Searching for New Enrollment Staffing Models

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Dr. Tom Green, Associate Executive Director at AACRAO, joined the podcast to discuss the evolution of the one-stop shop admissions model and Harvard University’s plans for Kennedy School to integrate its admissions and financial aid positions.

A person could come in meet with someand be able, in that span of time, to really understand how their priorcredits could be leveraged. What the schedule of courses in their proposedprogram might look like, so they could balance that with family commitments,work commitments et Cetera and also understand what the financial aidoptions might be. If you're listening to enrolment growth,university from helic education, the best professional development podcastfor higher education leaders looking to grow in Roman at their college oruniversity, whether you're looking for fresh and romant growth techniques andstrategies for tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let'sget into the show, welcome back to an Roman GrowthUniversity, a proud member of the connect Edu podcast network, I'm Ericholsome with helic education and we're here today with Dr Tom Green, the SMdoctor an associate executive director at Acro to welcome to the show. Thank you Eric Nice to be here great tohave. You here really excited a Tokay today about new enrolment staffingmodels that were starting to see out there in the wild. Before we dig intothat, can you get the listeners a little bit of background on both Paroand your rule? There? Absolutely so acro you're, nothing inhigher education with at an acronym stands for the American Association ofPolitia Registrars and admissions officers were one of the oldest andlargest professional associations and higher education. We've been around fora hundred ten years or more now, and we have eleven thousand members spreadover forty two countries, but most of them are in the US and Canada at Acro,I'm responsible for the professional development content for all of ourmembers around strategic enrollment management, so that concerns anythingwith in Roman strategies also gets into...

...a lot of work with financial aid. A lotof work with marketing, provement retention student success et CETERA. Ialso, and the editor in chief of our Peer Reviewed Research Journal on SinCalled Sam quarterly, and I oversee our major international conference eachhere at Gray, sem Tom. It's a perfect background for this conversation todayexcited it to gain to kick us off today. I guess I'm curious to just hear whatyour initial thoughts were when you heard that Harvard universities,Kennedy School, was planning to integrate their admissions andfinancial ate positions. Well, my initial reaction was that I'malways interested in innovation and somebody doing something new. Obviouslythis is being done in institution of a great history and a school of greatreputation, so one might assume they've gone into this thoughtfully and maybethey're onto something here. I think that was also mixed with concern, andthat concern is that the roles that they're describing are both silent,they're steeped in lots of information and specialties. So, for example, inorder to be a strong recruiter and do the admissions work well, you have tospend a lot of time learning that a lot of time in contact with differentpeople, a looking at data following up with students, possibly even evaluatingapplication materials. That requires some expertise in quite a bit of time.The other part of it finance laid, probably requires even greaterexpertise and more knowledge, more specific knowledge of regulations, ofthe nuances of financial aid information, and while this appears tobe at a graduate, it may also extend to the undergraduate level. We don't knowthe graduate level is a bit simpler...

...than the undergraduate level andfinancial. It simply because you eliminate the federal and state grantprograms, but even lone programs are extremely technical today and require agood deal of expertise, and it's really balancing the expertise needed betweenboth of those things and trying to identify individuals that could havethe capacity to manage all of that knowledge and the work on the balanceof that that gave me pause. So that said, maybe it's a very innovativeapproach to it, but the literal concern there that they might have too high anexpectation for what one person might be able to master and manage. I think Ihad a pretty similar approach, an let's dig into the hiccups in a minute. Let'sstart on the optimistic side about a beyond is something here. Could this beseen as in evolution of the one stop shop admissions model that most of theindustry has moved to over the last decade? Just taking that next step toBA one stop point of contact model yeah in that respect, I think that it,it certainly could be, and and I'll tell you how I have experienced withthat and where I think it really makes a lot of sense. So almost I guess it'dbe more than twenty years ago now, I'm dating myself a little bit. I wascharged with creating a one stop center for returning adults at a privateuniversity in the Midwest and doing that work. We realized it was reallyimportant that a person could come in meet with some and be able, in thatspan of time, to really understand how their prior credits could be leveragedwith the schedule of courses in their proposed program might look like, sothey could balance that with family commitments, work commitments et Ceteraand also understand what the financial aid options might be, as well aspayment options. So at that level we...

