Cuyahoga Community College Connects Students with Enrollment Resources 24-7

How Ohio’s oldest community college leverages Modern Campus Message to re-enroll stop-outs & provide students with custom enrollment support at scale

About Cuyahoga Community College




credit & non-credit students






students enrolled part-time

in this case study: Tisha Hardy — Project Manager for Enrollment Management, Heidi Nicholas — Executive Director or Enrollment Management & Operations, and Elizabeth Zestozek, Director of the Brunswick University Center

We looked at other products throughout the years and there really isn't anything else that does what Modern Campus Message does. It’s irreplaceable for us.

Heidi Nicholas

The Challenge

Success for the enrollment management team at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) hinges on supplying thousands of students and prospects with up-to-the-minute information about registration, academic records, financial aid and more. Reliable, engaging communication is key.

Emails were once the office’s favored strategy, but such messages no longer resonate with every student. So, the enrollment team decided to add SMS texting.

They first tried a one-way text messaging platform, but since students couldn’t reply back, many learner questions went unanswered. The texts would go out, and staff wouldn’t know if students read or understand each message. One-way messaging also failed to advance relationships between students and staff; students felt no sense of connection with the enrollment office after receiving one-way messages. 

Enrollment management needed a way to make their communication timely and responsive—to send messages that sparked engaging conversations about the enrollment process. Thankfully, they discovered Modern Campus Message, the only text messaging platform designed specifically for higher education that combines AI technology with personalization. 

The Award-Winning Solution

Tri-C’s savvy texting strategy through Message has been so successful, it won the enrollment management team international recognition!

The League for Innovation in the Community College, an international nonprofit focused on cultivating innovation within the community college environment, awarded them its 2021-2022 Innovation of the Year award. The award honors faculty, staff, and administrators at member colleges whose innovations have improved their institution’s ability to serve students and the community.

As The League put it, in recognizing Tri-C:

“The Message platform allows for mass personalized messaging with two-way texting. This initiative moved away from separate one-off messages to dynamic messaging using data and automation.”

Here’s how they spurned such innovation:

The Innovation & Results

A new president for one of Tri-C’s four campuses purchased Message and it quickly garnered enthusiastic responses, capturing the attention of the entire institution’s enrollment management team. 

We started thinking, it shouldn't just be for one particular campus’s usage. It has more potential. We saw that we could really maximize our communications by using Message institution-wide.

Elizabeth Zeszotek


Information sent through conversational text messaging empowers students to take action

Like most colleges, Tri C invests in students’ success through free support resources. Yet, usage requires awareness. How, staff wondered, could they make students aware of what’s available and encourage the right learners to use it?

Message has quickly become the leading answer. 

We put in the hands of students information on tutoring, the writing center, support services—things that we’ve sent emails and other targeted messaging about but were often ignored. The information really resonates with students through texting.

Elizabeth Zeszotek

Message enables staff to truly converse with students—to gain each learner’s trust and uncover their unique challenges. Through their savvy outreach, Tri-C’s enrollment management team has connected thousands of students and prospects with custom information.


Texting provides stopped-out students with the encouragement resources they need to re-enroll

Texting has helped Tri-C re-connect with and re-enroll stop-outs—students who were previously enrolled but haven’t graduated or earned a credential. 

It starts with a member of the Enrollment Management team sending learners who were enrolled within the past two semesters a friendly message. Once engaged in conversation, staff seek to discover any barriers preventing the student from re-enrolling. They then make the recipient aware of local or institutional resources that fit their needs. 

The response has been astounding; thousands of students have quickly replied back and felt empowered to seek out resources and re-enroll. For Spring 2023 semester, the outreach resulted in 39.2% of recipients re-enrolling; that’s 1,585 students!

We reach out to stopped-out students in other ways too, aside from texting, but the majority of students text back immediately—within one to five minutes.

