Delta State University

Engaging with students in meaningful ways 


Improve first-year retention rates 

  • Personalised support for at-risk, as well as excelling students 
  • Ability to view real-time data 
  • New and improved student success metrics

Ellucian CRM Advise helps Delta State University give personalised attention to each student. 

Delta State University is located in the heart of the Delta—one of the poorest areas of the nation and also the most underserved by education. “Only 11 percent of the students graduating from K–12 are considered college-ready,” says Dr. Edwin Craft, chief information officer at Delta State University. “Our students come to the university and need some type of remedial coursework to be successful in higher education. Only 57 percent persist to the next year—so we lose approximately 46 percent of our students in the first year.”  

To help solve this challenge, Delta State applied for and received a First in the World grant, hosted by the Department of Education. The First in the World Program encourages universities to think outside the box in their efforts to attract and retain students.  

“We know that once we get them to the second year it makes it easier to get to the third and fourth,” says Craft. “With the First in the World grant, we actually had a four-year plan.”  

That plan included grant funding for a new retention and advising solution: Ellucian CRM Advise. Using this solution as part of a campus-wide retention task force, Delta State coordinates next-step retention strategies, enables optimised practices for student success, and better identifies opportunities to overcome challenges faced by our students. 

We can’t just look at one or two criteria in student success anymore.

Dr. Edwin Craft, Chief Information Officer, Delta State University
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