STUDENT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE Mission Statement: The Office of Student Financial Aid will strive to make a significant and positive difference in the lives of students through quality customer service that meets their educational needs while serving UAA, through the efficient and timely processing and delivery of financial aid.
SUMMARY OF PROCESS Initial Meeting Team member introductions Establish team roles (leadership, admin support, etc…) Establish team ground rules Initial discussion of CAS standards and guidelines Establish inter-rater reliability 6 week schedule Monday/Tuesday- FA staff would load documents (Blackboard) Wednesday/Thursday- Team members review docs Friday- met for 2+ hours
STRENGHTS The program has very effectively self-service model that provides the tools students need to manage their financial aid and enrollment. The program promotes and provides equal access to eligible students Program leadership is highly qualified based on education, experience, competence, and professional credentials, and supervises, instructs, and coordinates the Financial Aid staff very effectively The formal system of staff evaluation is thorough, consistent, and well-managed The program effectively promotes professional development by providing staff members with continuing education opportunities including in-service training and professional conferences and workshops
OPPORTUNTIES The most frequently identified and significant opportunity for improvement is the need to identify Key Process Indicators (KPI’s) in accordance with the CAS criteria, and to develop the procedures by which to formally track and document process performance The mission statement needs to be revised to more specifically address the elements of awarding practices and goal integration Need to formally develop student learning and development outcomes that are purposeful and holistic, and to measure student achievement of these outcomes Need to define and formalize external relationships and related communications, and establish procedures for documenting these
SURPRISES CAS standards for financial aid have not been updated since 1990’s- don’t even exist in Volume 7. Student Learning Outcomes are useful, important and relevant! Independence Examples of achievement indicators: Identifies and utilizes financial aid online self-service tools (federal, state, institutional); Meets designated deadlines for submitting applications, appeals, paperwork and forms. Spiritual Awareness Examples of achievement indicators: Is aware of one’s own personal values and how they should affect levels of student borrowing and eligibility.
FUTURE Creating a culture of assessment (taking what we already do and making it systematic) What are we trying to do and why? What is our office supposed to accomplish? What do I want students or staff to be able to do and/or know as a result of our program (Student Learning) What is the level of satisfaction we want to see from the service we provide? (Operational) How well are we doing it? How do we use the information to improve or celebrate success? Do the improvements we make contribute to our intended end results
FUTURE Clearly develop goals- operational, student learning or both Ex. Enhance educational opportunities to promote accountability concerning rights, responsibilities, and eligibility for financial aid to help students graduate on time and be better consumers. Develop Operational Outcomes to support our goals Outcome= Reduce number of students terminated from financial aid (SAP) Success criterion= Reduction of 5% by 2015 Outcome= Students will have enough student loans to borrow throughout their time at UAA Success criterion= 3% reduction in students who reach their aggregate student loan limit prior to graduation