As faculty and staff in the Michigan State University College of Education, we each play an integral role in communicating about the university and the college to various audiences.
The resources found here are intended to supply information, tools and access to the elements that can help us achieve these goals.
As a first step, please remember that the College of Education's messages and materials should always align with the MSU Brand Guidelines, which can be viewed at brand.msu.edu.
Who do we communicate with?
- Highly qualified undergraduate teacher candidates from Michigan, the U.S. and beyond
- Future athletic trainers and kinesiology majors preparing for health-related careers
- Top-caliber, diverse master's and doctoral student candidates dedicated to intellectual development, research and service within the many disciplines represented by the college
- Prospective faculty members: Potential colleagues who are leading researchers in their fields and committed to teaching and service
- Peers and disciplinary leaders: Deans and professors at other higher education institutions, particularly other high-ranking schools and colleges of education
- Practitioners: Working educators (superintendents, principals, teachers) and other professionals (school psychologists, student advisors, fitness consultants, etc.) across the state, nation and world. They are our partners, our prospective students, our alumni and the users of our research knowledge.
- Policymakers and influencers: This includes state and U.S. lawmakers, leaders of professional organizations and educational leaders as noted above.
- Funding sources: Individuals, families, foundations and government agencies seeking to advance knowledge and support students through gifts, grants and other resources
- Alumni: Graduates who want to stay connected and who are capable of aiding the college with their experience, talent-spotting, donor support and employment opportunities
- Each other: Faculty and staff within the College of Education.
As an important part of Michigan State University, the College of Education shares the essence of the university brand:
- Individual Strength - Our people set us apart.
- Collective Power - Our open, collaborative community makes us prepared to lead in powerful ways.
- Extraordinary Impact - We make the world a better place by improving learning and human development across the lifespan.
Positioning and Personality
Our positioning statement helps articulate and distinguish the unique value of the College of Education:
The College of Education’s smart, passionate people and collaborative culture of high achievement prepares leaders to make an extraordinary impact on health, well-being and education around the world.
Across the college, a key theme describes our people and programs: Prepared to Lead
- World Changing
For more information, see also About the College and our Mission & History.
Telling our story
Although we do not state the essence of our brand explicitly, we can incorporate these ideas into communications materials to describe, for example, our academic expectations, how research is conducted by our faculty and students, or what our graduates are able to achieve.
Here are key messages that express why the College of Education is distinctive and, more importantly, a place where people are prepared to lead in whatever they do.
We always strive for excellence.
Among the nation’s top-ranked education schools for more than 20 years, we have built a reputation for excellence and share significant standards of academic and scholarly preparation. We prepare professionals to become leaders in their fields.
We have an amazing work ethic.
We expect and support the highest levels of achievement from ourselves, without pretense. No challenge is beneath us—or too big to tackle—if it makes a difference in people’s lives.
We turn talent to good.
We believe in the power of learning and the potential of every person. We seek to understand how people learn and develop so we can best use that knowledge to benefit all people.
We value differences.
Our inclusive culture encourages mutual respect and the creative power of diverse ideas, viewpoints and backgrounds.
We foster openness and flexibility.
We celebrate individuals and empower them to create their own paths of achievement. Our work transcends disciplines and departments.
We believe in partnerships.
We have the skill and are always willing to work together with schools, universities and communities to bridge connections between theory and practice. Getting the best results and creating capacity for the future is more important to us than getting all the credit.
We connect globally.
Our horizons are global and we seek opportunities to make a difference through cross-cultural connections and projects. We prepare graduates to succeed within diverse contexts, both at home and abroad.
We affect lives in extraordinary ways.
It’s in our DNA to solve practical problems, moving beyond analysis to promote policy reform and assist in implementation. We are committed to improving how educators and health professionals serve the world.
We are visionaries.
We have a track record of innovative thinking. Our research and teaching has the power to challenge assumptions, create groundbreaking discoveries and transform how things are done.
We deliver excellence and opportunity.
We are an elite research institution, but never elitist. We are competitive at the highest levels but we are also known for supporting the success of a globally minded, diverse population of learners.
We stand by our values.
We are committed to creating knowledge, promoting social justice and improving health and education for all people—and we will lead others by example.