...want to provide enough information tobe able to assure the student that it was. You know something that they couldmanage, given their time, how long it would take to get a degree what itmight cost and what some of the general information on financial aid might be. So in that sense, this seems to havemany of the elements of that idea. I think the difference here could be thatit sounds like in this role at the Kennedy School. What they're trying todo is take it all the way through processing the aid, so that the personcould be served by a single point of contact and, if possible, that thatperson would not only oversee their application process and be able tospeak with that person in depth about other admissibility of the institution.Answer questions about scendin dot, an all of those nuances and logistics ofgetting the degree but also fully process their AIDS start to stop withit. If that's possible to do that, it would be an incredible service, becausewhat we are trying to avoid in one stop scenarios is bouncing the studentaround the bureaucracy of the of the D of The institution. Excuse me, and so,as we try to make sure that we're seamlessly providing that informationto students and that they don't have to go to multiple touch points to receivethe information or we don't leave it for them. To put this informationtogether coherently. This may be a really interesting way that they can do.This will all be very curious to see how itworks out and what the results are for the Kennedy School you tease on this earlier, but we'reasking for for a couple of different profiles into a new Unicorn position.We want that person that can be an Eromango ch that can excite andmotivate them through the experience...

...you want the person with the technicalunderstanding to provide a very, very well informed, thoughtful and accurateand financial aid counseling as well. Let's pretend that you're bought intothis concept of integrated staffing. How do you think about finding thosepeople? How do you, how does how would that change, how an institution triesto hire for these kind of new straddler UNICORNS? You know that's a great questioner andI think it's a little bit to me a little bit less of the hiringdifficulty as it is about the training that you have to do in order to getthat person really ready to sit in the job. So again, this was some time ago. I hadthe opportunity to tour and talk with a large student loan provider and theyhad very strong customer service and as curious. How do you do it right? How doyou get people who can really help the person who's calling in to answer thosedetailed questions about their loans? That, of course, have tangents intofinancial aid, all of the enrolment level, all those questions that mightgo with it and they said it took them about six months to get a person readyto really answer a phone call on their own, and so I think in trying to hirefor this position. I've said this many times in my career and certain andpractised it as well. You can train people to learn financial, it it's alot of information, but it is something you can learn. I think, certainly, ifyou're talking about a director of financial aid you're talking aboutyears to absorb all of those different facets of that. But if you're talkingabout someone who's, really a frontline person working with student, counselingand processing financial aid, you can acquire that knowledge. So I think it'sreally more hiring for the skills that are the soft skills or crewe readyskills, the human interaction skills...

...that will be key to this, because he,the student, coming into this scenario, has to have trust in the person they'remeeting with. They have to believe that they're acting their best interests.The person has to be able to convey confidence that they can process theirinformation, a timely manner. They have to have great listening skills becauseoften students, don't ask you a question. That is really yes, no right.There are all kinds of things that might be expressed as concerns thataren't direct concerns. Like saying, I'm not sure I can pay for this, theymight come at it in many different ways and it takes a really good listener anddetective in a way to unravel those nuances of the conversation. Thosehints that the student may be giving you that they have a concern that theythemselves may not even know how to express. So I think it's really hiringfor those skills and then training into the financial aid information over time.So I anticipate that you may hire someone start them with some initialtraining on this, but they'd probably be shadowing and working on this andacquiring knowledge, probably going online for seminars from the financialage association NASA, maybe even attending professional developmentworkshops to get their feet underneath them in financial aid for severalmonths before they're really ready to do this work. I love that plan that if, if we learnedthis positive pilot that we all want to consider adopting that, there's theability to train our existing team to adopt these new skills Tom- are thereother enrollment staffing, structural changes or experiments that you've seenin the last decade that have shown the most promise absolutely, and I think it even goeslonger than a decade again. I'm dating...

...myself in this conversation, butthere's no way around it. back in t s IBM had a group called the bestpractice partners, and this was a group of innovators who were working in onestop shop models. These were some of the first one stop shops developed inhigher ed in the United States in the UK it's called sheared service and asimilar concept, and so, when I've been over there to meet with some of theirfolks, they have very similar approaches to how we've approached ithere in the United States, and that model is one where you try and take themost common touch points the students have outside of academic needs, soyou're, not necessarily trying to support any type of academic support.Tutoring advising that type of thing, but you are trying to take care ofanything the student needs, especially with the tar of money, which is oftentimes the area that is the hardest to address and the one where studentsreally want to talk to a human, a lot of other areas that we can do in onestop center registration, which includes changes of course, changes tocourses. It can include petitions changes of grades, it conclude,transfer credit or work. It can include transcripts or getting official copiesof records. All of those things can be associated with registration of theregistrars work. We have moved so much of that online that once studentsunderstand how to get into a portal that they may have access to at mostcolleges and universities. Today they can largely self serve and they onlyneed help in those things when something's really unusual or somethinggoes wrong, and so in the one stop model we train for those things, but wedon't spend a lot of our time doing those things in the one stop where wespend a lot of our time is in the area...

