Developing a year round training program
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Developing a Year-Round Training Program. Josephine Cassar Director , Financial Assistance and Services St. Clair County Community College Michelle Luck Assistant Director, Client Services Wayne State University. Developing a Year-Round Training Program.

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Developing a Year-Round Training Program

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Developing a year round training program

Developing a Year-Round Training Program

Josephine Cassar

Director , Financial Assistance and Services

St. Clair County Community College

Michelle Luck

Assistant Director, Client Services

Wayne State University


Developing a year round training program1

Developing a Year-Round Training Program

When deciding to develop a training program there are several questions you need to answer before moving forward:

  • What is the goal of the training?

  • What do the employees need to learn?

  • What type of training will be offered?

  • What method of instruction will be provided?

  • What audio-visual aids will you use?

  • What physical facilities will you need?

  • What about the timing of training (length and frequency)?

  • Who should be selected to attend training?

  • What checks or controls (if any) will you use to determine if the training was purposeful?


Developing a year round training program2

Developing a Year-Round Training Program

Other things to consider:

  • Academic calendar

  • System release dates

  • Workload of the staff

  • Popular Vacation times

    • 4th of July

    • Labor Day

    • Thanksgiving

    • Christmas


Developing a year round training program3

Developing a Year-Round Training Program

Pros for developing a Year-Round Training Program:

  • Your staff or team is your greatest asset.

  • Staff are given the knowledge, tools, skill set to perform their duties properly.

  • Staff feel empowered to perform their jobs effectively

  • Helps you do more with less.

  • Compliance issues diminish greatly.

  • Staff overall have been given opportunities for professional development and growth.

  • Staff can be held accountable for their duties and job responsibilities.

  • Provide a path to student satisfaction.


Developing a year round training program4

Developing a Year-Round Training Program

Cons for not developing a training program:

  • Compliance issues

  • Audit findings

  • Staff morale issues

  • High turn-over of staff

  • Customer service suffers


Developing a year round training program5

Developing a Year-Round Training Program

  • New Hire Training should be separate from your staff year-round training

  • Year-round training can encompass the following:

    • Refresher training on current processes/procedures

    • New system release updates

    • New regulation updates

    • Customer service trainings (new and refresher)

    • Cross-training for staff (if appropriate)

    • Consist of webinars, classroom, computer lab, and depending on the size of your staff one-on-one


Developing a year round training program6

Developing a Year-Round Training Program

  • St. Clair County Community College (smaller staff size)

    • Prior to developing the year-round training program, training opportunities were difficult.

      • Lack of office coverage, tried getting other offices to cover for FA

      • Staff illnesses, vacations, etc.

    • Implementing a year-round training program

      • Collaboration with Enrollment Services

      • Two cross-functional teams

        • 8 Financial Aid Staff (3 full-time, 5 part-time)

        • 8 Enrollment Services staff (6 full-time, 2 part-time)

      • Deliberately scheduled trainings on a day everyone works

      • Team A meets for an hour, Team B in the office and vice versa


Developing a year round training program7

Developing a Year-Round Training Program

  • St. Clair County Community College (continued)

    • Meetings initially were informational, now they are focused on training

      • Information shared electronically via email

    • Assess Team

      • Determine where the gaps are

        • Financial Aid?

        • Customer Service?

        • Technology?

        • Institutional Policies?

    • Training Meetings scheduled on calendar

      • Planning meeting scheduled for 1 hour on Wednesday, every other week

      • Training meeting scheduled on Wednesday morning, every other week


Developing a year round training program8

Developing a Year-Round Training Program

  • Issues Experienced with Training

    • Pro’s

      • Professional staff were on board immediately with the training

      • Professional staff are sometimes involved with the planning topics for the training

    • Con’s

      • Some support staff members continue to complain, aren’t willing to volunteer for role playing, answering questions, etc.

      • Need to force yourself to carve out the time to prepare for the trainings


Developing a year round training program9

Developing a Year-Round Training Program

Wayne State University (large staff)

  • We considered the academic calendar as it drives our daily operations, and merged it our system releases and federal regulation updates into an annual year-round training program.

  • We offered various types of trainings and materials:

    • Webinars (free and some with a cost)

    • Classroom style lectures

    • Job aids & emails (for reminders)

    • Computer lab training (simulations)

    • Staff meetings

    • Manuals


Developing a year round training program10

Developing a Year-Round Training Program

  • We received positive feedback from the financial aid officers

    • They welcomed the opportunity to learn and be given more timely trainings

  • We received mixed feedback from the support staff

    • If the subject matter did not directly impact their job duties they did not want to attend

      • (e.g. Year-Round Pell)


Developing a year round training program11

Developing a Year-Round Training Program

Draft of our Year Round Training Schedule

January

  • R2T4 Refresher Training – in preparation for the start-up of the winter semester, prior to the end of the 100% drop/add period, provide staff with a refresher training about the R2T4 process.

