New council seeks student knowledge and experience in designing programs and policy
Students who want their voices heard on matters of college improvement and innovation can participate as members of college councils and committees. Students now have the opportunity to change college policy, programs, services, scheduling, retention and the overall college experience for future students by joining UCC’s new Enrollment and Student Services Council. This council has been created to organize these ideas and evaluate plans to enrich the college process.
“The goal is to have students serving as voting members on the council,” said Missy Olson, assistant vice president of Enrollment and Student Services.
Students, as well as other council members, will brainstorm ideas to identify and improve issues relating to recruitment, retention and the quality of their UCC education.
“The mission of the ESS Council is to foster a holistic student-centric environment where academics, auxiliary services, enrollment services, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities create an enriching student development experience,” the college website explains.
This is an opportunity for students to create a legacy at UCC that can improve others’ lives potentially for years to come. Students will brainstorm with council members with multiple important perspectives and expertise. The council will include two faculty representatives, two classified representatives, one administrative representative and two student representatives.
Participating students can bring their needs to the council to help make impactful decisions. For example, in the future, the council wants to analyze class scheduling to better serve students and their work and home life requirements. Scheduling in the past has been problematic enough that some students have had to go to other colleges to fulfill course requirements or failed to earn their degree, Olson explained.
The Enrollment and Student Services Council, officially chartered a few weeks ago, blended the two previous enrollment and student services committees into something that Olson agrees is a blend of a think tank and a fine tooth comb.
The council and enrollment personnel are gearing back up their access programs for local high schools. The council recently developed Program Kick Start available to the 2021-22 high school juniors and seniors that will allow them to waive up to 4 credits of tuition for either the coming summer or fall term.
UCC also anticipates returning to in-person help in the fall to assist students with any college scholarship or application paperwork, even if it isn’t for UCC, as soon as this is allowed. The number of people filling out FAFSA this year dropped compared to last year when in-person assistance was available.
Another council-related project is reorganizing UCC’s college orientation classes. Students may be organized by their degree fields into nine subjects so that students in similar degree fields will take orientation together in hopes of fostering a greater sense of community and networking within similar degree fields.
The committee is also coordinating with UCC’s Office of Communications and Marketing for an ongoing project to re-design the campus website. The UCC website course and degree related information will be re-organized into nine subjects related to degrees instead of just a long list for easier search.
As part of its retention work, the committee has already created a series of Virtual Success Workshops on Zoom which kicked off the first week of May. The council anticipates in-person delivery options as well when social distancing requirements recede. These workshops are free to students and help with topics such as how to join the TRIO assistance program, how to access special CRSSAA pandemic funds for UCC students, how to pay for college, career coaching, success planning, wellness and stress management, healing workshops and more.
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