Tisha Hardy


Message auto-responses save staff time and provide students with quick, relevant replies

Tri-C’s Enrollment Management team is highly dedicated and talented, but they’re small in number. Crafting unique messages in response to hundreds of students a day wouldn’t be possible. Yet, relying solely on artificial intelligence—which is how many other texting platforms operate —could result in students receiving irrelevant information.

Luckily, Message offers the best of both worlds; its one-of-a-kind Blended Messaging™️ technology leverages AI optimization—which increases staff efficiency— and one-on-one conversations—which drive personalized support. 

Here’s how it works: Whenever a student responds to a text, Message sends out a relevant reply, which staff pre-designed based on predicted responses. It happens automatically and immediately, providing students with support 24/7.

But, whenever a student replies in a way that doesn’t match the designed response options, Message flags the message, indicating that Tri-C staff should step in with a custom message. 

Auto-responses is a wonderful feature. Staffing issues change and people change roles so being able to set up responses in advance —to set it and forget it, basically—really insures that we stay consistent and provide students with a great texting experience.

Elizabeth Zeszotek

Tisha Hardy agrees that fusing personalization with automation is key to engagement.

Students really want to engage with us more because they're getting realtime responses and not only automation. It’s one of the things I like most about Message; students are really engaging in texting back and knowing that they're going to get an appropriate response.

Tisha Hardy


Comprehensive, real-time analytics provide insights & drive decision-making

Tri-C’s Enrollment Management team loves the robust analytics Message provides—both for the near-instant gratification of knowing how well a message resonated with students and for how well the data informs future campaign plans. 

We don't have to wait to get that bigger picture. Was a message a success? Was it a flop? Message let’s us see, in rather quick time, how a text did. We see if something is getting a 30% response rate or a 6% response rate. It helps us know ‘oh maybe we need to tweak things.’ It provides us with an opportunity to adapt in real-time, which is important. As students are adapting, we're able to adapt right along with them.

Elizabeth Zeszotek


Custom segmentation ensures messages are always relevant

Text messaging campaigns work best when they’re relevant to the recipient's needs, interests and circumstances. That’s another reason why the Tri-C Enrollment Team is so glad to have found Message; by segmenting the audience through custom demographics, staff can send the right information to the right learners—every time. 

One thing that Message has that other texting platforms don't is the ability to define niche populations and target them with specific messages and goals in mind. We had a demo for another product, and we just kept saying ‘nope, doesn’t do what Message does.

Elizabeth ZeszotekDirector of Operations, California Institute of the Arts

Tri-C’s enrollment team is delighted to have found and selected Message. The results are evident in the responses from students and the recognition from their peers, including The League for Innovation in the Community College.


Discover additional ways you can use text messaging to connect students with campus resources, extend limited staff resources and boost enrollment & retention—and how doing so fits into the entire learner journey—in our free guide:


How Text Messaging Supports Every Stage of the Higher Education Journey - download now


Cuyahoga Community College's Favorite Features

Blended Messaging

Targeted Segmentation

Real-Time Analytics

Combine automated messaging with response sorting and scheduling for communication that’s as fast as AI but as unique as your students. 

Limit opt-out rates and improve response rates with targeted messaging, made easy by integrating your CRM or SIS data.

Quit the guessing games. Reliable analytics quantify the success of your messages—including texting response rate and overall engagement.



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About Modern Campus

Modern Campus empowers 1,700+ higher education institutions to attract, engage, and retain learners for life with software solutions that enable a modern student experience. 

The Modern Campus learner-to-earner lifecycle platform powers solutions for web content managementconversational text messagingcatalog and curriculum managementcareer pathwaysstudent engagement and development, and non-traditional student management. The result: innovative institutions engage their modern learners for life, while providing modern administrators with the tools needed to streamline workflows and drive high efficiency.  

Learn how Modern Campus is leading the modern learner-to-earner movement at and follow us on LinkedIn. 

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