...of financial, late and the Bursar,because those paying the bill is essentially what the soon is trying todo. Financial aid is just a mechanism topay that bill. It's one of many mechanisms and so whether the studentmay be getting grants or assistantships to take the funds right off the top ofthat they're, almost always left with an amount they need to finance and sobeing able to speak with the student coherently and cohesively about theeight options, but also the payment plan options. What happens with a latefee if there, if they didn't pay their bill on time being able to navigate?All of that for the student is a really strong approach to this. One Stop Workand it's where we find mature one stops, meaning those that have been in placefor a few years. They spent about ninety percent of their time withfinancial issues and only ten percent of their time, with everything elsethat the student might need administratively. So I think the ideathat the Kennedy School has is on track, meaning that they understand they haveto also pay attention to the way the student pays for it, but I think in thein the models that we see in one stops, we tend to divide them betweengeneralists and specialists, so the generalist is the person you contact ifyou call in or if you're chatting on online or if you walk into a one stopcenter. That person should be able to answer about eighty per cent of thequestions that are received and usually they're transactional. How do I do this?How do I do that? Can you help me do this? I need to do that or simpleinformation yeah. When do you think my loan will be processed? Am I missinganything in my information? Those are the kind of transactional questionsthat a one top generalist can answer when it gins in in the nuance of that.It seems that, for some reason your...

...loan is not going through. It seemsthat there's information we need. That's not. You know kind of a standardpacket of information. We need for a lone application or financial aidapplication. That's when we refer them to the generalist. Who has that deeperknowledge, and so we would almost always position a specialist up at thefront near that in an office off to the side of the One Stop Center. So, asthose questions came in the generalist at the counter, right is, if we'redoing this in person would say, hang on just a minute. Let me see if I can getsomeone to to help you and they would tap that specialist and that ofsted sayhey. I've got somebody out here at the question. I can't answer that personcan pull that student out of line. Have them commenced, sit down on ravel thesituation and ninety nine percent of the time fix it at that point, buthaving one person who could do seem to be too much expectation for thegeneralist, because those nuance detailed questions were just so idiosand Cretic and required such a level of experience and expertise that wecouldn't adequately train that up in the generalist, even over a few yearsof training Tom such awesome insights. I love thatyou and the folks of that Crow are looking at all the different examplesand use cases that are happening around the countries that we can learn ofeveryone's curve at once. Finally, any final next steps advice, prisidintlistening to the list. They might be looking at experimenting with differentand Roman staffing structures, they're trying to provide the best student inRoman experience possible. Where should they start yeah? That's a great question Eric andI really thought one stop shops were a fad that came and went in the early twothousands. We seem to spend a lot of...

...time and there were some. You knowbooks written about those the Side Society for College and UniversityPlanning, scup put out some guides in the two thousands to one stops. Therehave been papers and research articles. If you, Google, one shops or one stopcenters higher education, I'm sure you'd come up with lots of resources,because this is something that was popular around the early two thousandsand it seems in the last five years or so. The interest in this has come upagain and so we're seeing a resurgence of interest in this that people areinterested in how this works and what to do so. You can certainly look outthere at different professional organizations. Not only acro, but alsoNIKOBOB has some resources. That's the business officers organization on onestop shops and I think just start there start to see what are other peopledoing, what you what's working and then once you've done. Some initial researchidentify some institution that have these one stop centers and go make avisit. Take a small team and toured two or three of these different one: stopcenters and identify the things that you think are really appealing and thethings that you think would really work at your own institution. While they mayhave similarities, they're all unique, and you have to figure out the rightcombination and the right physical formats to write online formats, theright technologies that are really going to work for your institutionalcontext. Tom. Thank you so much of your timetoday. What's the best place for listeners to reach out to you or yourteam, if they have any follow up questions. Oh absolutely, two things I'll give youmy my email address: it's Tom Dot, green, no e on the end of green at Acro,a C R, a o got or G, and you can also...

...go to our website. ACRO DOT or we'vegot lots of resources for all kinds of issues in administrative services inregistration services and strategic enrollment management. Awesome Tomthanks so much for joining us today. It's been a pleasure that youattracting today's new post, traditional learners, means adoptingnew enrolment strategies, helic educations data driven enterprise, wideapproach to enrolment growth is uniquely helping colleges anduniversities thrive in this new education, landscape and Helix has justpublished the second edition of their enrollment growth playbook, with fiftypercent brand new content on how institutions can solve today's mostpressing enrolment growth challenges download it today for free at HelosEducation, com, playbook, you've been listening to enrolmentgrowth university from hericks education to ensure that you never missan episode subscribe to the show in Itunes or your favorite podcast player.Thank you so much for listening until next time. I.

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