STRATEGIC DIRECTION STATEMENT
STUDENT SERVICES AT THE
As part of the Integrated Systems Procurement project, a Student Services
Task Force met from November 1997 through January 1998 to discuss future
directions for student processes and systems at the
The Student Services Task Force defined student services as encompassing all of the services and activities from recruitment through transition out of the University:
The Task Force defined the scope of its discussion broadly to include all types of students (undergraduates, graduates, professional and continuing and professional studies students) in all academic programs of the University.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Each of the four sections of the Strategic Direction Statement answers a set of questions about the future:
I. STRATEGIC CONTEXT
III. PROCESS FEATURES AND EVENT VIGNETTES
· What are the key design characteristics of the processes and systems that will enable the delivery of specific activities in the future?
· Based on the beliefs and process and system design characteristics, how will specific activities occur in the future?
· RECRUIT & SELECT FOR ADMISSION
· MANAGE STUDENT FINANCES
· ENROLL, ADVISE & TRACK PERFORMANCE
· STUDENT LIFE SERVICES
I. STRATEGIC CONTEXT
What is the strategic context for change? What are the key trends and issues impacting the delivery of student services in the future?
UVa faces challenges related to growing competition to recruit the best and brightest students from diverse backgrounds; the need to offer high quality services and equal treatment to attract and retain traditional and non-traditional students, and increasing demands from applicants, students, faculty and staff to have access to accurate, timely information through multiple delivery modes. In response to these trends, the University plans to create and support an environment in which faculty and staff work together to deliver quality, seamless services to students and alumni anytime, anywhere.
The University faces an increasingly competitive market for students and recognizes the need to conduct proactive and competitive recruiting at the national and international level for undergraduate, graduate and professional students of the highest quality and diversity. The University will continue to strive to maintain a diverse student population in terms of geography, race, ethnicity, outlook, and socio-economic status. To meet these diversity goals, UVa must be increasingly proactive, targeted and personal in its recruiting efforts.
UVa also needs to integrate and provide quality services and use technology in order to meet the needs of non-traditional, summer session, and continuing and professional studies students. More and more, these students demand that the University offer them the same information and quality of service as the traditional student body enjoys. For example, they want options that obviate the need to enroll in courses, pay tuition and fees, and complete the final enrollment process all ‘in person.’
Applicants, enrolled students and alumni are increasingly technically sophisticated and have service expectations from university administrators and departments that are greater than those of the past. In order to address these demands, now and in the future, the University needs to invest in new technology that facilitates the provision of accurate, up-to-date information and high quality student services through multiple modes of technical delivery (i.e., mobile communication devices, Internet, fax, etc.) It must also maintain the appropriate level of human contact and oversight of the services it offers to its clients.
In addition to providing superior, integrated services to applicants, students and alumni of the University, schools and administrators also require flexibility in how they deliver student services and manage information. Their needs necessitates that administrative systems be capable of easy, accurate and timely transfer of information. At the same time, the University recognizes the need to standardize policies and processes where possible and appropriate.
What overarching beliefs does the University have about student services and how processes and systems should support student services in the future?
We hold the following beliefs about how student processes and systems should function in the future:
Data Capture and Storage
Oversight, Training and Support
III. PROCESS FEATURES AND
A. RECRUIT & SELECT FOR ADMISSION
In the future, UVa will have student services and supporting systems that
offer positive and informative experiences to prospective students, applicants,
enrolled students, staff, faculty, parents, high schools, alumni and all other
constituents involved in the recruitment process while creating opportunities
for students to matriculate and ultimately develop a relationship with UVa.
1) PROCESS & SYSTEM DESIGN
What are the key design characteristics of the processes and systems that will enable the delivery of specific Recruit & Select activities in the future?
Throughout the Recruit and Select for Admissions process, external and
internal stakeholders need both web-based and in-person access to accurate
information. The University should
provide the same quality of services regardless of the stakeholder's
location or program interests (e.g., distance learning or continuing and
professional studies). For ease of understanding, the key design
characteristics for admissions services are segmented between external and
internal stakeholders’ perspectives.
