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OCC Students to Benefit This Fall from Title III Grant Advising Initiatives

DeskStudents returning to Olney Central College will find changes in Student Services designed to enhance the new online registration process beginning this fall.

Title III Project Director Stephanie Nuttall said work this summer included installation of a new reception desk and the creation of an online registration area with three computer terminals.

“Beginning with spring registration in October, students will be able to come in, sit down and register online for their classes,” Nuttall said. “The area is set up so students can receive support during the registration process.”

The changes are being implemented through the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Title III Block Grant, which includes streamlining the college’s advisement process among its objectives. The move to self-registration will enable advisors to take a more proactive approach in assisting students.

“Appointments with their advisors will focus more on how the students are progressing rather than registering them for classes,” Nuttall said.

Title III Advising Specialist Ashley Bigard has been working with advisors to prepare for the changes. She will be available to assist students during the initial registration process.

As part of the new proactive advising efforts, students also will begin receiving text messages from the advising department.

Students will receive texts alerting them of registration dates and reminding them to schedule appointments to meet with their advisors. Students also will be able to reply with questions and in many instances receive replies after regular business hours. Students can use the service not just at registration time, but throughout the semester.

“I’m hoping it will be very beneficial for the students,” Nuttall added.

Earlier this summer, Nuttall and Bigard attended the OnCourse Engaging and Empowering Learners Workshop in Menlo Park, Calif.

The Title III program is supported in part by a five-year grant awarded to Olney Central College from the U.S. Department of Education effective October 1, 2018. The estimated total cost for all project activities is $2,506,775 financed by the grant award of $2,249,968 (90%) and $256,807 (10%) by Olney Central College. Grant initiatives include streamlining the college’s   advisement process, redesigning the Information Systems Technology and Welding programs and developing a Drone Technology Program.

Nuttall said other grant initiatives are moving forward as well. Renovations have been completed on the Information Systems Technology Classroom at the West Richland Center in Noble and new equipment installed for the state-of-the-art lab. IST classes began Aug. 15.

“We have gotten a lot accomplished and are seeing the finished product,” Nuttall added.

 Illinois Eastern Community Colleges does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, religious affiliation, veteran status, national origin, disability, genetic information, or any other protected category.


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