CHESS (Collaborative for Higher Education Shared Services) colleges unite for student success

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Five colleges design and implement shared Enterprise Resource Planning and Student Information Systems

Last year, colleagues from five partner colleges joined together to radically transform the higher education student experience. The partners are Clovis Community College, Central New Mexico Community College, Northern New Mexico College, San Juan College, and SFCC. Teams of experts from each college addressed the roadblocks many students face when pursuing a college education, seeking to improve professional skills, or exploring personal interests. They identified processes that best serve students and streamline administrative operations. They also investigated ways to retool and modernize administrative functions.

After extensive collaboration, the teams compiled detailed specifications on ways to enhance their services and issued a request for proposals in December. Upon recommendations from evaluators, the CHESS Board of Directors chose the vendor finalists in March. This spring, more than a hundred students, faculty, and staff from CHESS partner colleges participated in multi-day presentations from potential vendors for the Enterprise Resource Planning/Student Information System Shared Services solution.

To further the project, the presidents of the five colleges formed the nonprofit CHESS, the Collaborative for Higher Education Shared Services, whose leadership will guide this initiative and raise funds to support its implementation.

Now that the vendor presentations are completed, the Evaluation Team is reviewing all of the information in addition to the feedback received from the students, faculty and staff who participated. They will make a recommendation to the CHESS Board of Directors, who will make the final decision on a vendor partner.

Once the vendor presentations were completed, the Evaluation Team reviewed all of the information in addition to the feedback received from students, faculty and staff and made a recommendation to the CHESS Board of Directors, who made the final decision on a vendor partner who will be announced next month.

The group will begin implementation with shared, cloud-based solutions for administrative processes in finance, human resources, and payroll. In 2022, they will configure and install the modules for student services (admissions, financial aid, curricula and scheduling, registration and records, continuing education, workforce training, etc.).

When this project is fully realized, students will be able to apply once, be accepted, and have their records securely accessible at all of the partner colleges. They can take classes at any of the colleges so they can complete a degree faster while saving on costs. The colleges will assist and support each other when there are vacancies among key personnel and faculty, thus preventing an interruption in service. This unique collaboration, with its state-of-the art approach, will increase student achievement, update procedures, support faculty and staff, and contribute to a healthier economy in each of the communities the colleges serve. It will also save money.

More information is available at, or contact CHESS Communications Officer Laura J. Mulry, 505-946-7980.