External Stakeholders’ Perspectives
External stakeholders (such as prospects, applicants, parents, high schools, alumni, etc.) want to be better informed. To meet these demands, the University plans to provide stakeholders with multiple ways to access current and accurate information in a variety of formats. They should have the ability to:
Even though new technology will enable many more admissions activities to be
automated, the University will ensure that the 'human' side of the process is
maintained through appropriate personal interaction and oversight. Applicants,
parents, high schools, and alumni will continue to demand that the University
preserve a personalized admissions process and seek an understanding of each
applicant's sensitivities and unique characteristics.
Internal Stakeholders’ Perspectives
The faculty, schools, departments, auxiliary services and administrative staff should have access to accurate and current information. Their objective is to improve the caliber and yield of qualified incoming students by proactively marketing the University's offerings and contacting prospects and target applicants. In order to broaden the pool of talented and diverse applicants at the undergraduate, graduate and professional student levels, the University will increase access to information about applicants, admitted students, and matriculated students. Updated processes and technology will help to:
2) RECRUIT & SELECT EVENT VIGNETTES
Based on the Beliefs and the Process and System Design Characteristics,
how will specific Recruit and Select activities occur
in the future?
Admissions Identifies Need to Target a Region of the US
The admissions' director, Adam Direct, accesses an information system at the University to create an historical perspective that predicts the percentages of applications that will arrive from various countries around the world, by state and from within Virginia. He retrieves and examines the demographic statistics of the current student body, and retrieves and reviews the projected budget for recruiting efforts and marketing materials. Armed with all of this information, Adam determines a need to allocate additional resources to targeted marketing in
Candidate Applies for Admission to UVa
Jessica Highstone, a high school honor student from
Later that day in the high school computer lab, Jessica finds a virtual 'one-stop' center for information about UVa, including the new AccessUVa program. She is pleased to see a wide range of information including clear information on UVa’s financial aid options, and also links to an online application process, current student events, UVa sports, the weather, cultural events, faculty, the course catalog, statistics on majors selected, undergraduate living options in the residence halls, and even job placement information after graduation. She is happy to see statistics on number of admitted students versus number of applications received; the current number of applications being submitted to UVa (real-time); and the option to e-mail volunteer UVa alumni, students and faculty with questions about the UVa experience. Since she will not be able to visit on-Grounds, Jessica takes the virtual tour of the Grounds and residence halls. She loves the classical architecture of the Rotunda and Lawn after seeing it today on the RotundaCam, and is interested in the University’s and localities’ events and activities that she sees described online.
For now, Jessica decides to concentrate on the electronic application, demographic information, deadlines, and status. First she provides her basic information (email address, education, extracurricular activities, employment, etc.). Next, Jessica completes all of her essays and provides a few articles she wrote for the local paper. She completes her entire application and receives an e-mail confirmation receipt from UVa admissions. Finally, Jessica uses electronic, web-based templates for requesting her transcript and letters of recommendation. UVa sends her e-mails, and her personal admissions checklist on-line reflects receipt of all the appropriate information at the University (transcripts, SAT scores, etc.) Jessica is impressed by how information-rich and user-friendly the UVa process is, and expects that it foreshadows her experience if she were a student at the University.
B. MANAGE STUDENT
In the future, UVa will continue to provide financial assistance to applicants in order to support the enrollment and graduation of a diverse student body. Throughout the student lifecycle, varying levels of financial assistance and fund management advice are required. Both the applicant/student and administrative staff will have real-time access to accurate information about each student's entire financial picture, including the award or loan package and tuition and fee payments. Personal assistance on financial matters, either over the telephone[YUN1] or mobile communication devices, via e-mail, or in-person, will also be available in a seamless fashion.
1) PROCESS & SYSTEM
What are the key design characteristics of the processes and systems that
aid in managing Student Finance activities in the future?
Provide Financial Support
From the student perspective, the financial aid process in the future should:
The central Student Financial Aid office will work to:
Other departments will need access to integrated information, including grades, payroll and financial aid information. As appropriate, they should have on-line access to information, including work study information, for management and reporting purposes.
