The University of British Columbia is offering a small campus experience to students admitted this fall to one of Canada’s largest universities, making UBC the first large university in Canada to implement a personalized service model.
Each incoming first-year student to the Vancouver campus will be assigned his or her own student service specialist who will guide and assist them throughout their entire UBC career.
Trained to help students with admissions, registration, student records, student financial support, fee assessment, and more, the specialists, known as Enrolment Service Professionals (ESP), can tailor their advice for each student and situation. This will enable students to develop a relationship with a single contact in UBC Enrolment Services from the beginning to the end of their UBC experience.
“UBC aims to provide students with an outstanding learning environment and part of supporting student success means providing them with the best services,” said UBC Associate Vice President and Registrar James Ridge.
UBC already offers many enrolment services as self-service options online. With the current service model, students who require personalized advice or assistance would have to visit separate offices and see various staff members to get their needs met.
The new model will connect each student to an ESP, who can deliver a comprehensive range of services directly. The potential for students to get to know their ESP over the course of their studies will allow Enrolment Services to be more proactive, both in making suggestions that will enhance the student experience and in solving any problems that may arise.
“The implementation of ESPs will be helpful for students, especially during the transition period from high school to first year,” said Christine Chen, a fourth year Science student at UBC and the coordinator of the Enrolment Services Student Advisory Committee. “I think that students will benefit from the continuous support and the ease with which information can be obtained.”
With this new service model, students will continue to have access to the comprehensive range of online self-service options but when they require additional help, they can connect directly with their ESP.
“It’s like we’re giving each student a family doctor instead of asking them to go to walk-in clinics where they would see a different physician every time,” said Ridge.
“We heard from students that we were providing good service with the current model but too often they felt like they were getting bounced around from one office to another. The new service model is part of a larger strategy to improve the student experience at UBC.”
Earlier this year, UBC announced that it was expanding its admissions process to include grades and personal experiences in an effort to select students who will really engage in the life of the university. UBC is also hoping to its expand its learning plan strategy to help students identify their learning goals and think about the opportunities available to them at UBC so they get the most out of their university experience. UBC has also made efforts to enhance student support services, including implementing the Early Alert System, which helps to connect students who may be struggling with financial, academic and counseling services early so they can get back on track faster.
All incoming first-year undergraduate students at the Vancouver campus will be part of the new service model in June 2012. By June 2013, the program will be extended to include all undergraduate students at the Vancouver campus.