Cheyney University found itself in distress over the last decade.  Academic standards at the nation’s first historically African American institute of higher education had fallen and its financial condition suffered.  The public, alumni and decision-makers at the Middle States Commission on Higher Education had lost faith in the school.


Ceisler Media developed a plan to update the public on Cheyney’s academic, financial and governance improvements.  We worked with local media – including three newspapers and regional television stations.  This coverage was then leveraged into a social media campaign to sustain momentum.

Team members highlighted the university’s heightened academic standards, updated the public on the financial health of the institution, emphasized the school’s productive partnerships, and brought attention to innovative career services opportunities.

After previously admitting every applicant, Cheyney raised its standards and requirements for admission.  The college’s financial condition improved through substantial fundraising achievements as stakeholders learned of its progress from positive media.  Cheyney welcomed corporate operations who observed its turnaround to provide student internship opportunities and increase leasing revenue.  New partnerships, including with Jefferson University, enriched educational opportunities for students.

Ceisler Media secured coverage that reported on each of these developments.  An op-ed in the Delaware County Daily Localhighlighted the school’s higher academic standards.  A piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer focused on the school’s fundraising achievements.  The Penn Capitol Star characterized Cheyney’s turnaround model as a blueprint for other struggling universities in the nation to follow. 

Ceisler’s team engaged with students and alumni throughout the duration of the project.  Interviews brought to light the strong sense of pride about improved conditions at the school.


As a result of improved academic, ethical, and financial performance – as well as its strengthened public reputation – Cheyney was granted full accreditation by the Middle States Commission in November.  The milestone marks the ultimate accomplishment – well deserved by Cheyney University and its leadership, supported by the work of Ceisler Media and Issue Advocacy.