Two Portland-based tech companies focus on improving the economic mobility of students
Portland, Or., November 19, 2015
CollegeNET, Inc., a leading provider of Web-based technologies for higher education, today announced that it has teamed with Switchboard, an online engagement platform that specializes in higher education communities.
CollegeNET has long been a leader in helping colleges save money, increase donations, and improve the economic mobility of students and alumni across the country. This partnership will focus on existing CollegeNET customers who use the Contribute.com® online service for donation and registration management. It represents a tremendous opportunity for CollegeNET customers to increase donation opportunities among the young alumni population, while fostering economic opportunity in their communities by helping students connect with alumni employers.
"Our customers know that in order to get value in the form of tuition and donations, they must first demonstrate value to their communities. Our partnership with Switchboard aligns those objectives by building on the strengths of both technical platforms to provide a more comprehensive service," said CollegeNET Vice President of Finance, Ed Trachtenbarg.
"No company demonstrates as strong of a commitment to improving the economic outcomes of both institutions and their community members as CollegeNET. We are thrilled to partner with them to increase social and economic mobility within higher education," said Switchboard's co-founder and CEO Mara Zepeda. "Our two companies' technology offerings address the needs head on."
Reed College, a longtime CollegeNET customer, engaged in a successful test this summer in which Switchboard users who saw value from the product were asked to make a donation using Contribute.com. "The test efforts yielded results that helped us reach our donor goal," says Mike Teskey, Reed's Director of Alumni Relations. "It is important for us that alumni see the connection between the services they value and supporting the college."
This partnership comes during a time when the U.S. Department of Education has increased scrutiny of higher education's economic outcomes, with the release of its College Scorecard in September. CollegeNET has also released the 2015 Social Mobility Index rankings (www.socialmobilityindex.org). The SMI rankings show that through wise policy-making, colleges and universities can be part of improving both economic opportunity and social stability in our country.
CollegeNET, Inc. builds on-demand SaaS technologies that help institutions improve operational efficiency, enhance communication with constituents and save money. The company's systems are used by 1,300 institutions worldwide for event and academic scheduling, prospect and admissions management, Web-based tuition processing, instructor and course evaluation, and alumni development. Additionally, CollegeNET operates CollegeNET.com, a fast-growing social network through which students create topics, write about them, and vote to determine who will win scholarships. CollegeNET.com has awarded more than $1.8 million in scholarships to date. The company is headquartered in Portland, Oregon.
Switchboard is an intuitive, ad-free platform that builds community – connecting students and alumni to find and fill job openings, increase giving, and communicate and engage on other topics in an "ask" and "offer" format. The platform is used by higher education institutions across the country like Williams, Oberlin and Portland State University. It is recognized for its focus on delivering quantitative outcomes metrics and boasts an engagement and adoption rate that is seven times the industry average. The company was founded by Mara Zepeda and Sean Learner, who met over Twitter in 2012 and built the first Switchboard for their alma mater, Reed College. In 2014, the company was named by Business Insider as one of the 20 hottest startups founded by Women. Switchboard was in the PIIE (Portland Incubator Experiment) Class of 2013 and is headquartered in Portland, Oregon.