Case Studies

System Efficiency and Effectiveness


Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges

The Hill Group's Role

  • Assist SBCTC with achievement of a state-legislated mandate (ESSB 6359) to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the state’s community and technical college system
  • Deployed sophisticated analytical tools to identify benefit and cost drivers within eight then-decentralized functional areas (accounts payable, payroll, purchasing, admissions, enrollment, financial aid, benefits administration, and IT management)
  • Redesign and centralize business processes to simultaneously reduce costs and improve impacts on student access, persistence, and completion


  • Identified 40 key variables with greatest statistical impact on student success among more than 400 potential variables
  • Reimagined and reengineered systems and processes to amplify the impacts of these variables while reducing other with less impact
  • Design of shared service models for selected business processes that could be performed by a central entity on behalf of individual colleges and universities
  • Demonstrated achievement of and compliance with mandates set forth in ESSB 6359

The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges is the state agency providing leadership and coordination for Washington’s system of 34 public community and technical colleges.

The search for new efficiencies in service delivery and back-office support had been ongoing for a number of years as a result of growing enrollments and shrinking revenue, which was exacerbated by the Great Recession. From 2009 to 2011, state funding was cut by nearly one-quarter while enrollment grew by almost 20 percent. The state’s schools would need to do more with less.

The Hill Group was engaged to aid the agency and related system in responding to a legislative mandate requiring the identification of efficiencies within the system for reinvestment into areas that will improve student outcomes. This effort included significant analysis and value-driven business process redesign of accounts payable, payroll, purchasing, admissions, enrollment, financial aid, benefits administration, and IT management. The Hill Group gathered and analyzed exhaustive data on effort invested in and outcomes resulting from these functions and processes at each college. Consultants then identified where opportunities existed for consolidation of services could occur that would not only maintain but enhance student outcomes.