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BLACKBOARD : Hillsborough Community College Expands Partnership With Blackboard for Student Services, Selects Release 9.1

05/23/2011 | 09:05am EDT

WASHINGTON, May 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to provide its learning community with the best in technology, service and support, Hillsborough Community College (HCC) will significantly expand its engagement with Blackboard Student Services(SM) to provide front-line outreach and support in a range of areas across the institution, from admissions and registration to financial aid. As part of that effort, HCC has also selected Blackboard Learn(TM) Release 9.1 as its learning platform following a thorough evaluation, and will leverage Blackboard Student Services to provide helpdesk support to users on campus, Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) announced today.

HCC is expanding its partnership with Blackboard Student Services for the second time in two years after seeing strong and consistent results in financial aid, admissions, registration, and IT service desks, including increases in staff productivity and student satisfaction. Working with Blackboard in the last year, HCC has shortened the time between financial aid applications and awards by 50 percent while increasing financial aid staff productivity by 56 percent. During the same time, first call resolution has jumped from 20 percent to 91 percent.

"Today's students expect and deserve real-time services and support around the clock, which means we must find new technologies to recruit, educate, retain and build loyalty with students," said Steve Gorham, HCC's Vice President of Information Technology. "Supporting every prospect, student and faculty member in the specific ways in which they want to be engaged can be financially and technically daunting, particularly as we face state budget cuts. We believe Blackboard Student Services will help us build and maintain our competitive advantage by broadening and enhancing the type of support we provide."

Through deep integration into HCC's student information system, Blackboard Student Services will provide HCC with a robust self-service model that lets students get simple but critical information more quickly without always requiring assistance from a live support specialist. HCC will also leverage new capabilities from Blackboard Student Services to enable text and voice messages that help keep busy students informed.

Serving over 48,000 students throughout Hillsborough County (Tampa), Florida, HCC also selected Release 9.1 to replace WebCT following a review of other course management systems. The decision was driven largely by faculty who noted the superior functionality, ease of use, and Web 2.0 features including blogs and wikis that come with Release 9.1. HCC administrators also wanted to leverage the full capabilities of the Blackboard Learn platform to manage digital content and engage campus communities and groups, and they valued the possibility of working with Blackboard in mobile education and academic and institutional collaboration.

The decision to move to Release 9.1 was also driven by HCC's confidence in Blackboard's proven and reliable client service and the company's expertise in hosting, supporting and managing the LMS over time.

"We're excited to further expand our relationship with Hillsborough Community College to provide front-line support for students and faculty across the full student lifecycle as well as host and manage the learning platform," said Craig Chanoff, General Manager of Blackboard Student Services. "With this partnership we can bring 21st century customer service experiences, like those pioneered by leading private sector companies, to HCC's students and faculty while reducing the overall cost of support."

Launched earlier this year with the acquisition of Presidium Inc., a leading provider of administrative and academic support services to hundreds of colleges and universities, Blackboard Student Services supports all aspects of the student lifecycle, including admissions and enrollment, financial aid, student accounts and IT helpdesk support.

For more information about Blackboard Student Services, please visit http://www.blackboard.com/Services/Student-Services.aspx. For more information about Blackboard Learn, please visit http://www.blackboard.com/Platforms/Learn/Overview.aspx.

About Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard's solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Blackboard and other statements containing the words "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "will," and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including the factors discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of our Form 10-Q filed on May 9, 2011 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of May 23, 2011. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company's views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to May 23, 2011.

SOURCE Blackboard Inc.

ę PRNewswire 2011
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