New Mexico Colleges Innovate with Collaborative for Higher Education Shared Services (CHESS) to Streamline Student Services and Revolutionize Higher Education Operations
CHESS optimizes a ground-breaking partnership of independent educational institutions that share tools, talent, and best practices to power seamless, student-friendly experiences and support the delivery of high-quality education and services that advance student success. Its vision is to focus precious institutional resources on the personalized services that guide all students to the finish line and create economic growth and diversification in New Mexico.
CHESS currently includes six New Mexico independent community colleges: Central New Mexico Community College, Clovis Community College, Luna Community College, Northern New Mexico College, San Juan College, and Santa Fe Community College serving diverse communities in Albuquerque, Clovis, Tucumcari, Española, Farmington, and Santa Fe. Five are Hispanic-Serving Institutions, one is an Emerging Hispanic-Serving Institution, and two are Native American-Serving Nontribal Institutions.
Adequately serving unique student populations is a national issue. Generally, most states address these challenges through high-level, top-down approaches (governance, policy, consolidation). Instead, these New Mexico colleges have chosen voluntarily to work together to improve student support and services by designing and implementing a single, shared, secure technology solution.
- Transform higher education in New Mexico to serve students in the 21st century through a state-of-the-art technology solution (modern, accessible, mobile, agile, intuitive).
- Provide students a network across member colleges so they may reach their potential more fully and more economically.
- Implement a student-focused approach.
- Dramatically improve the student experience to increase enrollment and retention rates and reduce the time to completing a degree, certificate, training, or licensure.
- Better serve disadvantaged and minority populations.
- Allow students to easily take courses and apply credits at multiple institutions.
- Provide more support, communication, and interaction with prospective and current students.
- Improve student processes for recruitment, application, admissions, registration, advising, enrollment, financial aid, course scheduling, retention, and transfer.
- Improve quality of life for students, their families, and their communities.
- Strengthen student employment opportunities and the economy through credit and noncredit programs: continuing education, contract training, workforce education.
- Enhance relationships with community members, business partners, and public officials to connect students with local job and internship opportunities.
- Foster interinstitutional assistance and teamwork.
- Align key business processes and systems using a more efficient, more secure, fully integrated system with a central database.
- Strategically share resources, staff, and skillsets to support hiring specialized talent.
- Increase efficiencies and cost-savings by leveraging economies of scale, joint procurement, common licensing, maintenance, and support.
- Support common business practices in financial services (accounting, budgeting, payroll, procurement, grants) and human resources (employee records, compensation, benefits).
- Meet state-level directives for colleges and universities to collaborate, find efficiencies, and improve program quality for New Mexicans.
- Expand the system capacity of smaller colleges so they have access to quality services that they otherwise could never afford.
- Increase college productivity, capacity, collaboration, access to data, and standardize state and federal reporting.