Date of Award

Spring 4-1-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Candis Best, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Matthew Basham, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Teri Greene, Ph.D.


This dissertation explores the use of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technologies and processes in a large Midwestern undergraduate public Institution of Higher Education. CRM systems and processes have operated in business and industry for some time, but only more recently are CRM systems being adopted and used for undergraduate student retention in colleges and universities. The purpose of this research study is to examine and describe how a CRM system is being implemented for undergraduate degree-seeking student retention at a large Midwestern undergraduate public IHE. CRM technology has been used for undergraduate student recruitment, but its application for undergraduate student retention is still unclear. The scholar-practitioner approach was used to research this academic issue that is important to practitioners in higher education. A qualitative methodology using a single case study design was used. The primary sources for data included interviews with nine IHE stakeholders and the examination of CRM and student retention documents at this IHE. The major findings of this study identified four main themes that emerged from the data analysis: CRM Implementation, Multi-level Decision-making, Interdepartmental Communications and Interactions, and Student Retention Information and Results. The relationships among these themes illustrate the main findings of this research. Implications and recommendations for future research and practice are discussed.

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