Director of One Stop Recalls the Days of the UC Shuffle
And it was not a popular dance among students. But then, the shuffle got its walking papers when the One Stop Center opened on campus and online – revolutionizing student service.
Date: 3/12/2007One Stop Web site
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Andrew Higley
During those times when students need to take care of the business of being a student, Cecily Goode says right now is the best time to be a student at the University of Cincinnati. She should know first hand. The director of the One Stop Student Services Center earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees and began her professional experience at UC.
Just four years ago, University Pavilion, the home of the One Stop Student Services Center, was still under construction, and a model of how the center would work was undergoing testing by students on the fourth floor of Edwards One. The idea of One Stop was to blend all student business-related offices under one roof in the heart of campus and provide cross-trained University Service Associates or USAs to assist students with questions involving registration, student records, financial aid, student accounts and collections. The center opened on the second floor of University Pavilion during the 2003 winter quarter.
The associates now serve as a student’s first stop at One Stop, that is, if the student can’t answer the question through One Stop on the Web. “Our motto is ‘Don’t get in line, go online,’” Goode says. But back in the days when Goode, a Walnut Hills High School graduate, became a UC Turner Scholar and was earning her bachelor’s degree in finance, the functions of One Stop – registration, student records, financial aid, student accounts and collections – were all in separate buildings. A staff member working in registration couldn’t necessarily address a question about the student’s bill. Hence, the student-named “UC shuffle” bemoaned the process of sending the student from building to building.
“Just from my own student experience here, the One Stop Student Services Center is a dramatic improvement. Students can now go to one place to get their questions answered. It’s great to have just one person who can help them navigate the process of student business,” says Goode.
“Students want to be focused on why they’re here, which is to go to class, get involved in campus activities and leadership development and the like. Making the enrollment process as seamless as possible is the goal of One Stop,” Goode says.
Goode got an inside look at UC student services as a work-study student in Student Financial Aid and continued working in the office as she earned her master’s degree in educational foundations from the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services. She finished her master’s degree while working at Cincinnati State, and says that when she heard about the One Stop concept underway at UC back in 2002, she wanted to be a part of it. “It was nice to come back home to where I began my professional career and where I earned my education. Plus, I thought One Stop and improving service delivery to students here at UC was the perfect match for me.”
Goode adds that the functions of One Stop continue to expand, with online payment options, direct deposit, degree auditing and health insurance waivers. She adds that UC’s One Stop Student Services Center is also visited by student service professionals from colleges around the nation that are exploring how to improve their services to students.