How a customized data management tool can drive enrollment historically black colleges


In collaboration with 10 HBCUs, the Partnership for Education Advancement (Ed Advancement) has built and implemented a customer relationship management platform – or CRM – that will help HBCUs build on this momentum. It will help them reach more prospective students and support them from interest to application to graduation. A new white paper, authored by my research colleagues at Whiteboard Advisors and released this week by Ed Advancement, offers insights into how CRMs can support the digital transformation of HBCUs. Additionally, the research shows the ways in which the tool supports the broader mission of HBCUs and the anticipated outcomes for participating institutions.

I talked with Jim Runcie, the CEO and co-founder of Ed Advancement, about the organization, its mission and the latest tool to help HBCUs meet the needs of their students.

Alison Griffin: Tell me about the history of the Partnership for Ed Advancement. What is your mission and what are the challenges you are seeking to address?

Jim Runcie: From a young age, I understood the importance of education. It was a value that my parents instilled in my siblings and me. For my parents, education was the pathway to success. And, as a first-generation high school and college graduate, I realize why they prioritized education: It leads to greater opportunities, including higher earning employment and an enhanced quality of life.

The promise of education was true for me, and it should be true for all young people, particularly students of color as well as first-generation and low-income students. Ed Advancement’s mission is to create a more equitable society by supporting social mobility through higher education. We believe that, by investing in HBCUs to create opportunities for underrepresented students who are first-generation and low-income,we can meaningfully advance social mobility for students and families.

An excerpt from article written by Alison Griffin (January 18, 2023)

Read the full interview at