For students, college is full of enriching and enjoyable experiences.
But applying for financial aid, paying bills and registering for classes typically aren’t among them. In fact, for some students and families, navigating these processes can be challenging—especially since taking care of business might require visits to several offices and interactions with different staff members.
For Adelphi students, accomplishing these routine tasks is now easier and more convenient with the opening this semester of the One-Stop Student Services Center. This innovative center was designed to streamline processes that students and families may otherwise find challenging, including financial aid, registration, billing and payments. The Center is staffed by advisers undergoing cross-training to handle a variety of essential functions, simplify procedures and provide a more holistic experience.
The transformation is underway, said Kristen Capezza, MBA ’12, vice president of enrollment management and University communications, as staff from various student service areas increase their proficiency in a range of processes and operations central to the student experience. “Our goal is for students to feel well advised and highly informed,” said Capezza. “This initiative reflects Adelphi’s commitment to provide extraordinary, solution-oriented levels of service. The One-Stop team will help students and families overcome barriers and maximize resources in progressing through to a degree.”
The goal in bringing multiple services together into a convenient, easily accessible single point of contact “was fueled by the idea that student success doesn’t happen when decisions are made in silos or students have an incomplete picture of their financial aid, bill or student account,” said Capezza. “We’re thankful our staff has embraced the team approach we’ve implemented and is energized about expanding their knowledge of the various operational areas.” She added that students largely have been understanding that service will continue to improve as staff become fully trained, and that “we are making great progress.”
Advisers in the One-Stop Student Services Center—located in Levermore Hall, Room 8—can help with services including:
- How to apply for financial aid
- Understanding financial aid awards
- Understanding bill and payment options
- Making a payment
- Credit balance refunds and appeals
- Course scheduling and registration
- Student record changes (change of address, change of major)
- Adding, dropping and withdrawing from courses
- Transcript requests
- Applying for graduation
- Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
Offering Counseling, Compassion and Kindness
“Working in this new collaborative environment, our advisers are able to be exceptional student advocates,” said Catherine Graham, assistant vice president of the One-Stop Student Services Center. “If they can’t answer a question, they’ll get the answer from a colleague or will connect the student directly with the right person. We want to make interactions as easy as possible so students can focus on academics.”
Graham explained that the collective goal is to serve students and families promptly, responsibly and with compassion and kindness. “Both the front-facing team of advisers and the dozens of people supporting the One-Stop behind the scenes are incredibly dedicated to this work,” she said, lauding their willingness to learn and grow professionally in order to provide services in a new and different way.
Graham gave an example of the importance of treating students holistically. “In an institution that operates in silos, a student might go to the registrar to drop a course and subsequently find out that their financial aid has been cut.” At the One-Stop Student Services Center, “the adviser will be able to counsel the student about the consequences of dropping from a full-time course load to a part-time load and help the student explore possible alternatives.”
Coordinating the day-to-day operations of the One-Stop Student Services Center as its director is Crystal Krudis ’05, MA ’06, who has been a member of the Adelphi community for more than 20 years. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and a Master of Arts from the Ruth S. Ammon School of Education as part of the five-year STEP program, Krudis had intended to become a teacher until she worked in the financial aid office as a graduate student and stayed on in various roles over the years. “That’s where I found my passion,” she said.
“Having become very familiar with the back-end operations and the staff who support students during their time here, I was thrilled to become part of the One-Stop initiative,” said Krudis, who works closely with Mary Rickard, associate director of the Center. “Our advisers are excited about the cross-training that’s enabling them to handle a variety of needs that position students for success, and our back-office staff has gone above and beyond in providing the framework necessary to support this innovation.” She said the advisers “want students to feel heard and respected” as they answer questions and provide guidance.
A Work in Progress
Established just two months ago, the One-Stop Student Services Center is a work in progress that will develop as staff members continue regular cross-training, operations become more efficient, and the physical space is enhanced to accommodate the new, comprehensive service-delivery model.
“Students are at the core of the One-Stop transformation,” said Graham, noting that the Center will continually evolve to meet users’ needs and that quality assurance is key. “We’re developing service satisfaction surveys to get feedback on our students’ experiences, are incorporating data into our conversations and working with faculty, staff and administrators across the University to make the One-Stop the premier student-service provider on campus.”
The Center is open for walk-ins Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with extended hours to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays. Students also may contact an adviser by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 516.877.3080. Live chat and virtual appointment scheduling are on the horizon.