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Blackboard Buys Higher Ed Support Firm Presidium

Blackboard is expanding its footprint in the services and support arena with the purchase of Presidium, a company that provides call center support services to hundreds of higher education clients. Presidium offers three lines: call services for front office and technical support, process improvement, and managed technology for moving applications online. That service has included support for multiple institutional applications, including Blackboard Learn.

As a result of the acquisition, Blackboard said it will now be able to help customers with recruitment and enrollment of students, assessment of financial aid eligibility and disbursement of awards, student registration and advising, and development of retention programs and degree completion efforts.

"This step enables us to help institutions address the full lifecycle of student engagement to improve the total student experience," said Blackboard CEO and President Michael Chasen. "With the full set of products and services our combined team offers, we're in a great position to help our clients have greater impact in areas that are important to leadership and to improving overall student and institutional success."

The Presidium team will form a new offering called Blackboard Student Services within the company. Blackboard insisted that its service offerings will be available to all institutions, whether or not they use Blackboard technologies.

"Because no part of the student experience occurs in isolation, we've developed an approach to helping institutions address the full range of student experiences and needs," said Greg Davies, Presidium CEO and co-founder. "We're looking forward to improving that work and expanding it to new areas with the kind of investment we can make as part of Blackboard to help our clients in a range of critical areas."

Based in Reston, VA, Presidium currently serves several hundred clients with about 160 employees and a larger team of support personnel in two different contact center locations. Customers have included Delgado Community College and Tulane University in New Orleans and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in Baltimore.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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