Virtual Advantage
A program in which computer-science, honors and advertising/public-relations students gain real-world experience by developing websites for non-profit organizations across Alabama

 

Through a partnership between The University of Alabama and the Alabama Association of Nonprofits, students in this service-learning course develop websites for nonprofit organizations by writing content, taking photos and handling the technical and design aspects of website creation.

Developing and maintaining a professional Internet presence is as vital for nonprofits as for the corporate sector. As society increasingly turns to the Web as an initial tool for learning about organizations and companies, Internet presence is becoming a crucial factor in determining an entity’s legitimacy. A thoughtfully crafted and well-designed website opens powerful channels of communication between nonprofits and potential donors, constituents, volunteers, partners, and the media. Yet the costly rates often charged for professional website-development services have long kept these benefits out of reach for many nonprofits. Virtual Advantage seeks to eliminate this barrier while providing practical, real-world experience for talented college students who are skilled in website design, communication, and photography.

Through interviews with the nonprofits’ staff, examination of existing documents and information and additional research, students create professional Web content for nonprofits in need of such services. They also take photos to illustrate the nonprofits’ programs and missions and are responsible for the final appearance and functionality of the sites.

Eligibility:
A brief professor recommendation is required for students wishing to earn honors or APR credit and can be sent to cesr@ua.edu or Olivia Grider at 113 Temple Tutwiler Hall, Box 870168. Computer-science students will enroll in CS 491 and must have scored a B or higher in CS 202 or possess advanced knowledge of the technical aspects of website development. Contact Dr. Chris Horton at 348-1658 or chorton@cs.ua.edu before enrolling.

Virtual Advantage

TV Media / Press

Virtual Advantage

Newspaper Media