Watermark Demonstration Project with McDowell Tech Community College Further Emphasizes the Importance of Student Support

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 22, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Watermark, a leading provider of software solutions for higher education, and McDowell Technical Community College located in Marion, North Carolina, announced today the completion of a Demonstration Project examining the prospect-to-enrollee data gap in small to medium-sized higher education institutions. Focusing on data management for student onboarding, Watermark worked with McDowell Tech to develop new features in Watermark Student Success & Engagement to track the entire prospect-to-enrollment journey.

“A student’s success is at the heart of everything we do at McDowell Tech, but we can’t create the ideal experience without first knowing what led them to our institution,” said Dr. Merritt, President of McDowell Tech Community College. “We partnered with Watermark to collectively learn how to connect prospective student outreach to our existing student success department. Now we have a record of communications across the student lifecycle in one consolidated source of truth, from prospect to graduation, which helps our institution operate more efficiently and cost-effectively. Most importantly, we are a few steps closer to achieving the ideal student experience for the students we serve.”

Institution leaders are consistently disappointed that the advising technologies they procure to facilitate student onboarding are not effective at managing student interactions until students are enrolled and a permanent student record has been generated. Institutions that do procure technologies focused on prospective student advisement often lose robust student data when students enroll. Data management challenges during student onboarding detract from the mission of access-focused institutions, which impedes their ability to efficiently get new students enrolled and adds to the core challenges they face.

Since the project’s inception in 2021, the goal has remained to enhance communication during the recruitment process, create a sustainable future for the industry, and improve outcomes for students. Watermark and McDowell Tech aimed to solve the challenges creating the institution’s prospect-to-enrollee data gap including a lack of centralized storage, ineffective communication plans, cumbersome processes, and minimal reporting of prospect data.

“Higher education can only achieve the ideal student experience if the entire organization is focused on students from the very first interaction, which is prior to enrollment,” said Alex Leader, Chief Impact Officer at Watermark. “There is a growing disconnect between technology, support staff, and prospective students. At its best, this creates confusion. At its worst, disjointed or non-existent care turns students away from believing they have what it takes to succeed in college. This is especially true for marginalized populations. It is our responsibility, along with our institutional partners, to address this challenge.”

The Demonstration Project has validated that a market does exist for traditional customer relationship management capabilities to be embedded within a student success technology offering. In addition to McDowell Tech utilizing the new capabilities, seven additional Watermark institutions have signed on, all of which believe that a single solution to support prospecting and enrollment would address enrollment gaps that exist at their institutions.

Through this Demonstration Project, in conjunction with Watermark and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, McDowell Tech will be able to successfully scale its prospect to enrollee pipeline. Click here to access the entire Ensuring Student Support from Prospect to Enrollee White Paper. For a first-hand look at how McDowell Tech has worked to eliminate gaps between the student pre-enrollment and recruitment process and the enrollment and onboarding process, register for a live webinar on Feb. 28, 2023, at 1 PM CT.

About Watermark
Watermark advances educational impact by developing innovative technology that educators and institutional leaders can trust. Supporting over 1,700 higher education institutions around the world, Watermark launched in 2018 following the merger of Taskstream, Tk20, and LiveText — three of the leading providers of assessment management technology in the industry – with Digital Measures, EvaluationKIT, and SmartCatalog. Aviso Retention joined the Watermark family in 2020. With solutions in the areas of assessment and accreditation management, faculty activity reporting, course evaluations and surveys, curriculum and catalog management, and student success and retention, Watermark’s more than 400 team members are committed to helping colleges and universities operate more strategically and effectively to maximize the impact they have on their students and communities. To learn more about Watermark, visit www.watermarkinsights.com.

About McDowell Tech
McDowell Technical Community College (MTCC) is a public institution within the North Carolina Community College System. Its primary service area is rural McDowell County in Western North Carolina. Degrees awarded include Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, Associate in Engineering, and Associate in Applied Science, along with diploma and certificate programs. MTCC serves a population characterized by low educational attainment and low-income levels. The college enrolls approximately 1,600 curriculum students and 4,500 non-credit students annually, with 61% identifying as first-generation, 62% as low-income (Pell) students, and more than half of other students receiving some type of financial aid. To learn more about McDowell Technical Community College, visit mcdowelltech.edu/.

Media Contact:
Coleman Pyeatt
anthonyBarnum Public Relations
(214) 797-9848

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