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Hillsborough CC Migrates to Blackboard Learn, Expands Services Contract

Florida's Hillsborough Community College has begun its migration off of WebCT and onto Blackboard Learn version 9.1, Blackboard's latest version of its learning management system. The five-campus institution will also be expanding its use of the company's services for help desk support and student lifecycle management in areas such as admissions, registration, and financial aid.

The Tampa area college, which has about 47,000 students, began its search for a replacement to WebCT several years ago, as the contract for that LMS, which had been acquired by Blackboard, neared completion. An LMS subcommittee recommended the move to Blackboard for several reasons: It could be linked to a new Datatel portal; it showed the best conversion success of any of the products tested; and it was supported by a majority of faculty who tried it in a sandbox environment.

Hillsborough's use of Blackboard services began with a call center contract the college signed with Presidium, an education service provider acquired by Blackboard in January 2011. The services, which have been expanded since that initial agreement, has shortened the time between financial aid applications and awards by 50 percent while increasing financial aid staff productivity by 56 percent, the institution said in a statement from the company. The school added that during the same time, first call resolution has jumped from 20 percent to 91 percent.

"Today's students expect and deserve real-time services, and support around the clock, which means we must find new technologies to recruit, educate, retain and build loyalty with students," said vice president of IT, Steve Gorham. "Supporting every prospect, student, and faculty member in the specific ways in which they want to be engaged can be financially and technically daunting, particularly as we face state budget cuts. We believe Blackboard Student Services will help us build and maintain our competitive advantage by broadening and enhancing the type of support we provide."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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