Attendees: Nadine Jenkins, Chair, KC; Earl Campa, CFC; Nithy Sevanthinathan, System Office Jason Kot, System Office; Mary Shafer, System Office; Diana Pino, CFC; Ed Albracht, TC; System Office; Larry Rideaux, System Office; Sandi Patton, System Office/NHC; Bennie Lambert, NHC; Severo Balason, NHC; Terry Sawma, KC; Tammy McFarland, System Office- Recorder.
Guests: Randy Sparks, System Office; Cami Davey, MC; Diane Novak & Lori Logan-Hannes, System Office
Absent: Debra Britton, TUC
Approval of minutes - accomplished via email
1. International Student Audit Report - Nithy Sevanthinathan, Diane Novak & Lori Logan-Hannes
Diane commended ISP for requesting an audit to insure that they were applying best practices in their processes and to identify where improvements could be applied. ISP council meets on a regular monthly basis to enhance communication among the colleges and has developed checklists to insure that all regulations are being met and documentation is on file.
The audit reviewed 112 randomly selected files and found that compliance regulations and reporting need to be realigned to insure that documentation is available showing that regulations are being met. Documentation is of utmost importance and there is a need to develop a consistent form of reporting to meet all Homeland Security Requirements.
Full Course of Study requirements need to be better defined (this is not only an issue for IPS but for the general student population in regards to financial aid and insurance requirements). Since several programs have semesters that may not require 12 credit hours-the definition for Full Course of Study needs to be developed and published so it will be available to all governing authorities for audits.
Diane will complete the full report and forward it to the EC and SSC council. Nithy stated that the advisors are doing a fine job and the IPS will follow-up on all recommendations to assure that the international students files are in compliance with all rules and regulations
Actions to be taken by IPS Council:
Develop a calendar of critical dates to include the SEVIS 21-day cycle of reporting which is a federal mandate-the IPS council will set up a schedule and make a determination as to if this should be a district report or reported individually by college.
A mandatory orientation will be set for international students with appropriate restrictions set on those students that fail to attend.
NHC is currently without an international advisor-Nithy will discuss the importance of having a trained advisor with the EVC. This could be managed by providing professional development and training for a current advisor.
Develop a check-in process for federal agents visiting the campus to avoid the "fear factor" of having armed personnel just showing up in the advising area.
2. Update on IT Student Services Help Desk - Randy Sparks. Randy reviewed the progress made on the website and universal phone number for student services help desk. The phone # is ready to launch once Randy receives approval to go live. First, each chief student services officer must assure that his/her staff is prepared for the incoming calls and aware of the phone tree.
832/813-6855 will be the number used for the informational line-when students call this number seeking assistance they will hear a greeting and then will be asked to select the college they want to contact (Press for Lone Star College–CyFair, etc.) Once the choice is selected, they will be connected to that college's student services area. The message recordings were input by Susan Rush.
Web pages have been revised to provide the best contact information for each type of call. Work will continue to insure that the pages are easily accessed and correct information is provided.
The web page will not go live until the Web Review Team has had an opportunity to review its format. This could be accomplished by email prior to the next scheduled Web Review meeting in September.
Action: the council approved opening the phone lines on 7/24/07 -however, the IT team did not launch the number due to concerns that each service area had not been briefed on the new phone # and its ramifications, i.e., increased phone calls; poor customer service to those caught in an internal loop of voice messages and no call backs.
3. District Call Center Proposal-Earl Campa-Earl requested that SSC research call centers at other colleges and develop a proposal with budget considerations to institute a district call center to handle all incoming student services calls and to insure that each caller is proved with correct information and speedy resolution of each question.
Action: Earl, Susan and Jade will serve as a committee to gather information on college call centers. Other members may forward any relevant information to them to be incorporated in a proposal for the development of a district call center. Jade will also gather information from the HCC call center.
4. Individual Approval Process-Mary Shafer. The catalog states that "sufficient evidence is required" for individual approval process and ARC is concerned that inconsistency of admission requirements is being applied. The Ability to Benefit process is not consistently applied and the form needs to be moved from DRAFT to set procedure.
