You’ll never find a cookie-cutter approach in our repertoire. Everything we do is finely tuned to your college’s needs because we firmly believe no two colleges are the same.
With intensive research and extensive experience, we work with you to assess and fine-tune your organization, like developing Strategic and Academic/Educational Master Plans, creating the optimal Enrollment Management plan, strengthening Integrated Planning and Accreditation processes, and developing Finance and Budgeting Systems. The end result is enhanced institutional effectiveness for your college, consensus from Faculty and Staff, and ultimately, increased success for your students.
Simply put, our services work because we combine your input and our many years of expertise to create practical, effective, and customized solutions for your very specific needs.
Below are a sample of some of our services:
Don't see what you're looking for? Contact us today to inquire about our large offering of higher education services, including Human Resources, Strategic Planning, and Enrollment Services.
How we work
Independent Higher Education Perspective.
We bring together a team of experienced leaders and higher education professionals, dedicated to exploring your issues and opportunities. We do not bring pre-formulated findings, we do not recommend or implement specific tools or products, nor do we have any stake in any outcome but your success, maintaining full independence to perform assessment and review for your institution.
Commitment to Exceeding Expectations.
You understandably expect both dedicated attention and outstanding results. We are committed to investing the time to fully understand your needs, making those needs our top priority, meeting your quality requirements, involving and eliciting inputs from all participants, and being available when and where you need us.
We’ve Been There.
We understand the challenges as well as the opportunities you’re facing, because we have worked with hundreds of institutions across the country and our team includes individuals who have deep experience working in best practice institutions. Now, we choose to continue that work every day. We know the varied and complex issues you have to deal with, but more importantly, we know how to help you address them. We can help spark new ideas and achieve a cohesive and compelling plan that drives new energy, innovation and initiative from across the institution.
“With the CBT, we are truly aligning ourselves with the best, because we cannot afford not to. Data is one thing; experience is another.”
Dr. Tim Meyer | Oakland Community College
Here are a few samples of the work we've done:
Florida A&M University and Florida State University
Strategic Review Services
Florida A&M University (FAMU) and Florida State University (FSU) created a Joint College of Engineering in 1982. For many years the Joint College progressed well, providing engineering educational opportunities, contributing to the advancement of engineering through scholarly research and through the graduation of students of varied backgrounds, specifically women and minority students. The college of engineering became a model for the successful melding of diverse philosophies and approaches to education. In recent years, however, questions arose about the Joint College’s viability including the adequacy of services to students (e.g., effectiveness of engineering mathematics courses and graduation rates) and whether continuance of the Joint College was incompatible with FSU’s aspirations to become a world-class research university.
The State University System of Florida, Board of Governors requested CBT to make a set of recommendations relative to the future of the Joint College, including a cost analysis of the options: 1) retaining the Joint College but with new commitments to student success, improved administrative structures, and facilities improvement; 2) splitting the college and re-creating separate collegiate units at FAMU and FSU. As noted below, a plan was submitted to the BOG to retain the Joint College through a set of reinvestments, but overall, with more than $500 million in projected savings (principally in facilities) relative to the “separation option.”
"CBT put together a highly competent team of experts to address each key area of the study, including academic governance, OCR [U.S. Office of Civil Rights], engineering, and institutional research. The work involved a deep dive into data and statistics; a statewide supply-demand analysis for engineering; on-site visits and interviews with faculty, students, and staff at universities, the Board office, and other entities; and discussions with national and federal officials regarding OCR and federal regulations. Your team was exceptionally knowledgeable, professional, approachable and flexible in responding to additional questions or issues as they arose. You also managed a politically charged environment with grace and tact." - Dr. Jan M. Ignash, Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, Florida Board of Governors
Mid-State Technical College
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
Strategic Planning and Enrollment Management
Mid-State Technical College (MSTC) engaged CBT to provide consulting services to the District in the development of a Five Year Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan would support MSTC’s three Key Results of Student Success, Organizational Effectiveness and Employee Engagement. One of the Five Breakthrough Strategies in the Strategic Plan was focused on the development and implementation of an Integrated Enrollment Model (IEM). The CBT team that worked with the college to develop and launch the IEM included Dr. Diane Troyer, Dr. Nicki Harrington, and Dr. Eleanor Brown. CBT’s IEM work with the college was intended to provide MSTC with the findings, recommendations, and approaches necessary to support the design of a cohesive student experience.
