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Admissions & Records and Financial Aid Redesign Project

Learn about the redesign process to develop new, districtwide models for Admissions & Records and Financial Aid with the goal of consolidating services across campuses for better student equity and engagement.

Project Description

During the last several months, Los Rios contracted with two outside consulting firms to assess our college Financial Aid and Admissions and Records operations: Blue Icon for Financial Aid and the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Offices (AACRAO) for Admissions and Records. The focus of this work is to design a new service model that is based in equity that provides quality engagement for all students and, in particular, our disproportionately impacted student populations.

Guiding Principles

During the latter part of the spring 2021 semester, each college held listening sessions with faculty, classified, and managers to discuss the proposed redesign of Admissions and Records and Financial Aid. Feedback and concerns from the listening sessions were compiled and used to help develop guiding principles that will help provide a framework for how the overall process and important considerations that the consultants and planning workgroup will take into account throughout the process and as recommendations are developed.

  • Transparency and communication about the process are critical.
  • The outcome of the redesign process should result in a more robust and student-centered model of service delivery for all students, and particularly for our most marginalized students.
  • Equity-minded and student-centered service delivery model, for students and staff.
  • Changes should be data-informed and based on student needs.
  • The redesign should identify metrics and a process for evaluating whether the changes have been successful and help inform future quality improvements.
  • Input from impacted stakeholders is important to inform the redesign.
  • The redesign should result in efficiencies that address staff workload constraints and improve the student experience.
  • The model for redesign should still provide in-person campus-level support for students.
  • Recommendations for improvement should address possible technology and process improvements that would result in greater efficiencies, reduce redundancies and unnecessary requirements and steps in a process, and eliminate barriers for students.
  • Change can be very difficult – it is important to address the human side of how change impacts individuals and provide support to staff to help them manage changes resulting from the redesign.

Goals

  • Implement a service model and structure that will better serve students, staff, and all stakeholders.
  • Provide seamless service to students that is both equity-minded and student-centered.
  • Maximize efficiencies in processes, technology, and staffing in conducting admissions and records and financial aid-related processes.
  • Align and create a more consistent student experience across all four colleges, so that all students receive an exceptional level of service.
  • Establish metrics for identifying areas for improvement and assessing effectiveness.
  • Implement processes that regularly evaluate and address workload concerns with the goal of maintaining good staff morale and work satisfaction.

Communication

We will regularly post updated information about the redesign on this webpage. In addition, each campus will hold information sessions during the semester to help keep the campus community informed about the progress of this work and an opportunity to provide input.

Do you have questions or comments about the redesign project? Reach out to our team via the Redesign Feedback Form.

Project Timelines

The following timelines and project deliverables are subject to change.

As the work of both projects get underway, we will continue to add more detail to this overview and continue to keep all stakeholders engaged, particularly those who are most impacted by this important work.

Admissions and Records Timeline

Phase 1

  1. Discovery: Review the goals of the engagement, establish the consultation schedule, and review the list of requested background materials.
  2. Admissions and Records Offices and Education Center Reviews: The virtual equivalent of a 10-day on-campus visit by AACRAO to gain an understanding of the admissions and records operations practices.
  3. Issue and Present a Report of Findings and Recommendations: Within four to six weeks of the conclusion of information gathering and consultation interviews at each college and education center, AACRAO will provide the Project Lead(s) with a narrative report.

Phase 2

  1. Development of the Admissions Model and Implementation Plan: Consultants will develop an admissions model plan and implementation recommendations.
  2. Plan Revision and Finalization: Provide final plan to designated audience.

Phase 3

  1. Implementation Guidance and Assistance: Consultants will provide guidance in areas that will be impacted by these changes such as staff training and cross-training, updating/streamlining communications, changing information on the website, updating or leveraging technology, workflow routing, organizational structure and staff changes, update to space and processes and procedures, and so on.
  2. Consultants Finalizing Reports: Spring 2022 – Final reports are expected near the end of March. Additional campus updates will be held. Reports will be shared with key stakeholders and constituency groups. In the months of March and April, the reports will be reviewed and recommendations will be prioritized. By the end of May, it is anticipated that an initial implementation plan will be developed.
  3. Final Implementation: Fall 2022 – Finalize changes to structures and business processes in accordance with feedback gathered and recommendations from AACRAO. Immediately begin tracking metrics with benchmarks for regular review of progress in key areas.

