Student Success Center Enhances Student Experiences

min read

Key Takeaways

  • In an effort to deliver student support services more efficiently, Suffolk County Community College assessed its routine practices in search of new ways of making positive changes.
  • The resulting Student Success Center at the Eastern Campus collects student services in a central location that features a high-tech, high-touch space.
  • The increased efficiency and capacity in delivering student services results not just from technology but also from cross-trained customer service personnel.

Suffolk County Community College often asks students to step back from their familiar surroundings and look at the world differently to find ways of making positive changes. Recently, the college chose to do the same by assessing its routine practices in an effort to deliver student support services more efficiently. The result is the new Student Success Center at the Eastern Campus.

Video explaining the Student Success Center (3:15 minutes).

Advantages of the New Center

With almost 4,000 students, the Eastern Campus sees a lot of activity. The Student Success Center — also known as the "One-Stop Center" — provides students with multiple services in a convenient central location. Explained Mary Reese, assistant dean of Student Services for the Eastern Campus, "With our old process, students were moving between six different offices in order to meet with college representatives about financial aid, registration, counseling, and advising. We wanted to understand how we could do this differently — in a manner that was easier for the students."

The Student Success Center is a high-tech, high-touch, dynamically responsive space that delivers a new experience for students. It includes a concierge station, queuing system, digital displays, and self-help kiosks, and is the culmination of a shared vision of student learning and intensive customer service cross-training through multiple departments.

"We wanted to expand our capacity to serve our students," said Evon Walters, executive dean of the Eastern Campus. "We are mindful that this is a student population that is technologically savvy and one that has come to expect immediate gratification."

Suzanne Dela Raba, Administrative Director of Business Services, noted that "Our single point of service has made all transactions easier and more efficient."

The Student Process and Environment

After being checked in by a concierge, students can relax in comfortable furnishings surrounded by directional signage and dynamic, oversized LED displays. Digital signage reflects the student's position in the queue and flashes when it's their turn for help, and directional signage flashes so that students can immediately determine where to go. Alternatively, while in the queue students can choose to use self-serve kiosks to check information about their academic records, classes, and more.

To foster an enjoyable and informative environment, additional overhead and projected large-screen signage shares ongoing news about college academic programs, student leadership opportunities, and college events.

The result is a one-stop approach that enhances the overall student experience, supporting student engagement, persistence, and success. "I envision this model becoming the standard for all three of our campuses," said President Shaun L. McKay of Suffolk County Community College. "From admissions through registration, this new approach will ensure that Suffolk … provid[es] enhanced service delivery for all of our students."