Grand Rapids Community College has undergone a recent realignment of several Student Affairs departments in and effort to update the college leadership model and respond to students’ enrollment changes.
Last month, Tina Hoxie, dean of Student Affairs, announced a realignment in several departments, including Admissions, Financial Aid, Enrollment Center, New Student Orientation, Code of Conduct and Student Life. The new vision for how the departments will be set up was spear-headed by Hoxie and is in response to recent enrollment changes and a need to update the existing model.
“I think we are always looking at opportunities that continue to improve our enrollment and retention of students at the college,” Hoxie said. “We have to look at how we position our services to be responsive to the needs of the students. This is an opportune time to revise, incorporate and integrate what our challenges are and what our strengths are in our service areas of the institution.”
New positions have been created and old positions altered to fulfill the change in departments.
Eric Mullen, former head of Student Life, will now be Associate Dean of Enrollment Management and Financial Aid. Hoxie explained that this will better connect Financial Aid with the enrollment process in order to make the it easier for students to pass through the college from beginning to graduation or transfer. Sara Dorer, former associate director of Student Conduct and Student Satisfaction Initiatives, will be integrating Student Life into her responsibilities. As Director of Student Life and Conduct, Dorer will be able to better help new student transition into GRCC life, Hoxie said.
Lori Cook, former associate Director of the Enrollment Center, will now take over the organization of new student orientation under her new title as Director of Admissions and Enrollment.
“All three of these people have strong leadership backgrounds in higher education,” Hoxie said.
GRCC administrators are looking to fill two positions in their new service model: Financial Aid Director and Customer Relations Management Coordinator.
The vacant position of Financial Aid Director will be filled with an individual that can help better address the needs of the students, areas of need including default management and financial literacy.
Ken Fridsma is Acting Director of Financial Aid and will help with finding a replacement and transition into this new process.
The Customer Relations Management Coordinator will use communications software to better communicate with students through messaging campaigns.
In addition to the change in positions, the Admissions office has now been moved to the first floor of the Main Building; the new location is to help students navigate from one area of service to another with less confusion.
“I think we are always looking for opportunities to continue to improve our enrollment and retention of the students at the college,” Hoxie said.
She expressed that this is an opportune time for revision in order to make students’ experiences at GRCC more fluid. Administrators plan to make note of
the challenges and strengths of the college to make that experience easier, and that only time will show the effects of the changes.
Hoxie stressed the need for student response throughout this process.
“I want to encourage students that when those oppurtunities arrive, whether it be through focus groups or surveys, take the time to participate,” Hoxie said. “We value student voices.”