April 25, 2020
To: University Stakeholders
From: Braque Talley, PhD | Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Student Success
RE: EMSS Update
Over the course of the last few weeks, the spread of COVID-19 has forced us to develop new strategies in ensuring that students and potential students receive quality customer service and support. Throughout this disruptive period, we remain committed to the goals of our division. Conducting our services remotely is a different experience for many of us and there will be ongoing adjustments that we need to make. I am grateful to see how well our staff has responded to this challenge and transitioned to working virtually.
The updates below will highlight how our division is functioning within this pandemic.
The Summer Lions Program will take place virtually. Students will receive online instruction, interact with student mentors and students success coaches through an online format. The program is scheduled for June 29-July 31, 2020.
Mrs. Tawana Greene is serving as the Interim Director of Recruitment. The unit is committed to their enrollment goal for the fall. To make sure that momentum among new students does not decrease, recruiters are ramping up their communication with potential students. Some of the activities that are taking place are: virtual open house, virtual UAPB BINGO, established text-lines for students to communicate with their enrollment counselor, daily Zoom meetings with students, rerouted office telephone lines to cellphones, online orientation, GroupMe for new students, segmented social media marketing and follow-up with targeted digital and social media in Arkansas, Memphis, and Chicago. New students are encouraged to use #UAPB24 to announce their intended fall enrollment on social media platforms. Please contact us if you have a student who we should follow-up with.
The Office of Admissions has the technology to work with students’ files and to communicate with students virtually. There has been an overwhelming response from new students surrounding our amended admissions policy for the fall. The amended policy allows students (new and transfer) with a 2.0 Grade Point Average to qualify for admissions.
Student Financial Services
Understanding that many students are concerned about their financial aid status, the unit is busy communicating with returning and new students to answer questions surrounding their awards. Office telephones are rerouted, so that students can contact financial aid counselors. To help offset some of the abrupt financial burdens caused by the pandemic, students are receiving Work-Study payments, as if they were completing the work on campus. Additionally, many of the verifications are now relaxed to simplify the financial aid process. The office is working with the Office of Development to establish a fund to support students who have been impacted by the pandemic.
Student Success coaches have been deliberate in their outreach efforts to students. Students are able to meet with the coaches virtually and they are able to receive academic support. The unit has launched a student satisfaction survey to gauge students’ experience through the virtual learning environment, we are assisting students with pre-registration, and we are assisting students with emergency financial support. Beginning May 7, 2020, local students will be able to do curbside pick-up for “grab bags” from the Food Pantry.