Assessment & Collection
UVa wants to move towards 'no stop shopping' for payment processes. To facilitate this, UVa should:
Of course, there will continue to be a need for personal service. Questions should be able to be handled through a 'virtual' office with a single point of entry. Support staff at all common points of entry for inquiries will need to be retrained to counsel and consult rather than process paper and answer routine questions.
Other features that should be in place for the assessment and collection processes to function smoothly include:
2) MANAGE FINANCES EVENT VIGNETTES
Based on the Beliefs and the Process and System Design Characteristics, how will specific financial activities occur in the future?
Student Has Access to Complete Financial Picture and
Ability to Run 'What-If' Models
An undergraduate student, Rick Weston, views and prints a current and comprehensive University financial statement. The report includes all of his financial aid, the athletic grant for soccer, his scholarships, tuition, fee assessments, payments and other charges from around Grounds. Rick holds his breath while he scans down the list of charges and quickly verifies that all of his loans and scholarship monies have materialized. Rick uses the system to see which work study jobs are still available, double checks his class schedule, and signs himself up for the morning shift for his job at the computer center.
Next, he uses the system's 'what-if' feature to calculate how his earnings from the computer center help his financial situation. Next year, his parents will have another child in college. Rick enters this change to his personal profile and pinpoints the amount of additional loans he will be eligible for next year and the related interest charges. He tests the effect of moving off-Grounds versus various on-Grounds living options. Armed with all of this information, Rick has a better feeling about being able to manage his financial situation during his remaining years at the University.
System Proactively Notifies Students of Delinquencies on
Bill Payments and Fines
Rick Weston receives an email message from the Bursar's office. It is an automatically generated final reminder message that instructs Rick to pay his library fine before the end of the month or his enrollment will be blocked. Rick puts a reminder on his personal calendar to pay the fine tomorrow, logs off the system and heads home to take a nap.
Personal Support is Available to Address Student's
The next morning, Rick looks at his financial statement again electronically and is confused about a $10 charge listed in the fees section. To access details regarding this charge, Rick clicks on the charge notation and sees that it is for a replacement id; he is given the option to obtain further information through multiple means and also an option to pay the charge.. Rick reaches a staff member who is trained to field most of the frequently asked questions related to student's financial statements. She explains to Rick that the charge is from the Registrar's office for his replacement student ID is this who does this?. Next, Rick asks the staff member for the interest rate on the unsubsidized loan he plans to take next semester. The staff member provides the current loan rate but advises Rick that the rate is subject to change and emails the link to loan rate information that is on the Student Financial Service's web page so Rick can keep himself up to date.
C. ENROLL, ADVISE, & TRACK PERFORMANCE
To support the educational mission of UVa's academic departments, the administration plans to build on its efforts to provide easy ways for students to enroll for courses, receive advising assistance, and monitor academic performance and progress. In the future, students will be better able to assess information and make informed choices about academic opportunities through a user-friendly student system that provides answers to commonly asked questions. High quality and timely services will be provided to all students whether they are on- or off-Grounds.
The amount of time that students and faculty spend on administrative matters should be minimized so that they focus on the transfer of knowledge process and research. No student or faculty member should have to know with which office they need to do business. The only entity of visibility should be the internal agencies that support this aspect of the university mission. No one needs to know what the Office of the University Registrar does nor where it is located. The University Registrar will create significant outreach efforts that help to determine what products and services need to be delivered to clients ‘just in time.’ A new business model shows that support services work in concert with clients involved in research and the transfer of knowledge in order to produce the deliverables that clients need.
The University Registrar’s Office will develop solid processes that handle 80% of the business needs of clients in an almost invisible fashion. The rest of the Office’s time and energies are focused on handling exceptions and on reaching out to the University community in order to determine the emerging needs of clients while validating the effectiveness and efficiency of business processes.
1) PROCESS & SYSTEM DESIGN CHARACTERISTICS
What are the key design characteristics of the processes and systems supporting Enrollment, Advising and Tracking Performance activities in the future?
Process and system features are described from the perspective of the various stakeholders in the process.