An IEM creates a cohesive student experience that begins with the student’s first interest in the institution and continues through their successful completion of a credential. A well-developed IEM provides a road map for both students and the college. For the student, the goal is a clear, barrier-free experience at each stage of the student’s experience – from admissions to enrollment to graduation. For the college, it provides the “glue” that joins departments and functions into an effective and efficient flow with clear roles and processes at each step. The goal of that student flow is to ensure that more students are successful in being admitted, enrolling and succeeding in their program goal. The college has committed to an IEM that provides a “Barrier Free Student Experience”. This strong commitment is the foundation of the transformational change reflected in the college’s work to improve enrollment experience and academic outcomes for MSTC students.
The development of the Integrated Enrollment Model at MSTC began with a thorough analysis of the current processes and data related to its effectiveness. In particular, it included an analysis of the current student flow and how many students successfully progress at each stage.
“CBT provided excellent consulting services; they identified what they would do, delivered more than we asked, and stayed on time and on budget. Dr. Harrington provided strong leadership to our Strategic Planning project; she and the CBT team worked collaboratively with our Executive Team and steering committee in an engaging manner to produce a Strategic Plan that was both comprehensive and able to be implemented with action steps and measurable outcomes. Communication throughout the project was open and honest, and as President I was kept informed of its progress and any challenges along the way. The CBT team was very caring about our college and our unique needs; their work was tailored to us and not just an “off‐the‐shelf” product. CBT was a good value for our money." - Dr. Sue Budjac, President
Eastern Gateway Community College
Campus Master Planning
Eastern Gateway Community College (EGCC), located in Steubenville Ohio, with campuses in Youngstown and Warren Ohio; required assistance in developing a comprehensive master plan which would provide the framework for future EGCC academic, staffing, and facilities program developments, and support the goals and initiatives of the EGCC Strategic Plan.
EGCC envisioned a comprehensive master plan that would be developed from three focused plans:
- An educational plan that would develop strategies for academic program and delivery.
- A staffing plan that would develop strategies for staffing growth & support necessary for current college needs, and as required to achieve the goals developed from the educational plan.
- A facilities plan that would develop strategies for physical plant maintenance and improvement to support current college needs and develop physical plant concepts to support the goals developed from the educational and staffing plans.
A team of CBT consultants partnered with Plante Moran and Plante Moran Cresa to adequately and efficiently meet all the requirements of EGCC and delivered exceptional work to the college.
University of Central Arkansas
CBT UC assisted the President of the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) to “facilitate the revisions by the University of its comprehensive Strategic Plan.” The UCA project was led by the former APLU vice president for academic affairs and former provost at the University of Kansas, and included contributions by the senior vice president for global strategic alliances for Elsevier Research Intelligence, and former provost at Texas Tech University and the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. As a part of the project, CBT completed an exhaustive Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis of UCA including the following areas: 1) institutional finances, 2) enrollment growth, 3) diversity of faculty and students, 4) student success, 5) graduates’ success in the job market, 6) degree program offerings, 7) faculty ratios, and, 8) research performance—all developed against peers and aspirational peers.
In the concluding efforts of the project, CBT advised the leadership of the UCA Strategic Planning Task Force (SPTF) and the SPTF Sub-committees on vision, mission, and goals’ development. Near the completion of the CBT work, President Courtway communicated that the CBT lead consultant: “Did a great job, and his organization was very instrumental in helping the committee and our campus produce this plan.”
Oakland Community College
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Oakland Community College is Michigan’s largest community college serving approximately 74,000 students at five campuses. At the invitation of Chancellor Dr. Tim Meyer, CBT consultants George Boggs and Robert Jensen visited campuses and the district office, meeting with the college leadership team, and attended a meeting of the board of trustees. According to Dr. Meyer, the college was facing a budget shortfall of a little under $40 million per year due to anticipated declines in millage income through 2025. This represented about one-third of the college’s operating budget. The college gets 55-60% of its revenue from millage.
The college leadership recognized that to continue to serve students successfully, it needed to set strategic priorities and change its operational culture. They went through a year of self-study with committees reviewing academics, student services, and administrative services. The review had revealed a need to clarify the roles and responsibilities of campus and district leadership and to strengthen the college’s governance structure. The college leadership recognized the importance of building a strong culture of evidence in which decisions are informed by data, and hired the Collaborative Brain Trust to assist in an institutional reorganization.
“With the CBT, we are truly aligning ourselves with the best, because we cannot afford not to. Data is one thing; experience is another. The CBT consultants have one thing in common - a total immersion in the community college life; our needs, requirements, issues and goals. They have, as the saying goes, ‘walked the talk.'” - Dr. Tim Meyer, Chancellor