‘No barriers for students’
Following official ribbon cutting, South Texas College set to open new student enrollment center.
For the upcoming Summer and Fall semesters, students registering for classes at the South Texas College Pecan campus will avoid waiting in long lines at the old admissions, info & welcome centers thanks in part to a new Student Enrollment Center the college unveiled Tuesday.
The renovated space, located inside the first floor of Building K, combined these areas into one larger, open-concept space to offer students a virtual one-stop for admissions and registration.
“This embodies what South Texas College is all about, no barriers for students,” said STC President Dr. Shirley A. Reed. “Everything is open and collaborative. Students will be here in a comfortable environment, and will have the chance to register early and get their services done on time.”
The enrollment center should be fully operational by the end of February. When it opens, the re-designed facility will allow students to speed up the enrollment and registration process. Services ranging from financial aid to advising will be within reach for quicker access.
The service design is comprised of two tiers. Tier I consists of students communicating with enrollment services staff who will assist them through the process of applying, financial aid or logging into their account. Tier II will consist of speaking with an advisor, and will utilize software that will allow students to enroll via a virtual queuing process using their mobile phone, website or on-site kiosk. Instead of standing in lines, students can relax and get wait time alerts on their mobile devices via text or email.
“This is a big deal because we have actually removed the physical barriers, including the walls that separated the departments, and what that helps us do is combine the services so any staff member can help students with the whole process,” said Matthew Hebbard, STC Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. “Students no longer have to go from one department to another. They can stay in one place and get all their business done.”
The new center, designed by Boultinghouse Simpson Gates Architects and completed by NM Contracting, LLC, consists of a 7,760 sq. ft. expansion featuring a transparent open area and nearly 100 available computers that will allow students to complete enrollment.
The project is not related to STC’s $159 million bond passed by voters in 2013, and in fact was approved by STC’s Board of Trustees before the bond was passed. The open concept enrollment model will also be implemented in the near future at the Mid-Valley and Starr campuses.
“This is something incredibly innovative that will serve as the model for our other campuses, as those bond construction projects go up,” said Larry Barroso, STC Director for College Connections. “Students deserve that college experience, and to take pride in their institution. We have always been about access and being there for students.”
Overall, the space will consist of 4 offices, 83 computers, small waiting areas and niches, multiple intermediate bar top tables, and an information desk. The redesign will maximize space in order to provide excellent and efficient customer service to each student, and ensures a complete enrollment process.
“Students will now come in and will be able to fill out an application, register, ask for transcripts or change their schedules,” said Cindy Blanco, STC Director of Student Records and Registrar. “Before, they would have to go to one area to do some of their services, and then come to admissions to take care of the rest.