Finding enrollment success despite disruption and uncertainty
Black Hawk College

Finding enrollment success despite disruption and uncertainty

CHALLENGE: Increasing enrollment of urban- and rural-based students during a pandemic

With both urban and rural campus settings supporting nine Illinois counties, Black Hawk College faced the unique challenge of realigning their enrollment strategy while targeting a diverse prospective-student pool.

Prior to the pandemic, Black Hawk College’s Dean of Enrollment Management, Heather Bjorgan, launched Ellucian CRM Recruit to boost enrollment and reconcile the school’s differing urban and rural prospect pool.

We were definitely lucky we rolled Recruit out when we did because it is so user-friendly, and it's web-based. My team had to work from home—everything my recruiters needed was in the cloud. That was huge—we were smooth on that front. From a managing standpoint, it was amazing.

Heather Bjorgan, Dean of Enrollment Management, Black Hawk College

After launching CRM Recruit, Black Hawk College found substantial success through personal student engagement, particularly through mobile texting. “It is a win because I can get 50 students to not lose their seats if I just ping them with a text—it's ridiculous how successful that's been,” says Bjorgan.

The next enrollment initiative for Black Hawk College is to conduct a reengagement campaign targeting 3,000 prospective leads. Consisting of former students who did not graduate, this lead prospect pool will be carefully targeted using CRM Recruit.


Ellucian CRM Recruit


  • 102% increase in new students compared to previous Spring term
  • Seamless pivot to cloud-based functionality during the pandemic
  • Streamlined inter-departmental communication and workflows
  • Administrative time and effort saved through user-friendly interface and automation
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