Dr. Brandie Benton is the Associate Provost of Enrollment Services & Admissions at Henderson State University. This office is tasked with the recruitment, admission, and enrollment of new first year and transfer students to HSU. Dr. Benton is also charged with management and oversight of numerous university programs aimed at growing enrollment, including merit scholarships, high school concurrent credit, and the college and career coach initiative. Additionally, this division oversees guest services and the coordination of campus events for prospective and incoming students, manages the university’s customer relationship management system (EMAS), and steers decisions related to enrollment marketing. Dr. Benton shares how EMAS has been the catalyst for enrollment growth and student engagement:


“We experienced record freshmen enrollment growth Fall 2018 and we attribute that growth to improved communication across all market segments. When I share information about EMAS, I also share our enrollment trend data (outputs) and communication metrics (inputs). I let the data speak for itself. What I like to focus on is the way EMAS has allowed us to better focus on building relationships with individual students. The majority of discussions these days related to enrollment numbers and predictive analytics speak to the importance of “big data.” While big data allow us to monitor enrollment trends over time and make informed decisions for future initiatives, we appreciate that EMAS allows us to focus on interactions with individual students and to use those interactions to better communicate and support our prospective students and their families.”

“EMAS tracks our relationship-building efforts and helps us ensure that our students are served at the highest level as individuals, not numbers in the enrollment funnel.” 

“An EMAS champion is a champion for change who is committed to using all available tools and resources to advance the enrollment goals of the institution. These champions are focused on supporting individuals and departments across campus in implementing initiatives aimed at growing enrollment and advancing the institution through the sharing of knowledge and promotion of EMAS products and services, as well as other available tools and resources. These champions are vital to the successful implementation of a new CRM and the continued success of all enrollment strategies. While everyone acknowledges that good communication is a key to success, our champions articulate the numerous ways EMAS can help unique programs and departments advance their own enrollment goals by enhancing the communication efforts already in place in each area.

I am fortunate to have an entire team of EMAS champions. I would consider our Marketing and Communications Specialist, our CRM specialist, and our Admissions processor to be our EMAS “veterans.” They’ve worked with EMAS since adoption and have served in integral roles ensuring that its implementation and integration with our student information system were successful, and also supporting other team members during onboarding and throughout each cycle. The rest of our team has been working in our office fewer than three years and could be considered EMAS “newbies” – however, their levels of proficiency are what would be considered advanced. They’ve been developed through the support provided by our advanced users and because we have established an “EMAS culture.”  Everyone on the team knows that we serve students best within our EMAS environment because that is where we track our relationships with students. Fostering that expectation and ensuring that training and support are in place for success prompts curiosity and encourages an individual desire to grow their own skills and knowledge in EMAS. We also ensure that EMAS onsite training is built into our budget each year and that we send a team to EMAS training to make sure we are up to date on any new products or features.”

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