Action: After the meeting, a majority of SSC members approved the draft form via email-however, several suggestions were made on how to improve the form and Susan Rush is working on incorporating the revisions. The form will be sent again for final approval
The catalog also needs to be updated with information that is more exact; once the form is complete, SSC will submit to Linda Luehrs Wolfe for inclusion in the catalog.
5. Update on developing job descriptions and pay grades for Academic Advisors-Larry Rideaux
Work is continuing on developing the job description and pay grades for academic advisors. This may not be accomplished by August 31 but it has been PROPOSED by the EVC that once the job description/pay grade is developed that those qualifying for the position will receive the new pay grade retroactively to September 1. Of course, budgetary considerations may not allow for this to be carried through.
An HR rule of thumb for determining if personnel are spending more than 50% of their time on non-exempt functions-then they can not be paid at a higher pay grade. Further problems may develop once staff realizes that they will be in the exempt category.
Action: SSC members agreed that this is an important first step in granting the district's academic advisors the professional status that they so well deserve. Members also concurred that several important decisions must be made before the new job description can be activated and that it is important to "get it right" before it is approved.
6. Updating SSC committee reports and WebPages-Larry Rideaux and Susan Rush are working on updating the SSC web pages and will be contacting each of the committees to encourage them to post their minutes and other resources to their web pages.
7. XQMM Report & Technology Project List Review- Cami Davey. The XQMM report has inherent problems that cause innumerable "false" reports on pre-req problems and difficulty in accessing relevant information due to its inability to sort by student's names. ARC members have been working to improve the usability of XQMM but it still requires multiple hours of review to glean the required data.
Proposal: Discontinue the XQMM as a pre-registration/immediate post-registration report due to its instability and rely on students and faculty to insure that the student has accomplished the pre-reqs for each class. In reality, only a small percentage of students end up in a class without the appropriate pre-req.
If the XQMM is continued then we should revert to the "out of the box" version of XQMM report which is slightly more "user friendly"
Action: Larry with Diana and Cami will submit a proposal to the Academic VPs to ask for approval to discontinue using XQMM reporting and will develop of an alternative plan (similar to CFC) to address the students that enroll in classes without the appropriate pre-req.
8. FERPA- Policy and Practice- Mary Shafer. A release form has been developed to allow for students to grant individuals the right to access records, pay tuition, etc.
Action: The form was approved with minor revisions and will be given to Susan Rush to post on the advisors resource page.
9. Review Drop Process for the Winter Mini-mester- Nadine Jenkins-deferred
10. Retreat Follow-up -Nadine Jenkins -- Nadine will forward the retreat notes taken by Susan Rush.
11. Registration Process Update - Jade Borne-Next meeting scheduled for Thursday, July 26, 2007 at Parkway. Jade will forward the agenda to all those invited.
12. Follow-up on CE Courses Counting toward Full-time Student Status for F1 students-Nithy Sevanthinathan-deferred, Terry, Nithy and Larry will work on this issue with the CE council.
13. URRS Update-Larry Rideaux-deferred.
14. Update on Proposed Student Policies-Larry Rideaux-waiting for final approval by EC, once approved it will be posted on the web.
o Nadine attended the VPAD meeting and the Withdrawal/Reinstatement Guidelines were approved. DRAFT will be removed from the document and posted in the Advisors Resources on the web. Please alert your staff to these guidelines.
o Severo announced that the GoMobile Unit is up and running and available for scheduling. Each campus should identify four or more people to be trained on using the center (Severo will provide training). The costs of running the "physical plant" for the unit (driver, gas, maintenance) will be covered by the AtD budget. The cost for the advisors and security will remain with each college. Severo will forward the list of tasks for those working on the unit.
o Mary gave an update on SB 1231-- the statute prohibits a student from dropping more than six times-- when a student attempts to drop a seventh time, the institution is to prevent that drop. It has not been mandated, what happens at that point and it is evidently up to the institution.
Apparently, if an institution chooses to ignore the statute and permits more drops than the statute allows, there is no financial penalty to the institution-although there may be legal penalties. There are a multitude of complications for institutions throughout the state if this statue is allowed to go forward. TACRAO is working on a resolution/response to this issue.
Next Meeting-September 25, 2007