Final questions for brand review
If you are thinking about how you will support and reinforce the Michigan State University College of Education's reputation and goals, you are ready to put the pieces together for specific projects. Does the communications piece:
- Clearly identify Michigan State University, and use the university wordmark and unit identification properly?
- Express the College of Education brand promise? Quick gut check: Does it show we are prepared to lead?
- Use approved colors, fonts and graphical elements?
- Have images that are up-to-date and, ideally, authentic (show actual College of Education people/programs)?
- Use the best medium for reaching your audience?
- Provide sufficient information for desired next steps (the call to action), such as website address, personal contact information or event details?
Writing About The College
We foster leadership by communicating like leaders, using simple, clear and direct language. Go for shorter sentences and fewer adjectives. We communicate not only with academics but with students and working professionals. We engage in conversations, not one-way communication.
Ask yourself: Will my brochure/website/article/etc. help make the College of Education and its programs/units come across as a dynamic community, where collaboration is embraced and people are truly committed to being prepared?
Does this show how we are prepared to improve teaching and learning, to advance human potential, to meet future challenges or—in other words—be leaders?
This is short, standard language that briefly describes the institution and its priorities. This may be used without alteration in any document including, for example, grant proposals, materials created for events or by outside organizations partnering with the College of Education, on promotional materials for specific programs or offices/institutes.
College of Education:
The College of Education at Michigan State University is a community of students, educators and researchers prepared to meet the challenges of education and kinesiology. We are committed to improving practice together through exemplary research, teaching and service. With a renowned five-year teacher preparation program, rigorous training for health-related careers and several nationally ranked graduate programs, the College of Education prepares leaders who make an extraordinary impact on health, well-being and education around the world.
Michigan State University:
Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes
the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve
the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing
opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more
than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.
Note: A longer version of the MSU boilerplate is available.
Remember: A brand is not a single logo or particular tagline.
However, the official MSU tagline, Spartans Will., may be used by all units on campus without alteration. Learn how to use Spartans Will. in the MSU Brand Guide.
In addition, College of Education faculty and units may use the College of Education message, Come prepared to learn, leave prepared to lead on various advertisements, flyers, email communications, etc. Please do not change the text in any way. Contact Nicole Geary for guidance on when and how to use this phrase.
The word Spartan or Spartans is also encouraged to maximize the effect of the university's name and identify. Example: Become a Spartan teacher.
Editorial Style Guide
To help establish consistency in language, see the Editorial Style Guide for terms and phrases used frequently by the College of Education. This has been adapted from the main MSU Editorial Style Guide. Also, see the section on Tone for writing tips.
To ask questions or suggest additions to the college editorial guide, contact Nicole Geary.
Graphics and Logos
Logos for individual units at Michigan State University are discouraged and should never be used on communication materials to external audiences (i.e. alumni, prospective students, other institutions, news media). This includes the former College of Education logo with its mortar board and blue tassel, as well as any individual logos used by departments, centers, programs and so forth.
For all forms of external communication, the MSU wordmark MUST appear (on the front or back cover in print, or in the footer for web sites). Again, no other MSU-related "logos" are permitted. However, MSU provides a signature system that contains three different ways in which units may officially identify themselves in conjunction with the MSU wordmark or the Spartan Helmet. Versions of this for the College of Educaton and its four departments are available below.
The MSU wordmark below is suitable for most applications.
Wordmark with College Designation
The following are suitable for most applications. If you need a different file type, contact Trevor Hawks.
Wordmark with Department Designation
The following are suitable for most applications. If you need a different file type or require a wordmark for a unit other than one of the four departments, contact Trevor Hawks.
Again, examples and instructions for using MSU logos and marks – including downloadable versions of the wordmark, seal, block "S" and helmet – are available in the MSU Brand Guide.
The college maintains a database of professionally photographed images that are available, upon request, for use by departments, programs and individual offices. Updated regularly, this collection represents a range of college-specific subjects, including buildings and landscapes, events, faculty and staff, technology, students, research, outreach and alumni.
Rather than acquiring images from stock photography sources, use of these images in printed materials and on college websites is preferred. To view what is currently available or to make a specific photo shoot request, please contact Nicole Geary or email the the Communications Team.
The Michigan State University photo library is viewable at www.photos.msu.edu, and the communications office can acquire high-resolution images on your behalf.
