Building Awareness with Design for UMass Dartmouth’s Success by Degrees Program

Studying together. Young people studying outside together and looking involved


How can we use design and style to bring fresh awareness to a reduced tuition program for community college graduates? 

That was the question we sought to answer for the Success by Degrees Program at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Online and Continuing Education. The Success by Degrees Program awards qualified MA state community college graduates with a 15% tuition credit for online courses while completing an online bachelor’s degree at UMass Dartmouth.

Our team was tasked with expanding OCE’s advertising design style and exploring a revamped approach to their typical branded content to reach the program’s unique audience of learners. We developed a video-based, social media advertising campaign with uniquely modern and playful animations.


We focused our efforts on a multi-touchpoint marketing campaign that utilized Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. We began by establishing a general look and feel for the overarching program before we built out the rest of the assets. Through storyboarding, we wove a consistent style throughout each digital piece and across all social channels.

Our designers leaned into brighter, less utilized brand colors, such as the yellow and light blue. Moving away from hard angles or color blocks, we incorporated flexible, round, organic shapes to reflect UMass Dartmouth’s modernist campus. We layered architectural elements, such as texture, into the background of each ad and paired them with duotone student imagery and kinetic typography animation.

Moving away from OCE’s typical design style evoked a sense of newness and innovation while still remaining recognizable. Using musical and audio components, we were able to create a visual and auditory experience to further captivate our target audience and emphasize the diverse community and inventive spirit of UMass Dartmouth.


With copy, design, and strategy outlined, we launched our digital campaign in June. Our design team eventually extended our creative approach to the program’s landing page on UMass Dartmouth’s website for a consistent and cohesive look.

With new design and style, our team brought fresh awareness to the Success by Degrees Program and successfully increased degree completion leads by 200+ in its first run. This original design approach set the bar for more out-of-the-box thinking on subsequent ad campaigns with our partners at UMass Dartmouth, Online and Continuing Education.