07 May 2012 Personalizing the Process
Student Access & Success Center
The Student Access and Success Center was created to ease the enrollment process for students. Now, students can come to a central location to have all of their admissions, financial aid and advising needs met. Affectionately named “One-Stop,” the building is also home to University College, and knowledgeable, friendly success coaches who are available to guide students towards graduation.
by Savannah Christian
The Texas A&M University-Commerce campus is graced with many unique buildings that foster and promote higher education, however, the most mesmerizing building based on pure energy is the new Student Access and Success Center, affectionately nicknamed “One Stop Shop.” Home to many student-centered services such as financial aid and scholarships, student accounts and admissions, the all-inclusive One Stop Shop was created to demystify the complexities of applying to college, and provide students and parents with the information they need.
According to Dr. Mary Hendrix, vice president for student access and success, when the old print shop building became available, the university was eager to create a service hub to help students and make their process of enrollment easier.
“For as long as I have been at this university, every student focus group we held and every strategic enrollment committee that submitted recommendations expressed the need to address the ‘run around’ that students experienced in trying to get into school,” she said. “When the decision was made to close the print shop, we had a facility that would allow us to house all critical services in one facility. Now, the greatest service we provide is the ability to serve students, regardless of their issues, quickly, efficiently, and with personal care.”
According to LeLe Hobbs, a graduate student and full-time employee of the One Stop Shop, the building is vital to the service and communication with students.
“When I came here as an undergraduate student I remember having to go to the Business Administration Building to access the registrar and then back to Halladay Student Services for financial aid,” she said. “The One Stop Shop allows quicker communication with other offices for the faculty, and quicker, better service for students.”
According to Stephanie Holley, dean of enrollment management and retention, although the One Stop Shop has experienced great success with its current programs and services within its few years of being open, bigger and better things are on the horizon.
“An exciting resource we are implementing is a new advising and planning tool called DegreeWorks, which was introduced to students in April,” Holley said. “This system will enable advisors to plan out a student’s schedule for future semesters to ensure they are on track for graduation. In addition, DegreeWorks will allow future and current students to see if their transfer courses are valid, and it provides a special calculator to review the impact of grades on their GPA.”
Programs like DegreeWorks will allow the faculty and staff at the One Stop Shop to support students in person, as well as improve their relationships with the growing number of non-traditional students who may only experience the university online.
“We plan to improve communication with every student and reduce the complexities caused by an ever-increasing number of phone calls that come into our call center at peak times throughout the day,” Hendrix said. “We want to take the mystery out of financial aid by focusing on an individual student’s status through the new portal system to be implemented in a few months, and we plan to create a knowledge-based system that will allow students to enter questions and receive an immediate response.”
Hobbs expressed her appreciation for the time-saving building both as a student and a staff member of Texas A&M University-Commerce. “I think they hit the nail on the head in providing what students need by consolidating the most student intensive services into one building.”
As A&M-Commerce strives to help deserving students like Hobbs pursue a college education, the staff at One Stop Shop will continue to stand at the ready to help each one achieve their academic and career goals.
“I was embraced and made comfortable by the staff at One Stop Shop.
If I have a concern, 9 times out of 10, it can be handled at the One Stop Shop. In the event that the workers in the OSS aren’t able to assist you, they are willing to point you in the right direction so that you can be properly served.” – Harold Brown, sophomore, psychology major
“The staff shows that they care very much about their students. Everyone in the building is very helpful to me, and encourage me to come by whenever I need help or have any questions about anything.” – Lorenzo Perez, freshman, construction engineering major
“The One Stop Shop helped me get everything I needed to start out this semesteR.
I was shown around campus, got my parking permit, signed up for classes, and received credit for more of my classes that transferred from Brigham Young University – Idaho.” – Ariel Kuntz, graduate student and success coach
“The One Stop Shop is a valuable place for anybody who is a part
of A&M-Commerce because it houses multiple services that can help students throughout their college life. Whether it’s meeting with your success coach to register for classes or meeting with career development to get help with your resume, the One Stop Shop has it all.” – Jabari Thompson, freshman, computer science and math major