Main MSU brand elements such as the Spartan helmet, Spartan shield, Spartan spear and copy bar with chevron can be downloaded from the MSU Brand Guide.
With assets available to create clean, professional-looking brand-aligned materials, the use of clip art or other externally generated graphics is not allowed.
While the official fonts of Michigan State University are Californian (serif) and Gotham (sans-serif), there are acceptable substitutions that are more commonly available. Georgia can be used in place of Californian, and the acceptable substitution for Gotham is Helvetica. The use of Georgia is recommended as the body copy for print publications, as serif typefaces are easiest to read in print.
The opposite is true of digital media and electronic forms of communications whereas Helvetica is the recommended font for body copy. Helvetica is also recommended for headline treatments as well as to highlight secondary pieces of information such as bulleted lists, photo captions or in graphs, tables or charts.
To see examples of the fonts and their usage, please visit the MSU Brand Guide.
NOTE: The font Myriad Pro is also permitted when used in conjunction with the MSU wordmark to display the name of an individual unit such as a department, office, center or institution. (See the section on Logos.)
The four primary colors that are used in college communications are as follows:
|R:24 G:69 B:59
C:82 M:0 Y:64 K:70
|R:99 G:149 B:103
C:65 M:24 Y:72 K:5
|R:96 G:179 B:207
C:60 M:13 Y:13 K:0
|R:201 G:192 B:161
C:22 M:20 Y:39 K:0
A list of suggested accent colors that can be used in combination with these primary colors can be found in the MSU Brand Guide.
Publications and Promotional Materials
College of Education publications
The College of Education Communications Office produces several publications, from the New Educator magazine to specific flyers and brochures. Before you consider creating your own publication, we encourage you to take a look at our inventory of materials.
Requests for materials should be made with as much advance notice as possible, preferably one week. Contact the Communications Office or go to Room 518 (fifth floor) Erickson Hall. Please indicate how many copies of each item you would like.
NEW EDUCATOR – Glossy magazine published once or twice a year, includes news and feature articles about research, policy, faculty, students and alumni
RANKINGS – A one-page (two sided) flyer highlighting our graduate program rankings, plus general points of distinction for the college
GUIDE TO GRADUATE PROGRAMS – A booklet detailing the college's graduate program offerings
SOCIAL MEDIA POSTCARD - Listing of ways to connect with the College of Education through social media networks, eNewsletter and alumni activities
NEW FACULTY - A brochure produced once per year to welcome and introduce new faculty to the college
Program specific publications:
KINESIOLOGY – A brochure about undergraduate programs in the Department of Kinesiology
TEACHER PREPARATION – A booklet about reasons for becoming a teacher through the MSU Teacher Preparation Program, including elementary, secondary and special education
GLOBAL EDUCATOR COHORT PROGRAM card
– A two-sided card with details about the Global Educators Cohort Program (GECP) for students planning to become teachers
URBAN EDUCATOR COHORT PROGRAM card
– A two-sided card with details about the Urban Educators Cohort Program (UECP) for students planning to become teachers
College of Education event materials
Various types of signage and promotional giveaway items are available at no cost to faculty and staff coordinating events at which the College of Education benefits from a strong visual presence. Requests for materials should be made with as much advance notice as possible, preferably one week. Contact the Communications Office or visit Room 518 (fifth floor) Erickson Hall in person.
Here is what's available:
Tablecloths – 6-foot or 8-foot green cloth, both say Michigan State University College of Education
Banners – 7-foot retractable free-standing banners; two general College of Education banners (stating Ready. Learn. Lead.) and two stating Welcome Alumni & Friends
Table displays – Clear, two-sided displays ready to be customized by inserting printed paper. Available with weighted or non-weighted bases.
Pocket folders – Spartan green College of Education folders available for presenting a collection of publications or materials. Two sizes available: regular or high-capacity.
Notepads – 3x8-inch white paper pads with College of Education branding
Pencils - Green pencils
Pens – Translucent green inkpens
Buck slips – Small bookmark-style cards that can be placed inside magazines or other materials, stating item is from the College of Education, including the dean's signature
"Sparty" appliques – 1-inch green stick-on appliques in Spartan helmet shape
Sticky notes - 3x4-inch white sticky notepads with Spartan helmet background, College of Education branding
Giveaways and Merchandise
The university requires that any item using a Michigan State University trademark, logo, slogan or "other symbol or device associated with or referring to the university" be reviewed and authorized by the University Licensing Programs office.
