisting clients in developing their website and social media strategies.
The EMTs are also working on revamping the EDGE Center's online presence and promotions. This is a major project, as the Center lacked a strong direction for its own outreach. Our marketing students have been working on building up a social media presence for both the EDGE Center and the larger Career Development office. They also are working on an extensive campaign built around our office mascot - Dougie, the six-foot-tall squirrel.