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How Collin College uses data to sustain enrollment growth

The Challenge:

Siloed Data

Like many multi-campus institutions, Collin College, Plano, Texas, had the data but it was scattered in siloed locations throughout the institution. A lack of accessible aggregated enrollment data meant those responsible for building the schedule had to first review and sort from multiple sources before categorizing the information. Additionally, manual processes meant multiple steps were needed to generate lists and reports highlighting the most pressing needs of the semester.

“We didn’t have a system to record and capture discussions around the data,” said Dr. Meredith Wang, Dean of Academic Affairs and Workforce, Collin College. “It was also hard to organize communication because we were doing lots of work through email, making it hard to close the loop.”

Getting the data was a challenge. We had it available, but it was in so many different platforms with so many different ways to collect it. Ad Astra handed us exactly what we’ve been wanting for years.


Campus Provost, Collin College

The Solution:

Knowing that the institution’s manual processes were fraught with potential mishaps, the Plano campus volunteered to be a pilot within the Collin College system to implement the use of Ad Astra Monitor. Rather than pulling information from multiple sources to generate reports, Monitor allowed the institution to filter data into one location. This not only offered quicker access to the data, but it also provided a current graphical snapshot of the enrollment progression to keep historical data current.

Monitor’s graphical interfaces and notifications keep staff up to date on changes in the fill rate, allowing more time to focus on high-attrition areas. With the ability to view an entire semester in minutes, the institution has significantly improved its ability to make timely, data-driven decisions that better meet the needs of its students.


“Now we can go back to prior semesters to see if we can respond to student needs in a different way and capitalize on any opportunities,” said Dr. Mary Barnes-Tilley, Campus Provost, Collin College. “Monitor has allowed us to better prioritize the needs of our students.”

Monitor also provides the institution with a centralized location for all its scheduling communication, upping the accountability for responding to student needs. Communication sent within the system flags pertinent information and sends a link that takes users to the exact data point in question.

“Our efforts in strategic scheduling have enabled us to achieve enrollment growth, and we’re able to monitor scheduling more efficiently than ever before,” Barnes-Tilley concluded.

Looking toward the fall, the institution will realize a 4% growth in enrollment and a 5% increase in contact hours, all attributable to an improved ability of its stakeholders to communicate efficiently and make centralized data-driven decisions.

Fast Facts


Growth in enrollment


Growth in contact hours

School Background

Collin College, Plano, Texas, is a two-year community college established in 1985. The institution offers transfer courses, continuing education, workforce, dual credit, and bachelor’s degrees. The Plano campus is one of seven campuses and four centers within the Collin College system, offering more than 200 degrees and certificates. The institution is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission of Colleges to award baccalaureate degrees, associate degrees, and certificates.

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