Case Study:

College System Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Shared Services



Higher Education

Our Role

  • System Efficiency and Effectiveness 


The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) 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 needed 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. We then identified where opportunities existed for consolidation of services could occur that would not only maintain but enhance student outcomes.


Behind the Scenes

The Hill Group assisted 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. Our team worked with SBCTC leadership to deploy 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), and redesigned and centralized business processes to simultaneously reduce costs and improve impacts on student access, persistence, and completion