Moving from a Degree-Centric Postsecondary System to an Incremental Credentialing System: What Happens to Learners’ Financing Options?

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Learner Supports

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Cross-Collaboration and Key Stakeholders

Learner Supports

Cross-Collaboration and Key Stakeholders

To provide services seamlessly, it is essential to bring together the numerous college offices and centers and support learners collaboratively. Some offices play a role as the front door for learners to obtain supportive services. Others make sure that these services are funded and meet learners’ needs. Across these offices and centers, community-based organizations and external providers also have a role to play in offering the support services and ensuring their success. This collaborative approach among various offices and entities yields many benefits:

  • It enhances communication, alignment, and awareness of supportive services available to learners.
  • It helps create a common goal for the learner experience across the various teams; this can aid in identifying and addressing gaps, redundancies, or barriers related to support services.
  • It fosters shared goals and shared metrics, which can help improve service delivery and case management.
  • It formalizes referral pathways and creates resource maps across the institution, thus strengthening the learner support system.

Offices Engaged in Access and Service Provision: Learners’ interactions with advisors and counselors from across offices/units – including assigned faculty advisors – are crucial to guiding learners and preventing self-advising issues. These advisors and counselors are typically assigned based on academic factors such as the college major or program. However, they can also be designated for specific groups such as veterans, learners with disabilities, those aging out of foster care, low-income students, first-generation learners, and those from minoritized backgrounds. Advisors and counselors address diverse academic needs, including transfers, nontraditional student support, and assistance for students at academic risk, often extending to programs such as TRIO.

Academic Advising/Counseling Center: Offers guidance on academic programs, course selection, and career planning. Academic advisors help students create educational plans that align with their goals.

Career Services Center: Supports students in exploring career options, finding internships, and preparing for the job market. This center may offer resumé workshops, career fairs, and networking opportunities.

Student Affairs/Student Services Office: Manages a variety of support services, including housing, student activities, campus organizations, and leadership development. This office often focuses on the overall student experience.

Student Success/Retention Office: Focuses on initiatives to enhance student success and retention. Staffers in this office may provide academic support, tutoring services, and interventions for at-risk students.

Accessibility Services/Disability Support Services: Provides accommodations and support for students with disabilities to ensure equal access to education and campus activities.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office: Promotes diversity and fosters an inclusive campus environment. This office may offer programs, workshops, and resources to support underrepresented student populations.

Health and Wellness Center: Provides health care services, counseling, and wellness programs to support students' physical and mental well-being.

Financial Aid Office: Provides information and assistance regarding scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study programs. Staffers here help students navigate the financial aid application process.

Library Services: Offers research assistance, access to academic resources, and study spaces. Librarians can assist students in developing research skills.

Technology/IT Services: Supports students with technology-related issues, provides access to computer labs, and offers assistance with online learning platforms.

Registrar's Office: Manages student records, course registration, and academic transcripts. Staffers here can assist with enrollment verification, degree audits, and related administrative tasks.

Veteran and Military Resource Center: Coordinates services (online and in-person) including academic advising, IT support, counseling services, credit for military training for active- duty or Activated Guard or Reserve service members, veterans and spouses, and dependents.

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Improving Education and Employment Outcomes