Website Style Guidelines and Instructions

This document has not yet been fully updated for the new website. Please check back for updates.






-all web properties of DCC should contain the DCC logo, the red horizontal band across the top, and the sand-colored left sidebar. They should be enclosed with a faded black outline as seen at

-External web properties (Facebook, EventLink, etc.) that cannot be controlled as tightly should use the base DCC logo, contain the name Dawson Community College, and the tagline, “Discover. Connect. Contribute.” Exceptions may be granted for any of these requirements that are not technically possible on a particular external service.


-photographs and other graphics can use these baseline colors as a starting point:

logo red: #9a0000

black: #000000

text: #494949

left sidebar background: #f2e6d8

links: #c61a02


-Any of the formatting options in the third row of the editor may be used in moderation when creating content. The ‘Styles’ drop-down should not be used when creating content. Instead, you can choose from the box next to the styles. The ‘heading’ styles (3-6) within this drop-down should be used to increase the size of text for titles, headings, section names, etc. Heading 1 should never be used, and Heading 2 is reserved for the title of the content (it should not be used in the content area).


-Verdana is the preferred font for all text. Other fonts may be used in images and PDFs, but Serif fonts should be avoided. Font sizes and colors should not be modified in normal text content. To avoid unwanted formatting, it is advisable to click the ‘Remove Format’ button when pasting text from another program, such as Microsoft Word.


-If possible, all text content should be displayed as an XHTML web page. PDF’s should be used sparingly, and other file formats such as Microsoft formats (.doc, .xls, .ppt, etc.) should not be used. The preferred image format is .jpg. The preferred image width is 300 or 200 pixels. Height or width will be automatically scaled at 590 pixels to avoid visitors using scrollbars to view a single image. Additionally, ensure that all images have ‘alt’ text specified to comply with ADA guidelines.


-Do not use the ‘target’ attribute to open a link in a new window. Do not change the color of links, and do not use red or blue for normal text to avoid confusing visitors about what is a click-able link, and what is not. If you are linking to something on our website, do not use the full address, only include what is after the .edu portion. Example: /content/awesome-article-about-jack


Do not:

  • Use gimmicky features like scrolling marquees, blinking text, and visible “hit” counters.
  • Use bold, italic and colored type in excess.
  • Use “centered” text for paragraphs. Limit its use to headings. Even for headings, the choice of centering should be made judiciously, as it can affect readability.
  • Create pages with large blocks of unbroken text. Try not to have more than 10 lines wrap without a paragraph break (blank line).
  • Use terms like “click here.” Instead, make the link text descriptive.

Additional guidelines

-For all grammatical rules, please consult the AP Stylebook. Here are some common rules:

Academic Degrees

Use an apostrophe in bachelor’s degree but there is no possessive in bachelor of arts (note lowercase) or associate of arts.

Academic Departments

Department names are lowercase unless they are a proper noun. Example: The English and history departments are holding a joint meeting.

Advisor (not Adviser)

And and ampersand (&)

In text, spell out the word and. Use the ampersand (&) only when space is limited.


Do not capitalize room after the name for a building. Example: The seminar will be held in the Ullman Center, room 102.

Catalog (College Catalog)

Use college catalog to refer to the document outlining the college’s programs and other information.

Comma in a series

Follow AP Stylebook. In a series of three, use only one comma. Example: There are nursing, welding and law enforcement students in the hallway.


Follow AP Stylebook. For example, always use lower case and the $ sign in all except casual references or amounts without a figure. Example: The book costs $4. For amounts more than $1 million, use the $ and numerals up to two decimal places. Example: It is worth $4.35 million.

Doctor (Dr.)

Dr. may be used to signify a person has earned a doctoral level degree (Ph.D., Ed.D.) in the context of college information. Do not use Dr. for honorary degrees.


Always hyphenated and is a noun. To describe the action, one would say, “send an e-mail.” Never include a Dawson e-mail address in an article, instead link to /users/username/contact (replacing username with the real username excluding underscores).

Instructor (Community College)

An instructor is a college teacher who does not have tenure.


Always use a person’s first and last name the first time they are mentioned. Use last names only on second reference. Do not use Mr., Mrs., Miss or Ms. unless they are part of a quote, or to differentiate between people with the same last name.


The numerical figures are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 0. In general, these figures are spelled out in text. Arabic numbers ten and greater are used in numerical form: 24, 69 and 2,437 except at the beginning of a sentence.

Professor (Community College)

A professor is a college teacher who has tenure.

States and Cities

When a state stands alone, spell it out. When the name of a city and state are together, abbreviate the state (except Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas, and Utah). Use these abbreviations, not the two-letter ZIP code versions: Ala., Ariz., Ark., Calif., Colo., Conn., Del., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Kan., Ky., La., Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Mont., Neb., Nev., N.H., N.J., N.M., N.Y., N.C., N.D., Okla., Ore., Pa., R.I., S.C., S.D., Tenn., Vt., Va., Wash., W.Va., Wis. and Wyo.


Use figures, but spell out noon and midnight. Use a colon to separate hours from minutes, but do not use :00. Examples: 1 p.m., 3:30 a.m.

Web page
World Wide Web

Abbreviated to Web (note capitalization)


All of these instructions assume you have gone to the Employee Resources page and logged in with your standard DCC login already.


We receive automatic emails when you login for the first time and will assign appropriate permissions. If you need something different, please submit a helpdesk request.


-all employees must fill in their employee profile

  1. Go to ‘My Account’
  2. Scroll down a bit and click on ‘Create Employee Profile’
  3. Fill it out (provide a lovely picture if you like), and Submit it.

Creating Courses (from your profile)

-all faculty should create their own courses

  1. Go to ‘My Account’
  2. Scroll to the bottom and click ‘Add a Course’
  3. Fill in all fields with an *. It is not necessary to modify the ‘Schedule’ section.
  4. A syllabus or any other useful files may be attached via the ‘File Attachments’ section.
  5. Save it.


-any employee may submit a news item. If you believe it is important enough for the front page, please submit a request to Jane Wynne (Public Relations) or Shane Bishop (Computer Services).

  1. Choose ‘Create Content’ from the left-hand menu
  2. Choose ‘News’ again from the left-hand menu
  3. Create a short and concise title
  4. If your news item belongs in one of the categories shown for ‘News’ and/or ‘Athletics’, please select those, to have it appear in the appropriate areas. You can hold down the ‘ctrl’ key on your keyboard to select multiple categories.
  5. If you wish for this item to show on the front page, you must include a square image via the ‘Attached images’ section.
  6. The ‘Body’ is where all the text of your news item needs to go. See the Guidelines to ensure compliance with approved styles and formatting.
  7. When you are done, ‘Save’ it.

Photo Gallery

create a post, insert Media, Create Gallery (more details to come)

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Dawson Community College | 300 College Drive | Glendive, Montana 59330
Phone: 1.406.377.3396 | Toll-Free: 1.800.821.8320 | Fax: 1.406.377.8132