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Meramec New Student Enrollment Orientation Project Takes District-Level Innovation of the Year Award for 2008-2009

April 10, 2009

Meramec District-Level Innovation of the Year Winners  

The district Innovation of the Year for 2008-2009 winners (from left) are Ray
Eberle-Mayse, Suzzie Huff, Kim Fitzgerald, Barb Shadburne, Julie Massey,
 and Klaudia Krygiel.

Each year, St. Louis Community College participates in the Innovation of the Year award process, established by the League for Innovation. Initially, an Innovation of the Year will be selected at each campus, at the Cosand Center, and, if there are innovations that cross the district in application and usage, a district-wide award. The award winners from each category then compete for the college’s overall Innovation of the Year, and the resulting League plaque and recognition.

Meramec’s New Student Enrollment Orientation Project (NSEO) is the winner of the district Innovation of the Year for 2008-2009. NSEO was created to deliver information to first-time students in an efficient and consistent manner and provide them with more opportunity to ask questions, be better prepared and, in general, take more responsibility and ownership in the enrollment process.

NSEO began in May 2007 and is held between the months of May and August each year, during peak registration periods. During the first summer of the project, 655 new students attended sessions—35% of the new students that enrolled at Meramec in the fall 2007.  By the second summer, 1,012 new students attended a session or 77% of the new students that enrolled at Meramec. 

“Prior to the development of NSEO there was no system in place to orient and enroll first time new students” explained Meramec advisor and team member Julie Massey. “The enrollment process can be overwhelming for new students when they are not given a clear direction on what steps need to be taken. It was inefficient for both students and staff to orient new students one by one. NSEO not only allows the student to have more responsibility and ownership in the enrollment process," explained Massey, "it makes them more autonomous. This autonomy allows for the advisor to focus on advising and program planning while working with a student.”

New students are told to sign up for an NSEO session after they have completed an application and provided appropriate ACT/SAT scores and/or taken our assessment. Each session runs about one and a half hours. A session consists of three components: informational, advising and registration. The informational component takes place in a group setting and covers the following: policies, procedures, degree programs, transfer information, expectations, financial aid and student services. During the advising component, students meet individually with an academic advisor to discuss their program of study and course selection. The registration component takes place in a computer lab where student assistants guide new students through the online course schedule, Banner Self Service and student email.

The League for Innovation established the Innovation of the Year Award to recognize League college individual staff members or teams who have designed and implemented a significant innovation. Only one award is presented to each of the League member districts. The League also provides certificates for college innovations that are runners-up in multi-campus district competitions.