Student Central

Student central provides students with one place to go for in- person service regarding matters of financial aid and records and registration. Student Central also serves as a central location for student workshops and assistance with on-line self-serve functions via CougarWeb and each of the other web tools used by Columbus State students, potential students, and alumni.

STUDENT CENTRAL MSSION STATEMENT: Through respect and understanding, we guide and empower students to successfully navigate the college experience in a welcoming environment and centralized location.

Student central offers an open and inviting floor plan with comfortable seating, a service counter, and office space for visiting experts in depth counseling session conduct by Student Central Staff. This, combined with the latest technology in a computer lab designated for workshops and an assisted self-serve computer area, allow Student Central to be nimble and adjust quickly to the ebb and flow of student traffic and service needs. Integrating multiple student services in a single location reduces student run-around, and allows students to be guided and served more holistically.

Student Central began operations with five full-time and three part-time specialists, a trainer, an assistant director, and a director. A student ID coordinator was recently hired in preparation for Cougar ID card production services relocating to the lower-level of Student Central in Madison Hall, and two additional part-time specialists have been added to the team. Even with a growing team, providing service to a high volume of students is accomplished thanks to a spirit of collaboration across departments. Financial aid staff members rotate through Student Central to receive and counsel referred students and assist as needed. During peak times, additional staff from Financial Aid and the Office of the Registrar assist in the area. Student workers also play a large role in the success of Student Central. Student Central employs several of its own Federal Work Study Students, and also makes use of help from other student workers from a variety of offices and organizations (Cougar Crew members, Peer Advocates, an AARP trainee, and Impact summer youth interns).

In order to respond to the peaks and valleys of student flow and needs across multiple student service areas, Student Central is teaming up with College Testing Services and New Student Programs to create “pool positions.” Staff working in these pool positions will be extensively trained, and their work hours will be divided between departments to align with peaks in each area. This flexible staffing model will allow the College to be more responsive to student needs while using human resources efficiently and providing professional development opportunities for staff.

STRATEGIC PRIORITIES:

  • Columbus State Community College Strategic Priority: Student Success
  • Address diverse students’ needs and goals by ensuring equity in success outcomes
  • Cultivate an informed and engaged college community that welcomes students as they are, fosters meaningful relationships, and connects them to resources so that they may succeed.
  • Columbus State Community College Strategic Priority: Civic Engagement
  • Grow community partnerships to ensure the opportunity for success for all students.
  • Provide an inclusive, open, and supportive environment to identify student needs and connect holistic and relevant resources that will address both academic and non-academic barriers.

STATS AT A GLANCE

  • 5,000 students served each month at the customer service desk (in August 2016, over 8,300 were served)
  • 30% of students served at customer service desk received one-stop services that would have historically required multiple office visits
  • Approximately 2,000 students receive guidance each month in the Student Central assisted lab (in August, up to 300 students a day were served in the assisted lab)
  • 79% of students responding to a satisfaction survey indicate Student Central did a very good to excellent job in assisting them
  • Survey respondents also rated Student Central staff as very good or excellent for friendliness (77%), organization and professionalism (81%), helpfulness (81%), knowledge (80%), level of service (79%)
  • Ambiance and usability were rated as very good or excellent, 82% and 77% respectively
  • Overall, 86% of survey respondents said YES we met or exceeded their expectations
  • Number served at customer service desk in May 2016=5,162; and number served at customer service desk in May 2017=4,527

In this case, we are looking at a decrease in number served as a good thing because it might indicate a combination of the following factors:

  • Student Central staff teach students how to navigate self-serve web tools.  By coaching students through the use of these tools once, more of our students are able to move forward answering their own questions and completing their own tasks at their convenience without a one on one conversation with a Student Central Specialist.
  • Students are receiving more holistic guidance (approximately one in three service encounters results in students accomplishing business that would previously have required that they visit multiple service areas), and accomplishing more with each service encounter, so they have to visit with less frequency.
ID 16924

To contact this college about this intervention, take note of the ID above, ID #16924, and then fill out the intervention contact request form

Please note that for security purposes, contact information can only be provided to known contacts at active Achieving the Dream institutions.

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