Financial Aid Timeline

  1. Project Launch: Lead an entrance interview with key stakeholders. Gather all relevant background information and documentation regarding current practices.
  2. Survey Work: Student and staff satisfaction surveys to gather additional data regarding current models, pain points, and opportunities for improvement.
  3. Research: Deep analysis of current metrics and processes across the four colleges, including an assessment of which areas are currently aligned and which are not. This will include but is not be limited to, a review of key customer service data, communications to students, and organizational structures.
  4. Compliance and Equity: Thorough review of all established policies, procedures, and business practices in the context of relevant state and federal laws to ensure that we are fully compliant while leveraging every opportunity to advance new ideas and innovative practices.
  5. System Utilization: Review the district's utilization of PeopleSoft and other systems used in financial aid delivery.
  6. Interviews: Interview key stakeholders regarding current practices and opportunities for improvement, including students, front-line college staff, faculty, college leaders, district staff, and leadership.
  7. Report and Recommendations Development: Development of a complete report, summarizing feedback gathered and opportunities for improved aligned business processes and key metrics to measure future success.
  8. Start of Implementation/Additional Stakeholder Engagement: Fall 2021 – Begin implementing recommendations outlined in the report, including but not limited to any structural and reporting adjustments necessary. Throughout this process, there will be continued and regular opportunities for stakeholders to provide feedback on planning and implementation.
  9. Consultants Finalizing Reports: Spring 2022 – Final reports are expected near the end of March. Additional campus updates will be held. Reports will be shared with key stakeholders and constituency groups. In the months of March and April, the reports will be reviewed and recommendations will be prioritized. By the end of May, it is anticipated that an initial implementation plan will be developed.
  10. Final Implementation: Fall 2022 – Finalize changes to structures and business processes in accordance with feedback gathered and recommendations from the report. Immediately begin tracking metrics with benchmarks for regular review of progress in key areas.

Final Consultant Reports

Blue Icon and AACRAO have completed their final reports following interviews with faculty, staff, and students over the past several months. We welcome feedback and input into the reports, using the Redesign Feedback Form. Los Rios and college executive teams will be using these reports, as well as feedback and input gathered about them, to inform final decisions and next steps.

Engagement Sessions

Blue Icon Engagement Sessions with Key Stakeholders

Groups and/or Individuals That Met With Blue Icon Date of Engagement
District Financial Aid Director November 8, 2021
ARC Financial Aid Supervisor November 8, 2021
District Financial Aid Specialist November 9, 2021
SCC Financial Aid Supervisor November 9, 2021
FLC Financial Aid Supervisor November 9, 2021
CRC Financial Aid Supervisor November 10, 2021
All District Financial Aid Supervisors November 10, 2021
Financial Aid staff from across the campuses who perform the following tasks: Calculate financial aid returns due to Return to Title IV, Post Withdrawals, No Shows and Drops November 15, 2021
Financial Aid staff from across the campuses who oversee the following: program reconciliation, student loans, Pell including Multiple Reporting Record and Pell Potential Over-award Process November 15, 2021
Financial Aid staff from across the campuses who oversee the following: State Aid, CA Promise Grant, Los Rios Promise, External award posting November 15, 2021
Financial Aid staff from across the campuses who oversee the disbursement process November 16, 2021
Financial Aid staff from across the campuses who oversee the following tasks: Satisfactory Academic Progress and Appeal Review November 16, 2021
District Financial Aid Specialist November 16, 2021
Financial Aid staff from across the campuses who oversee tasks related to User Edit Messages November 17, 2021
Financial Aid staff from across the campuses who oversee the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program November 17, 2021
Financial Aid staff from across the campuses who oversee the Federal Work-Study program November 23, 2021
Financial Aid staff from across the campuses who oversee Common Origination and Disbursement processes November 23, 2021
Financial Aid staff from across the campuses who oversee the following programs/processes: Foreign HS verification, verification processing, dependency overrides, Unusual Enrollment History, Homeless Youth/Foster Youth services, special circumstances (EFC Review) November 24, 2021
Financial Aid staff from across the campuses who oversee the following programs: Inner District College Change requests, Decline of Aid requests, Reinstatement of Aid requests, Consortiums, Pell Recalculation, Bank Mobile Cancelations, Financial Aid Course Applicability processes November 24, 2021
IT Discussion with Blue Icon December 2, 2021
IT and EdgeRock Consultants December 2, 2021
District Financial Aid December 15, 2021
Financial Aid staff from across the District that oversees the CalGrant program December 16, 2021
Federal Work-Study Students (Focus Group) December 16, 2021

Additional Blue Icon Engagement Sessions

Groups and/or Individuals That Met With Blue Icon Date of Engagement
Business Office Supervisors and DO Accounting Staff November 30, 2021
Admissions Supervisors November 30, 2021
Counseling Faculty Chairs and Supervisors December 6, 2021
Instructional Faculty (invited by College administration) December 9, 2021
District Office-Institutional Research December 15, 2021
District Leadership January 11, 2022
AACRAO and Blue Icon Meeting January 18, 2022
FLC Faculty Input Session February 10, 2022
ARC Faculty Input Session (no attendees) February 17, 2022
SCC Faculty Input Session February 17, 2022
Campus Vice Presidents and Associate Vice Presidents of Student Services February 25, 2022
District Leadership March 1, 2022

