Hawkeye Community College

Proactive engagement bolsters student success

Hawkeye Community College brings together faculty and staff to improve student outreach

Hawkeye Community College campus


  • Single system to manage support
  • Improved communication with students
  • More proactive engagement with students


Hawkeye Community College is a public two-year institution with campuses located throughout the Cedar Valley in Iowa. The college serves approximately 5,000 students and is focused on providing a high-quality, affordable education to learners at a variety of stages—from those fresh out of high school to adult learners returning to college.

Because the institution serves such a wide variety of students with different needs and expectations, Hawkeye Community College began looking for a CRM system that would allow it to more easily support student engagement and build a foundation for student success. “Hawkeye is a mix of urban and rural students creating a diverse campus with unique needs,” says Lisa Ciesielski, associate director of advising and orientation at Hawkeye Community College. “This presents challenges in the needs of students. We work with many students where finances are a concern, and in many cases transportation can be an issue.” In addition, many of the students who come to Hawkeye are balancing full-time careers or family commitments.

Hawkeye Community College leadership engaged higher ed consultants and experts to help them establish a vision of “Hawkeye for the Future,” and examined which tools—whether technological or cultural—might be required to help the institution bolster student success.

Hawkeye ultimately chose Ellucian CRM Advise to provide the critical functionality needed for student success goals, allowing the institution to have a singular view of their students for improved outreach and support.


In the spring of 2018, the institution launched its alert portal for a portion of the faculty. Almost immediately, `more than 100 alerts were submitted. Hawkeye then onboarded the remaining faculty in the fall, and the institution is already seeing greater synergy among faculty, staff, and students. “It is great to see how the system is allowing staff and faculty to work together to help students,” says Ciesielski. “People are coming together and providing student assistance more proactively.”

The new system has greatly increased the working relationship between the student advising team and the faculty. Through the portal, Hawkeye’s faculty not only submit alert notifications, but also receive status updates so they can provide seamless support in the classroom for those students who need it. This is especially important as Hawkeye has seen a rise in mental health and college preparedness issues among its student population. The institution now has staff aligned to support these students—and the ability to reach out and help those who may not be prepared for college.

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Lisa Ciesielski
Associate Director of Advising and Orientation
Hawkeye Community College

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