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Enterprise Resource Planning

5-College Partnership to Develop Shared Enterprise Technology System

Five public colleges in New Mexico are banding together to implement a shared enterprise technology system that will manage student information, financials, human resources and other campus services and records. The partnership among Clovis Community College, Central New Mexico Community College, Northern New Mexico College, San Juan College and Santa Fe Community College seeks to revamp campus operations and the higher education student experience.

"Bringing together five diverse colleges from five unique communities to reimagine and implement a life-changing college experience for our students is the most important action we can undertake to improve the education and quality of life for New Mexicans," noted Becky Rowley, president of Santa Fe Community College, in a statement. "With a student-focused perspective, together we will transform what higher education can offer so that all students may reach their potential more quickly, more fully, more affordably and with personalized cross-college support."
Benefits of the initiative, dubbed the "Collaborative Higher Education Shared Services" (CHESS) system, will include eliminating the need for multiple applications for student admission and registration; reducing duplication of student and employee records; streamlining the student transfer process; providing academic programming and staff reinforcements when needed across colleges; and increasing interaction with prospective and current students, community members and business partners, according to a news announcement. The colleges will share decision-making, data and processes, and are in the process of forming a nonprofit organization to guide the project.

"This landmark effort is going to make so many processes outside of the classroom much simpler for students by reducing the barriers and time that's typically required to enter college, stay in college and transfer between colleges," said Tracy Hartzler, president of Central New Mexico Community College. "This will help more students successfully enroll and progress to graduation and jobs. The new shared technology will also allow our colleges to be more efficient, more effective and more collaborative than ever before. Our colleges will be able to share expertise to a much greater extent since we'll all be using the same systems and processes. It's going to be a game-changer for how colleges collaborate to improve the effectiveness of higher education across the state."

A request for proposals is in development to select a comprehensive enterprise resource planning solution that will be implemented as a single, shared ERP with a single, shared data repository for all five institutions. The project is supported by the New Mexico Independent Community Colleges and the New Mexico Higher Education Department.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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