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Foundation for California Community Colleges Selects Blackboard for Mass Notification Service

Partnership Will Enrich Campus Enrollment Management Plans, Mass Notification Capabilities for Nation's Largest Higher Ed System
WASHINGTON, DC, Sep 04, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX News Network) -- Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB), a leading provider of educational enterprise technology, announced today that the Foundation for California Community Colleges (FCCC) -- the official foundation for the California Community Colleges Board of Governors and System Office -- has selected the Blackboard(R) Connect-ED(R) multi-modal mass notification service as an approved technology.

Under the agreement, Blackboard's Connect-ED service will provide community college leaders with the ability to quickly reach up to 2.6 million students that attend more than 100 community colleges across the state, as well as faculty and staff, with time-sensitive information under a special pricing structure.

"California's 110 community colleges need viable options for connecting directly with their students in a fast and efficient manner for any number of reasons," said Dr. Paul Lanning, President of the FCCC. "We are excited about our partnership with Blackboard because it represents another way for California's community colleges to benefit from the Foundation's commitment to providing excellence for the nation's largest higher education system."

"We are thrilled to team with the Foundation to offer their members a new tool to help efficiently manage campus communications," said Tom Motter, President of Blackboard Connect Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Blackboard. "The best way to keep the campus community informed is through communication, and the Connect-ED service makes it easy. With Connect-ED, administrators can leverage a powerful tool for mass communication without having to purchase new computers, software, or telephone lines."

Recently, Blackboard announced a similar agreement with the Oregon University System to make the Connect-ED service available to any public or private campus in the state, including community colleges.

Blackboard's Connect-ED mass notification service offers a unique benefit to campus leaders by supporting enrollment management, time-sensitive notification, and campus outreach efforts through a direct communication channel with students.

"The Connect-ED service was a critical component in our 2008 Enrollment Management plan, helping us to exceed our enrollment goals. Its phone survey tool provided valuable information regarding student registration," said Dr. Mark D. Robinson, Vice Chancellor of City College of San Francisco. "The Connect-ED service also offers multi-modal notification services, providing us the ability to quickly and efficiently contact our entire student population using voice, text, and email messages."

Built exclusively for postsecondary institutions, the Connect-ED service enables campus leaders to schedule, send, and track personalized voice messages at up to six phone numbers, two e-mail addresses and one text address per student and staff member. In all, the service helps officials reach out to students and staff through:

-- Voice messages to home phones, work phones, cell phones, and even e- mail addresses;

-- Text messages to cell phones, PDAs, networked digital signage, and other text-based devices;

-- Text messages to e-mail accounts; and

-- Messages to TTY/TDD receiving devices for the hearing impaired.

In addition to sending enrollment and admissions messages, the system can be used to notify entire student populations and staff members of campus closures and contingency plans due to unforeseen incidents. The Connect-ED service has been successfully used for communication by schools across the country during events, such as the wildfires in Southern California, Hurricanes Gustav, Dolly, and Humberto, school evacuations, campus notifications required by the Clery Act, and missing persons.

Les Jauron, Vice President for Planning and Information at Butte College, explained how a multi-modal notification service recently assisted their campus in a time-sensitive situation. "Earlier this summer, the Humboldt Wildfire in Northern California burned right to the edge of the Butte College main campus. We needed an efficient way to notify students, staff, and faculty about changes to the schedule that resulted from the fire. In this fast-moving situation the Connect-ED service enabled us to quickly notify the campus community about campus closures and schedule changes. This is a capability we just didn't have before. The speed and efficiency the Connect-ED service brings to time-sensitive notification is truly impressive."

For more information about Blackboard Connect(TM) solutions, please visit The Foundation for California Community Colleges is online at

About Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB) is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard's solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.


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Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Blackboard and other statements containing the words "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "will," and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including the factors discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of our Form 10-Q filed on August 7, 2008 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of September 4, 2008. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company's views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to September 4, 2008.

Matthew Maurer
Blackboard Inc.
(202) 463-4860 ext. 2637
Kate Taylor
(916) 420-7848

SOURCE: Blackboard Inc.