AACRAO Engagement Sessions with Key Stakeholders

Groups and/or Individuals That Met With AACRAO Date of Engagement
Admissions and Records, ARC-employees that have Admissions and Records Evaluator and Clerk titles November 9, 2021
Admissions and Records, FLC-employees that have Admissions and Records Supervisor, Education Center Clerk, Evaluator/Degree Auditor, Counter Staff, Clerk and Educational Center Assistant titles November 9, 2021
Admission and Records, SCC-employees that have Admissions and Records Evaluator and Clerk titles November 9, 2021
Admissions and Records, CRC -employees that have Admissions and Records Clerk, Evaluator/Degree Auditor titles November 18, 2021
Los Rios Community College District Veterans Officials- employees that are Admissions Supervisors/VA Certifying official, Evaluator/Degree Auditor, Evaluator II/VA Certifying Official, Veterans Center Clerk, Clerk/Veteran Certifying Official, Evaluator II/Veteran Certifying Official November 18, 2021
Admissions and Records Supervisors November 18, 2021
Admissions and Records Supervisors November 22, 2021
FLC Student Focus Group January 24, 2022
District-wide Student Focus Group January 28, 2022
Los Rios Community College District employees that perform special admissions enrollment- Supervisors, Dual Enrollment, Apprenticeship, Public Safety, Outreach Center employees February 7, 2022

Additional AACRAO Engagement Sessions

Groups and/or Individuals That Met With AACRAO Date of Engagement
Counseling Faculty, SCC December 3, 2021
Instructional Faculty, SCC December 6, 2021
Counseling Faculty, ARC December 6, 2021
Instructional Faculty, CRC December 7, 2021
Counseling Faculty, CRC December 7, 2021
Instructional Faculty, ARC December 7, 2021
Counseling Faculty, SCC—Impacted Student Groups December 8, 2021
Instructional and Counseling Faculty, FLC December 9, 2021
Interim Associate Vice Chancellor December 10, 2021
District Leadership January 11, 2022
AACRAO and Blue Icon Meeting January 18, 2022
Faculty & Counseling, SCC-DSPS, First Year Experience February 8, 2022
Faculty, Counselors, Employees that work with Special populations (DSPS and Undocumented Scholars February 9, 2022
Faculty, FLC February 9, 2022
District Office-Institutional Research February 9, 2022
Campus Vice Presidents and Associate Vice Presidents of Educational Services & Student Success February 11, 2022

Campus Redesign Coffee Chat Sessions

Session Date
Sacramento City College Redesign Coffee Chat November 1, 2021
Folsom Lake College Redesign Coffee Chat November 1, 2021
American River College Redesign Coffee Chat November 2, 2021
Cosumnes River College Redesign Coffee Chat November 2, 2021
Sacramento City College Redesign Coffee Chat February 1, 2022
Folsom Lake College Redesign Coffee Chat February 2, 2022
American River College Redesign Coffee Chat February 3, 2022
Cosumnes River College Redesign Coffee Chat February 4, 2022
Sacramento City College Redesign Coffee Chat March 31, 2022
Folsom Lake College Redesign Coffee Chat March 30, 2022
American River College Redesign Coffee Chat March 30, 2022
Cosumnes River College Redesign Coffee Chat March 31, 2022

Redesign Teams

In addition to the following teams, we are bringing in outside expertise in the form of consultants in both areas to help facilitate and document the work underway. The National Association of School Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) and the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) will support our efforts in these critical areas.

Admissions and Records Team

The Admissions & Records redesign work will be led by Parrish Geary, Interim Associate Vice President of Student Resources, Admissions & Records. Parrish previously served as ARC's Dean of Student Services.

Parrish has been an integral component of ARC's Student Services team for some time and brings expertise regarding barriers that many of our most disproportionately impacted students face during the enrollment and onboarding process. Parrish will be supported by CRC Associate Vice President of Student Services Tadael Emiru, FLC Interim Vice President of Student Services Dr. Kellie Butler, District Admissions and Records Director Jason Ralphs, and Interim Associate Vice Chancellor of Educational Services and Student Success Sonia Ortiz-Mercado.

Financial Aid Team

For the Financial Aid Project, Yolanda Garcia will serve as Interim Associate Vice President of Student Resources, Financial Aid. Yolanda previously served as CRC's Dean of Student Services and Enrollment Management.

Yolanda brings a wealth of knowledge of Financial Aid to this project, having led that area at CRC for several years before taking on her current role. She is particularly attuned to the issues that our most disproportionately impacted students, such as undocumented students, face when navigating the financial aid process. Yolanda will be supported by SCC Vice President of Student Services Davin Brown, ARC Vice President of Student Services Jeff Stephenson, District Financial Aid Director Roy Beckhorn, and Interim Associate Vice Chancellor of Educational Services and Student Success Sonia Ortiz-Mercado.

Redesign Teams

Admissions and Records

  • Parrish Geary, Interim Associate Vice President of Student Resources, Admissions & Records (DO)
  • Dr. Kellie Butler, Interim Vice President of Student Services (FLC)
  • Jason Ralphs, Director of Admissions and Records (DO)
  • Sonia Ortiz-Mercado, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor of Educational Services and Student Success (DO)
  • Tadael Emiru, Associate Vice President of Student Services (CRC)

Financial Aid

  • Yolanda Garcia, Interim Associate Vice President of Student Resources, Financial Aid (DO)
  • Davin Brown, Vice President of Student Services (SCC)
  • Jeff Stephenson, Vice President of Student Services (ARC)
  • Sonia Ortiz-Mercado, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor of Educational Services and Student Success (DO)
  • Roy Beckhorn, Director of Financial Aid Systems (DO)