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Jennelle Willis

HBCU Engagement Partner
Student Freedom Initiative (“SFI”)

Accountable to the Chief Operating Officer for the successful onboarding of HBCUs and serves as a liaison assisting HBCUs with the comprehensive SFI program implementation. Co-led the HBCU Engagement team responsible for developing communications and training material to better inform academic affairs, financial aid, enrollment, marketing, and student support services staff on the SFI Program. Developed and coordinated content to be used by 4 assigned Cohort 1 HBCUs to describe the SFI Program on their websites and other social media channels. Designed and coordinated the process and tools to collect and analyze institutional data.  Updated the HBCU Cohort selection criteria, based on lessons learned from Cohort 1, to be applied to future HBCU Cohorts.  Defined attributes and definitions to support data visual representation of institution and servicer provided information within the SFI Knowledgebase and Dashboard.  Provided institution and student specific feedback to inform the final Student Freedom Agreement (SFA) process, design, FAQs, and implementation.

Having worked in Higher education for 14 + years, with the most recent tenure at Howard University serving as the Manager, Student Awards, her primary focal point has been within the realm of financial aid at primarily minority serving institutions within the Washington Metropolitan Area. While at Howard, Jennelle crafted new mediums in which to communicate with students during the unprecedented COVID challenges to establish a new norm in Student engagement. Designed a new learner-centered Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) workshop to help increase the total understanding of the life cycle surrounding the SAP process while subsequently attempting to decrease the rate in which students are repeatedly identified for Failing SAP. Throughout a Career within Financial aid, managed over 50 million in Federal, State, and Institutional based Funding for the purpose of assisting students and families with the means to pursue post-secondary education. Responsible for the design and implementation of several financial literacy benchmarks and student engagement programs through her tenor within financial aid, while also serving as a primary point of research at the institutional level for Policy integration and compliance. She continues her path in higher education toward the enrichment of the lives of others within her community.  Graduate of Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland having obtained both a Master of Arts degree in Human Resource Development and Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology.