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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

The last year has taught us so much. The world, our students, and our communities are changing more rapidly than ever before, and while we don't fully know what the post-pandemic world will look like, we do know that it won't be the same as it was. In the coming months, we will be looking specifically at two key areas: Financial Aid and Admissions and Records. Our charge is to design a new service model that is based in equity that provides quality engagement.

As we move towards a new service model, we would like to highlight that positions will not be eliminated. Duties of a particular position may be reimagined, including work location and supervisor. The specifics of these discussions are not predetermined, but we want to be clear at the onset of this project that this work simply cannot be done in isolation from college or district teams.

There are still many questions we don't know the answers to, and the work to begin unpacking all of it starts now. We expect to start this redesign immediately, working with those who know these areas the best, with the goal of having a completed implementation plan in place by June 2022. This will allow us to begin phasing in operational elements of the plan so that we have fully transitioned by fall 2022.

By knocking down some of the arbitrary walls that have separated our institutions for generations, we are excited about the potential to reduce barriers to doing things differently so we can maximize our outstanding people and deliver the most and best direct support for students possible. We look forward to sharing updates and next steps with our larger Los Rios community throughout the process.

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. 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 opportunity for stakeholders to provide feedback on planning and implementation.
  9. 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.

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 Vice President of Student Services Sonia Ortiz-Mercado, District Admissions and Records Director Jason Ralphs, and Vice Chancellor Mario Rodriguez.

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 Vice Chancellor Mario Rodriguez.

Redesign Teams

Admissions and Records

  • Parrish Geary, Interim Associate Vice President of Student Resources, Admissions & Records (DO)
  • Sonia Ortiz-Mercado, Vice President of Student Services (FLC)
  • Jason Ralphs, Director of Admissions and Records (DO)
  • Mario Rodriguez, Vice Chancellor of Finance (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)
  • Mario Rodriguez, Vice Chancellor of Finance (DO)
  • Roy Beckhorn, Director of Financial Aid Systems (DO)