Was it just me or was that a quick summer? This year the National Center for Education Statistics estimates that 19.9 million students are enrolling in college courses across the United States. 12.3 million of those students will be under the age of 25, and 7.6 million will be ages 25 and older. That’s a lot of students returning to campuses this year or finding themselves on one for the first time.
This month marks my own 4th year at CollegeSource and my departure from Columbia College. I am happy to still be serving students and staff in higher education through technology solutions. At this time of year, even after four years, I reminisce about how the return of students would transform the small, midwestern town where I worked into a busy, little city for the next 9 months. The number of drivers exploded, parking became a nightmare, and the everyday became very much about dealing with “rush” files and less about being pro-active.
Despite the frustrations of the sudden increase in population, there would always be fun stories to tell around the office regarding the returning students. Usually, it would start with someone sharing the “Mindset List” for the incoming freshman class. This lead to a lot of responses like “Really!?! Yeah?! Can I really be that old now?” or “How can they not know what _____ is?” There were also the highlight of being able to help a student switch to the correct course or prevent them from taking a duplicate course. It is a great feeling to be able to help students get on the right track when they begin school in the fall. This was always my second or third favorite time of the academic year. First and second had to be the commencement ceremonies, but that’s a story for another day.
Of course, once we got done helping those last-minute transfer students and getting the school year started smoothly, it was time to turn our attention to updating transfer rules, transfer pathways, and other yearly maintenance to be taken care of for the incoming academic year.
Here at CollegeSource, we are actively collecting for the 2018 catalog year. This is a yearlong process for us, but we understand there may be some catalogs that you need sooner rather than later. If you come across an institution whose catalog you need added to TES as soon as possible, you can use our Catalog Request form in TES. This form is located at the bottom of the Institution landing page on Course Finder 2. You will see a statement that reads “Didn’t find what you were looking for? Click here to request a catalog” and this will generate a form for a request.
This is also the perfect time to make sure all your users are up to date in TES and Transferology. Take the time to check in with your users to make sure they still have access. Each year we receive bounce-back emails when users send emails to contacts that are no longer at their institution. When checking in on your users, you can ask if they still need access, are still the point of contact, or if they need any refresher training on the products. This will help ensure that any evaluation tasks or requests from students get answered in a timely fashion and don’t just sit unmonitored in a deactivated email queue somewhere. A few months back I wrote an article to help users manage employee transitions in TES, and it may be helpful to refer back to this when updating any users this year.
Last year at the CollegeSource Annual Conference, I ran a session regarding best practices for annual equivalency maintenance. In this session, I covered some recommended yearly maintenance for keeping up with equivalencies that are stored in TES. If there is enough interest, we could host an online webinar for those clients that need a refresher or missed the training opportunity this past June (contact us).
We want to hear from you.
If you have any interesting or funny stories regarding the first weeks of school at your institution, we would love to hear them. Please reach out to us with your stories on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!
As we like to say around the office, “Teamwork makes the dream work,” and with close to 20 million students returning to school this fall if there is anything we can do to assist you, let us know.