Students will have access to real-time, on-line information to assist with course selection, enrollment and degree-tracking progress. This will reduce the number of 'nuts and bolts' questions that students ask advisors and allow advisors to focus on a higher level of advising. Students will have on-line access to:
All students, whether on-Grounds or off, will be able to register online. While the priority system will most likely continue, students will have the option to pre-enter their desired course selections at a time that is convenient for them. Also, students will be notified automatically about deadlines (i.e., add/drops). Students will be enrolled in programs of varying lengths and calendars that result in the need for flexible pricing structures.
The amount of paper processing in the various school Registrars' offices should be reduced and reporting enabled through:
Because the student system will allow for a reduction in the amount of time devoted to clerical activities, staff will need to be retrained on new technologies, on service delivery approaches and will be redirected to higher value activities. This shift in employment responsibilities will require the reclassification of jobs.
Advising for undergraduates and, to a lesser extent, graduates and professional students will become more consultative, philosophical and exception-based as students are able to locate answers to routine questions themselves. Support for advisors should include:
Graduate advising will continue to be more individualized and involve more direct contact. Nevertheless, the same on-line capabilities and services available to undergraduate students will be available to graduate students as well.
Schools, Departments and
Within the system, schools will have the ability to use school specific flags and data elements. They will have easy access to information available by law, in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended (20 U.S.C. 1232g) and Rules of the Department of Education (34 C.F.R. Part 99), commonly referred to as FERPA or the Buckley Amendment.
Departments will have the ability to place or remove enrollment blocks and the option to place a block automatically in certain situations. Similarly, appropriate departmental administrators should be notified by e-mail when students have a enrollment block placed on their accounts.
Faculty should have additional tools available to facilitate the administrative aspects of teaching. For example, features include but are not limited to:
2) ENROLL, ADVISE, & TRACK PERFORMANCE EVENT VIGNETTES
Based on the Beliefs and the Process and System Design Characteristics, how will specific Enrollment, Advising and Tracking Performance activities occur in the future?
A Continuing and Professional Studies Student Enrolls
Quickly and Easily On-Line
Beatrice Henderson has decided to take more courses at UVa after a ten-year break to raise her children. She connects to the Internet and goes to UVa's homepage. After reviewing the accounting courses offered, she decides she needs to start with the basic class to get a refresher on all the concepts and terminology. Beatrice does not have time to go to Grounds to enroll, so she is very pleased to see that she can self-enroll online. Beatrice enrolls in the accounting class, pays her tuition and fees via credit card, and completes the final enrollment process all on-line through UVa's site on the WWW.
An undergraduate student enrolls and reviews his
progress toward degree completion
Rick Weston is now completing his third semester at UVa. During his first semester, he took advantage of the optional orientation course and learned how to use the student system's various self-help options while on-Grounds or from home. VINE (the Virtual Navigation Enterprise) feature provides answers to many of the nuts and bolts questions about the enrollment and degree completion process. Rick accesses his personalized student profile and related activity report. Part of the report allows him to view or print his current progress toward his degree requirements, along with recommendations for upcoming classes that he needs to stay on track toward his career goals.
Today, after class, Rick walks to the student center to grab lunch with a friend and to check his email on his PDA. When Rick logs on, he sees two unread messages in his e-mailbox. The first one concerns a Spanish class that was closed when his enrollment priority came up. Based on his degree progress report, he knows he needs it as a prerequisite for the next level. While self-enrolling, Rick discovered the class was closed, took advantage of the system's waiting list option and indicated his preferred time slot. His waitlist request was added to the department's daily report capturing enrollment levels and the number of requests for Spanish classes. Based on demand, the Foreign Languages Department knew they could fill another section and opened one this morning. Rick gets an electronic activity confirmation that he has been automatically enrolled in the new Spanish section that fits his schedule.
The second message notifies Rick of his passing grade for the current semester in a Computer Sciences course on his activity report, indicating that he has now completed the basic computer competency requirement for his current degree program, and shows a recalculated cumulative GPA. Thinking of pursuing a double major, Rick goes on-line to use the 'what-if' analysis tools on-line to view a simulated degree audit report of how this newly-completed course and others he hopes to complete will fit into a couple of other majors he selects from the pull-down menu. Encouraged by what he finds, he takes the opportunity to send a message, attaching part of his calendar, to schedule a meeting with his advisor to discuss his options.