All items must also be purchased from an MSU licensed vendor. The college works with multiple vendors and can help assist with the process. Visit the University Licensing website for additional information.
The college has limited merchandise to use for giveaways (pens, decals, etc). To request items, or to see what is currently available, contact the Communications Office or visit room 518 (fifth floor) Erickson Hall in person.
To purchase College of Education apparel, visit shop.msu.edu.
Examples of merchandising activity:
- Sales of products for fundraising programs
- Sales of products on campus with vending permit
- Sales of products to group members or staff
- Sales of products through either campus or private retailers
- Sales of products to any third party
- Promotional product giveaways
Common MSU trademarks:
- the official University logotype,
- Contemporary Spartan Helmet,
- Sparty Mascot (full-length),
- Block S,
- Spartan Football Helmet,
- MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY,
- MICHIGAN STATE,
- MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS,
- and GO GREEN/GO WHITE
Templates and Stationery
The templates and graphic materials provided are intended as a starting point for small-scale projects such as posters, speaker announcements, event handouts and various electronic forms of communication.
For more substantial projects that will have longevity and sustained use, please contact Communications Director Nicole Geary or Graphic Designer Trevor Hawks for assistance in the production of these materials.
Building upon what is offered at the university level, the College of Education communications office provides some custom templates for use within the college.
Here are the templates available for download:
All stationery (letterhead, envelopes and business cards) must display the Michigan State University wordmark and university seal as specified. No additional visual marks are permitted. The university provides clear templates and an online ordering option that allows you to enter information for your unit into pre-set templates.
Visit the MSU brand guidelines for more information. To order printed stationery and more, go to MSU's print procurement site.
Many staff members have access to contribute basic content, event information or news items to the main College of Education website and many other related web pages, such as departments, programs and offices.
Building and Maintaining Websites
Working within the College Web Framework
It is important that all websites representing the College of Education look and feel similar. Cohesiveness throughout the College of Education's websites not only reinforces our university and college brands, but also helps visitors to feel familiar and comfortable while navigating across all our college sites. In addition, consistency across websites makes the work of our web development team much more manageable. Our websites are constantly evolving and improving, and with so many sites and pages throughout the college it takes a lot of time to implement a change throughout. When our websites use the same back-end frameworks, we can most efficiently and effectively make changes and upgrades to all sites.
If you are in need of a new website within the College of Education web space, contact Justin Rappaport. Examples of websites that would be appropriate for using the College of Eduation web framework include departments, academic programs, centers, institutes, offices and labs. Other related websites that we do have resources for, but that would not be appropriate for the college website framework, include courses, student organizations, faculty websites and grant/project websites.
Existing Websites, News and Events
Keeping our college websites, news system and events calendar up-to-date and accurate is of the utmost importance. If you are tasked with updating content on a website within the College of Education, and need access to update that content, contact Justin Rappaport.
Editing with Contribute
- The goal is to maintain up-to-date and accurate content.
What is Contribute?
- At its core, a web browser,
- Contribute has some quirks.
- It uses a visual editor or WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get).
- In Contribute, what you see is not always what you get. Sometimes the view of the edit page isn't what it would look like published live.
- Because of this, always check in a regular browser before and after editing pages to be sure it still looks okay.
- If you notice something is wrong, contact Justin Rappaport.
- If you're computer is a Mac, use CORD to connect to Contribute computer.
- When closing always select Log Off from within the Remote Connection.
- To log in, use your CAMPUSAD credentials (same as logging in to a computer at your campus computer).
- If using a remote connection, log in using that (Contribute should automatically open).
- Adobe Contribute Opens
- Below "Begin Editing," click your site [title]
- Link opens up the start page
- Top left – "Connect"
- If that button changes to "Edit Page," Contribute has connected successfully to the web server. If not, check URL (see 'Common Problems' below).
- Browse to the page you need to edit.
- Script Error Messages may pop up – Click Yes to continue.
- Portions on the website that you can and can't edit (dynamic content vs static content)
- Faculty directory
- Collapsed content
- Page/program content,mMenus (sometimes)
- Click "Edit Page" button (If edit page is not present click "Connect")
- It will create a working draft of the page only on the local/remote computer, not on the web server.
