CRM Platforms Can Improve HBCU Enrollment and Retention

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“If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.”
“What that quote means is, as an institution, if we don’t start to think about the future—if we’re not thinking about trends in higher education and in business, if we’re not looking at what our competitors are doing—we’ll fall far behind,” said Alexander. “Eventually, the institution is not going to be in a position where they will be competitive.” With that quote on his mind, Alexander jumped at the chance to collaborate with the Partnership for Education Advancement, a nonprofit that works with Minority Serving Institutions, including HBCUs, to find technological solutions to serve and advance their students.

In September 2021, NSU became one of six HBCUs selected to participate in an initiative called the HBCU Digital Transformation (HBCU Dx), which connected the schools with Slate, a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. Slate is a highly customizable software that automates time-consuming practices, improves communication, and de-siloes student information.

To help the six HBCUs implement and better utilize CRM technology, Ed Advancement offered training and support, including connecting the HBCUs with third-party consultants to refine Slate to each institution’s needs. Ed Advancement also offered funding to cover the use of Slate for two years.

“That’s part of what we [at Ed Advancement] do. We evaluate technologies to see which ones meet the cost, return on investment, and timeline needs of these institutions,” said Runcie.

An excerpt from the Diverse written by Liann Herder (Jan 17, 2023)