  • It is suggested that the Operations Unit send out an e-mail reminder to all staff to look for withdrawal information before processing aid revisions. In addition, it is suggested that we develop a one-page document that explains the “nuts & bolts” of R2T4 (e.g. the breakdown between student’s liability and institutional liability), so that FAOs have something to refer to when they need to explain R2T4 to students


Developing a year round training program12

Developing a Year-Round Training Program

Draft of our Year Round Training Schedule

February

  • 2010-2011 Verification – in preparation for the new academic year, all FAOs should be provided with verification training. All FAOs will be responsible for reading the updated Application and Verification Guide from the FSA Handbook. Training will cover any federal changes in the verification process, as well any updates on the Banner verification screens.

  • In addition, this is the time to review verification “philosophy.” Every year questions arise as to how to process files if zero income is reported by the family – what additional forms do we request, what is a reasonable income threshold, etc. A goal of the training is to achieve consistency among the FAOs in making decisions in regards to these “gray areas.”


Developing a year round training program13

Developing a Year-Round Training Program

Draft of our Year Round Training Schedule

March

  • Special Circumstances – as soon as students begin to file the FAFSA, OSFA starts to answer questions for students regarding filing special circumstances appeals. All FAOs need to be knowledgeable about the special circumstances process in order to advise students appropriately about when to file an appeal and what documentation should be included.

    It is suggested that we finalize the WSU Professional Judgment Guide and utilize this guide as one of the main training materials for the special circumstances training.


Developing a year round training program14

Developing a Year-Round Training Program

Draft of our Year Round Training Schedule

March

  • Transfer Monitoring for Spring/Summer (Late March) – in preparation for starting the Spring/Summer loan processing, meet with the FAOs and the Loan Unit to discuss the transfer monitoring process for the Spring/Summer semester. Even though specific FAOs are assigned to work on transfer monitoring as a program responsibility, it is beneficial for all FAOs to be knowledgeable about the process. We have a lot of students who dually attend WSU and community colleges, so anyone who works the front counter and counsels students should understand the purpose and function of transfer monitoring.


Developing a year round training program15

Developing a Year-Round Training Program

  • Were we able to stick to every item?

    • No

  • What problems did you experience?

    • Day-to-day operations

    • Start-Up of Classes

    • New System Release

  • What did we do?

    • We adjusted the training schedule to ensure the topics would be covered within the year.

    • We keep a progress log so we can track the items we haven’t covered and move them to a later time in the calendar.


Developing a year round training program16

Developing a Year-Round Training Program

  • Consider going off-site for trainings that require computer simulations

    • Return of Title IV

    • Professional Judgment Appeals

    • SAP

    • Imaging (New and Refresher)


Developing a year round training program17

Developing a Year-Round Training Program

  • Purpose of having a training program is to ensure you:

    • Maintain compliance regarding how to properly administer Title IV funding

    • Demonstrate administrative capability

    • Provide continuous professional development opportunities

    • Empower staff

    • Improve staff morale

    • Improved customer service

    • May provide ideas for process improvement

    • Forces management to make the time for training


Developing a year round training program18

Developing a Year-Round Training Program

  • Training Assessments:

    • It’s important that management provide timely feedback to staff once a training has occurred.

    • This will provide two things:

      • Accountability to both management and the employee that this training was purposeful and to be adhered to

      • Increases administrative capability that processes and procedures are being followed.

    • Training is only as good as the follow-up after training


Developing a year round training program19

Developing a Year-Round Training Program

  • 2nd Level Review:

    • Do you offer 2nd level review AFTER training staff on new processes and procedures?

      • This will help the staff understand why various steps must be followed.

      • It will allow management to assess if the staff member understood the training and if not provide follow-up training for that individual


Developing a year round training program20

Developing a Year-Round Training Program

  • Train the Trainer

    • Empower your seasoned staff to serve as mentors to newer staff.

    • This is helpful during customer service trainings (front desk and/or phone trainings)

    • This also assists in team building.

    • All training and development opportunities do not have to come directly from management.


Possible financial aid training topics

Possible Financial Aid Training Topics

  • Overview of Aid Programs

  • Scholarships / Grants

  • FAFSA / PINs

  • Lenders / MPNs

  • Initial Contact

  • Financial Aid Advising

  • Loan Entrance / Exit Counseling

  • Loan Default Remediation

  • Making A Payment

  • Holds

  • Disbursements / Refunds

  • Tuition

  • Return of Title IV

  • Packaging / Cost of Attendance

  • Verification

  • Affordability

  • Unique Population Needs (e.g., HS, Military, International, etc.)

  • Year-Round Pell

  • Late Change Requests


Possible customer service training topics

Possible Customer Service Training Topics

  • Super Service

  • Phone Etiquette

  • Escalation Paths

  • Building Trust / Rapport

  • Call Monitoring / Quality

  • Consultative Interactions

  • Dealing With Irate / Difficult People

  • Listening Skills

  • Problem Solving

  • Managing Phone Interactions

  • Documenting Contacts


Possible technology training topics

Possible Technology Training Topics

  • Phone Usage

  • Taking Inbound Calls

  • Making Outbound Calls

  • PC / Network Logon’s

  • Knowledge Base

  • System Training (i.e. Datatel, Powerfaids, etc.)

  • Email

  • Web usage (FAFSA)


What questions do you have

What questions do you have?


Developing a year round training program21

Developing a Year-Round Training Program

Contact Information

  • Jo Cassar

    [email protected]

    810.989.5539

  • Michelle Luck

    [email protected]

    313.577.8664


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