Faculty Advisor Meets with Student
Mary Smith, a faculty member in the English department, checks her electronic in-basket and finds a message from Rick Weston asking to schedule an appointment to discuss pursuing a double major. She confirms a time for the next day.
Rick Weston comes in as one of Mary's student appointments the next day, and Mary accesses his up-to-date degree audit for his planned double major (based on information that Rick entered in the system earlier). They discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a double major. As they discuss planning strategies and use the system to do 'what-if' scenarios, the system's search capabilities helps them find courses in Rick's areas of interest which will meet his major and other core requirements. Mary agrees with Rick that the double major is feasible and seems to make sense.
Students have the option to note in the student system that they either allow or refuse access to these notes by advisors, and Mary notes that Rick has granted other faculty members access to his past advisor notes files. After her meeting with Rick, Mary records her advisor notes in the system, which will enable other faculty members who work with him in the future to build on her conversations.
D. STUDENT LIFE SERVICES
Student Life Services include student affairs, student health, housing, student activities, dining, parking, career placement and others. Students should be able to access one place for information on these services and the other student support services described above. However, the Student Services Task Force was in agreement that it would not prescribe exactly what student life functions should be available but rather ensure that there is flexibility in the future student information system. With a flexible future system, UVa will be able to adapt the system as it responds to student demands and makes decisions about how to deliver student life services in the future.
1) PROCESS & SYSTEM DESIGN CHARACTERISTICS
What are the key design characteristics of the processes and systems supporting Student Life activities in the future?
The following are some examples of the types of services the University may decide to offer in the future:
2) STUDENT LIFE SERVICES EVENT VIGNETTES
Based on the Beliefs and the Process and Systems Design Characteristics, how will specific Student Life activities occur in the future?
Student Begins Life on-Grounds
Jessica Highstone decided to come to the University and is now recovering from the excitement and blur of moving-in, orientation activities and the first week of classes. Already she can't remember much of what she heard and saw. Her roommate has gone to a movie, but it was one that Jessica had already seen. So Jessica goes to her computer, opens her e-mail and personalized home page. She finds several messages waiting for her from the Student Life System. To her dismay, she notes that the real-time balance on her cash card is already getting low. The names of her resident staff members, points of contact in the Housing Office, Dining Services and other offices are there, with links to send e-mail to any of them. Based on the data in her application package and on-line interest inventory she completed during orientation, the system generated a list of student organizations and activities she might find interesting, with links to their web-sites. The interactive "First Year Student Directory" has helped her put together a personalized address book of the people she's been meeting, including their pictures and biographical summaries. Since she provided her religious affiliation, there are also links to local churches of her faith. Jessica spends some time exploring the links and discovers that UVa has an ice hockey club. She signs up for the hockey club tryouts and e-mails her mother and her best friend from her high school hockey team before going to supper at Runk Hall.
Student Applies for on-Grounds Housing
Rick Weston and Jerry Smithfield have been roommates since Opening Day last year. Rick has used the 'what-if' capability of the student financial application to determine that he cannot afford to move off-Grounds until at least his third year, assuming he can land a computer programming job next summer. Jerry, on the other hand, wants to share an apartment at
Group of Students Select a Housing Assignment
Shania Martinez is a first year student living on-Grounds. Checking her e-mail, she opens an automatic reminder from the Housing Office that the deadline for applying for on-Grounds housing for the next year is approaching. Using the link embedded in the message, she goes to the Room Selection utility. Last time she had been in the utility, she had entered the names of three friends who want to share an apartment in Copeley or Bice House with her next year. The system had saved her choices as pending room selections. All of her prospective roommates had received e-mails and replied, confirming their intent to form a group. At this point, there is an apartment available in Copeley, but none in Bice. Two of the four had already accepted the assignment. She accepts the assignment for herself by e-mail. The student system will make the assignment final when the fourth roommate accepts.