The recent economic downturn and President Obama’s challenge to increase the number of college graduates have forced higher education institutions to aggressively confront the internal and external challenges they ignored in the past. To remain competitive, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) must confront these challenges by continuously improving their effectiveness in all facets of their operation. Their long term marketability and viability requires a collaborative approach to finding solutions to improve progression metrics, student learning outcomes, retention, and four year graduation rates. Meeting these challenges require the adoption of continuous quality improvement (CQI) strategies that are customer focus and assessment driven. CQI sets the foundation for strategic planning and process improvement by utilizing data to guide all facets of the institution. A well develop assessment strategy set the stage for scheduled assessment and the utilization of the data to drive decision making and resource allocation. This sets the stage for developing a culture of evidence necessary to meet the standards for institution effectiveness.