- Make changes
- Click "Publish" if you want to save that page, make it go live to the web.
- Click OK on the Sunshine; it reloads the page.
- Copy the URL - Check it in a web browser (Firefox, IE, Safari, etc.)
- To create a new link, highlight text and select the link icon and choose Browse to Webpage, then type the URL of the page you want the link to go to and select ok.
- To create new page:
- Select "New"
- Select "copy of current page" and input a title.
- When publishing the page be sure to provide an appropriate file name.
- Page Structure
- Generally contain page headers and paragraph text
- Change between styles in the style menu (Normal, heading1, heading2, etc)
- Expand/Collapse Structure
- Main accordion H2
- Collapsed accordion H3
- Inline heading H4
- URL Prefix must read: http://education.msu.edu for 'Connect' and 'Edit Page' to work. Contribute isn't smart enough to realize they are the same site.
A few best practices for adding events to our College's digital calendar:
- Make sure you search for an event before creating a new one to avoid duplication.
- Include contact information for all events.
- Make sure your event title is brief, yet descriptive.
How To Add Events - Tutorial Video
To assist calendar administrators in adding events to the college calendar, our office offers a complete step-by-step video tutorial. If you or a member of your team is interested in gaining access to the college calendar to add events, please contact the Communications Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to print an events flyer:
Our online calendar system is now a one-stop location where you can promote your events on our website and create a flyer.
- Add your event to the college's online calendar. Questions? Watch our step-by-step video tutorial or email us at email@example.com.
- While logged into our online events system, navigate to the event(s) that you would like to publicize with a flyer. (Note: Only Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari and Microsoft Edge are currently supported.)
- Print using "CTRL + P" or "CMD + P" or by selecting "Print" in the "File" menu dropdown.
- Make sure that the print is in "Portrait" style (not landscape, or oriented horizontally) and is limited to one page.
(Note: Flyers with images will look more appealing if printed in color and including an image. Only one image is allowed in a print flyer.)
Want to recommend the inclusion of an event? Submit an event through the community event form.
What is social media?
Social media are forms of electronic communication used to create online communities. Platforms and applications typically include:
- Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
- Blog platforms (Wordpress, Blogger, Tumblr)
- Photo and video sharing sites (YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Flickr)
Why use social media?
Social media is a low-cost, highly effective way to engage the community and build the college and Michigan State University brand. Social media is also a useful means of reaching a broad audience to promote the research and work of our faculty, share important information with students and alumni and have timely conversations with key stakeholders.
How should social media be used?
Michigan State University has provided social media guidelines for faculty and staff use. Any member of the college’s faculty or staff who is sharing information on behalf of a unit or department should familiarize themselves with these detailed guidelines.
If a department, program, office or other unit is considering setting up a social media channel(s), the first step is to contact Digital Communications Coordinator Lauren Knapp prior to creating any social media account.
The team may consult and suggest best practices, the most appropriate channels for sharing/engaging and advice on advertising. In general, the Communications Office discourages social media pages being set up, particularly those that may be little used or seldom updated, as participation in social media can be very time consuming.
With this in mind, administrators should ask five preliminary questions:
- What is the purpose of having a social media account?
- What are the goals of the site?
- What will be the frequency of sharing/posting?
- Who will maintain and monitor the site(s)?
- Who is the audience(s)?
Detailed information on the three phases of monitoring can be found within MSU’s Social Media guidelines.
All of the social media accounts operated by the Communications team can be found on our Connect page. We encourage units and users to visit this page to learn more about what is happening across the college. If you would like something to be featured on one or more of the college's social media accounts, contact Lauren Knapp.
There are already established social media channels for our department. When posting on behalf of the college or a department, what should be considered?
The communications office suggests keeping the following in mind when sharing/posting content. These areas are also detailed in the MSU Social Media Guidelines document:
- Be accurate
- Be real
- Be prepared
- Be transparent
- Be timely
- Be responsible
- Respect others
- Be thoughtful
- Be aware
- Is what we are sharing useful?
- Is it valuable?
- Is it important?
Safety and privacy Tips
The internet is open to a worldwide audience. When using social media, please be mindful about what is being shared. Please also note that this guide does not supersede any existing MSU policy.
For all college related video requests please use the video request questionnaire.