Beginning this month, Vice President of Student Services Dr. Virginia Fraire shares information and updates about this vital college area.
It’s been almost nine months since I became ACC’s vice president of student services, and while I’m not new to the college, I have taken this time to get to know the college more broadly and meet more of ACC’s family. I’ve had the chance to assess student services more holistically and explore new opportunities to serve our students.
Specifically, I am working with my leadership team, staff, and others to reorganize some of our structures and processes to support the provost’s alignment plan and achieve the following:
- Monitor student entry and progress.
- Benchmark and measure student services.
- Integrate and centralize some services to improve delivery and effectiveness.
- Sunset process holder model where campus deans served as leads for districtwide responsibilities.
- Develop a student services structure appropriate for today’s environment.
Following is a brief overview of each of these objectives. I will provide more details in the coming weeks.
Monitor student entry and progress
Onboarding students and monitoring their progress requires intentionality. New customer relationship management (CRM) software will allow us to analyze and manage student interactions through the entire admissions cycle. We will hire a CRM manager to help implement this technology and develop a comprehensive enrollment management strategy.
New customer relationship management (CRM) software will allow us to analyze and manage student interactions through the entire admissions cycle.
Once students are enrolled, we must monitor their progress. We are piloting “Inspire,” a new application from Civitas Learning that will help advisors and counselors provide individualized support to their student caseloads.
A committee also is considering whether ACC’s institutional academic standards of progress should be aligned with federal financial aid eligibility standards. These require students to complete 67 percent of the credits they attempt with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.
Additionally, I will be working with deans, retention and intervention managers, the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Accountability (OIEA), and Guillermo Martinez, ACC’s manager of data analytics, to develop a more timely process for monitoring completion and graduation rates so that we can be proactive in identifying students who need additional support.
Benchmark and measure student services
The Student Services Office continually will assess how we are meeting our objectives and will work with the Office of Institutional Planning, Development, and Evaluation on new processes for planning and evaluating our services. Instead of a five-year review cycle, we will synchronize our review with ACC’s three-year planning cycle. A Student Services planning subcommittee will help monitor the overall unit plans.
Integrate and centralize services to improve delivery and effectiveness
As you may know, we’re moving toward integrating Learning Lab and Supplemental Instruction activities to better serve students. The Student Services Office now has oversight of the Highland Campus ACCelerator; future ACCelerators at the Leander, Rio Grande, and Round Rock campuses will feature this integrated approach.
We’re also modifying Learning Lab technical support. A recent audit found our current processes to be duplicative and ineffective, and indicated that technicians were providing more individual technical support rather than troubleshooting on behalf of the Lab. Learning Lab technical support will be consolidated into one unit under the IT Department, and we will update the job description for Learning Lab technicians. Current lab technicians may apply for one of the four positions transferred to IT.
Our Office of Student Accessibility Services also will benefit from centralization. Currently, student services deans supervise SAS functions at their campus. The collegewide disability services process holder provides guidance but does not supervise those providing services.
Our Office of Student Accessibility Services also will benefit from centralization.
Under the new structure, some SAS services will be centralized and SAS staff will report to a single supervisor. Where appropriate, we will integrate certain SAS testing services with other assessment and academic testing functions to help us manage resources more effectively and ensure we have consistent processes for the intake and monitoring of SAS students.
Sunset process holder
Historically, our student services deans have also been responsible for a significant area, such as advising, career, testing, Title XI, etc., for the entire college. By creating new leadership roles to oversee processes for advising, testing, and counseling, the deans can focus on making sure students at their campus benefit from our full range of services and support.
A new director of advising — a key role as we transition to guided pathways — will help ACC develop and implement a holistic advising model that integrates academic, career, and transfer advising. The testing services director will collaborate with other departments to coordinate testing-related functions. The Dean of Counseling will develop intervention programs to support student success, including those that are federally and state mandated.
A new director of advising — a key role as we transition to guided pathways — will help ACC develop and implement a holistic advising model that integrates academic, career, and transfer advising.
Develop a student services structure appropriate for today’s environment
As someone who has been part of this amazing institution for many years, I’m proud of the work we have achieved and our dedication to our students’ success. Together, we have created many pride points. As I move forward, I will work to shape systems and processes that offer students a positive, streamlined onboarding experience, followed by integrated, consistent services that maximize our efforts and resources.
I’ve really just touched the surface of some of the exciting developments that lie ahead, and I look forward to sharing more details in the coming weeks. Please feel free to share your ideas and input with me.
Tags: student servicesBack to Top