News Column

Terra Dotta Software Making Waves in International Education Community

February 18, 2014

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Just over a decade ago, Terra Dotta Software was still a seed of an idea in the minds of two University of North Carolina graduate students – Brandon Lee and Garrett Christian. It is now a thriving organization with more than two dozen employees, clients in 45 states, and a strong international presence.

Terra Dotta closed out the first month of 2014 with a bang – doubling its number of average monthly sales and inking the contract on its first-ever Canadian client.

In 2001, Lee and Christian, then graduate students, launched on the path of developing what is now Terra Dotta Software. A representative from Dartmouth College saw their NAFSA presentation about the software program that they developed for the University of North Carolina. He told them that if they turned it into a product, he would be the first to buy it. The rest, as they say, is history.

Terra Dotta now makes software that helps universities manage risk – at home and abroad – by managing international travel of students and faculty.

While it took some time to get things off the ground, momentum is building. At the end of 2011 they had 188 clients. A little over two years later that number has almost doubled.

According to Lee, this is just the tip of the iceberg: “A lot of our growth is due to universities realizing the ‘duty of care’ they owe to their faculty, students, and staff when they travel, and understanding that this is an area where we can help them.

“The biggest driver of our success, however, would have to be word of mouth. The best sales people that we have are our current clients. Our big secret to increasing sales is to deliver what they want and deliver it well,” he added. “We listen to our clients. We take their input seriously. We work with them in focus groups and steering committees to find out what they need to make things better in their day-to-day life.”

Gonzaga University’s Director of Study Abroad, Richard Menard, a long time Terra Dotta Software user who has advocated for and/or implemented the system at four separate universities, corroborates this statement.

“Terra Dotta keeps refining the program and making it better for the study abroad office,” said Menard. “There was a time, for example, when a number of offices were asking for a map function. They heard us and they did it.”

What they’ve also heard loud and clear is that there is a strong need in the international education community for travel and risk management and for International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) solutions.

“Terra Dotta started as a study abroad company,” said Lee. “We are all zealots for study abroad. But study abroad is a very small piece of the pie when it comes to international education – particularly in the United States. It has become clear that there is a real need for solutions in the travel, risk management, and ISSS departments as well.

“Our goal is not to just track students and travel. Our goal is to help universities get a complete view of their internationalization profile. We have a couple of absolutely amazing projects we are working on right now that will enable us to offer our clients so much more than they’ve ever had.”

About Terra Dotta: Over 300 educational institutions and businesses, including 145 of the top 300 schools on the 2012 Open Doors list, trust Terra Dotta software to manage their application processes and streamline their operations.

Our mission is to offer the very best products and services in higher education software. We are committed to delivering a user experience that transforms the way our clients operate and engage with their constituents. We accomplish this through the continual deployment of best-in-class technology and the focus we place on mutual trust in each and every one of our business relationships. For more information please visit

Terra Dotta, LLC

Marty Greenham, Director of Marketing, 707-537-0759

Source: Terra Dotta, LLC

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