Follow up to HEERF Webinar
From Dr. Rollinda Thomas
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Assessment and Programs
1200 Murchison Road
Fayetteville, NC 28301
Have any of you utilized HEERF funds to upskill or train advisors to work with students who were impacted by covid-19?
Dr. Thomas: Fayetteville State University didn’t use HEERF funds to do this, but we recognized the urgency to address students’ holistic needs, which were exacerbated by the pandemic. We nearly doubled the number of advisors with new hires. This fall, the campus will open a One Stop Student Services Center to provide convenient access to common services that strengthen students’ ability to navigate their university experience. The center will assist students with the application process, academic records, financial aid, making payments, registration for classes, degree planning, receiving academic support, services for military affiliated students, and accessing university resources. Our Division of Student Affairs will also expand and enhance student health and mental health counseling services. This includes increasing pharmacy options and hiring two mental health counselors and a Disability Services Coordinator.
Have any of you used funds for stackable credentials or short-term non-degree programs to upskill displaced workers?
Dr. Thomas: Fayetteville State University has not used HEERF funds for stackable credentials or short-term non-degree programs. The institution is considering options to partner with the business community to identify and provide shorter credentials that can increase workforce skills and marketability for jobs. Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) policies are under review to facilitate assessment and transfer of appropriate skills for academic credit. In addition, the use of the American Council on Education (ACE) Military Guide is a useful tool to evaluate military students’ Joint Services Transcript (JST) for potential academic credit.
How have you all improved your systems for emergency grantmaking? How have you targeted the most in need students?
Dr. Thomas: Fayetteville State University identified Pell eligible students to receive help through HEERF I and II funds. To expedite the process, an email was sent to students with an application attached to it. The institution also used HEERF funds to support a Summer Academic Progression Scholarship. It was targeted to students in good standing who had not completed enough credit hours within the academic year to progress to the next classification level (30 credit hours to become a sophomore, 60 hours to become a junior, and 90 hours to become a senior). Of the 416 adult learners who participated, 87% had a positive result, defined as accumulating credits (52%) or gaining enough credits to progress to the next classification level (34.8%). They made progress toward a degree without incurring student loan debt.
Fayetteville State University also identified students who had account balances during any semester within the pandemic. $1.65 million in HEERF funds were used to pay the account balances of 1,442 students.
William J. McKinney, Ph.D.
Senior Advisor, Regional Campus Affairs
Indiana University, Office of University Academic Affairs
With respect to the three questions, IU had been engaged in all three of those areas pre-pandemic, and has used HEERF funds to supplement pre-existing efforts in those areas to make them more sustainable in the long term.