Case Study: TargetX and Columbia College

TargetX Recruitment Suite Provides Columbia College with CRM Solutions That Offer More Control, Functionality, and Customization

Challenges: A higher ed innovator was unable to innovate with their existing CRM

Columbia College is considered an “innovator in the higher education space,” says Jason Valentine, Assistant Director of Admissions. Yet, the creativity that is a hallmark of the institution was previously hindered by an aging CRM that “couldn’t implement [the Columbia team’s] good ideas without outside help and offered limited customization opportunities.”

Valentine and his team went 65 percent of the way with the implementation of the next iteration of their existing CRM before realizing that “the functionality wasn’t there, nor was it a fully relational, interconnected system.” Though they had to go back to the drawing board, they emerged from the process crystal clear about what they wanted from a CRM.

“I had a list of about 70 items,” says Valentine. “I entered every meeting with potential CRM providers with that list.”

Solutions: The TargetX Recruitment Suite delivers on Columbia College’s wish list

After meeting with multiple CRM companies, the TargetX Recruitment Suite rose to the top because it delivered on Columbia College’s wish list.

“TargetX met all the requirements on the list,” Valentine explains. “Or, if it didn’t, we could easily develop it in the future. That was the biggest selling point for us; the TargetX solution is highly customizable and gives us the control we craved. We no longer feel boxed in. We are free to improve and make changes as needed.”

Specifically, Valentine’s wish list included items like a relational system that allowed Columbia College to seamlessly move its data from the previous system into TargetX fully intact and allows for its SIS and the TargetX CRM to speak to one another. No more manual data entry.

Another wish was regular and valuable updates and improvements that are responsive to customer feedback; TargetX releases updates throughout the year with significant improvements and additions. Valentine also required a more intuitive user interface to encourage increased staff usage. He notes that oftentimes, “admissions offices have a hard time getting CRM buy-in, but when you have a great user interface, people use it. TargetX has a clean, intuitive interface.”

Another important wish-list item, and a part of the TargetX Recruitment Suite is an Online Application that is customizable and designed specifically for mobile.

“An online application is such an important student-facing piece. Our previous form was clunky, old-looking, and not mobile-friendly,” Valentine explains. “We love the look and feel of the TargetX Online Application. It’s fully customizable, beautiful to look at, and mobile-first. When students type their information into the application, it’s immediately in the system for our staff. This has been such a big deal for us.”

Results: TargetX Recruitment Suite increases prospect student engagement and elicits staff buy-in, early on

How big of a deal has the adoption of the TargetX Recruitment Suite been for Columbia College?

Valentine says, “We are only ten months into using the TargetX Recruitment Suite with students and we’ve already seen a massive increase in prospects.”

Beyond the early value to students, staff across the campus also see the benefits with “usage way up compared to the previous system where hundreds of licenses were left unused.”

Valentine and his team are confident they will convert the increase in prospect students into applicants and admitted students, working together with the TargetX Recruitment Suite.

Columbia College at a Glance

  • Founded in 1851 Private, liberal arts and sciences college
  • Day and evening campus located in Columbia, MO
  • 36 extended campuses in 13 states and Cuba
  • Serves more than 29,000 students annually

TargetX Solutions


Columbia College needed a CRM and mobile-first Online Application that:

  • is highly customizable;
  • offers continual updates and improvements;
  • operates on a fully relational system; and
  • has exceptional functionality and an excellent user interface.

Learn How TargetX Can Help You Achieve Results