Back to school at 42, the faculty view…

First of all, in Cenury’s defense, Andy should have known the intricate workings of the business office in which they send (community college — i.e. folks living at home) checks to the “local” address as opposed to the address that is on EVERY other piece of communication.   He also should have known that the information he gave to his FIRST community college would end up in the MNSCU computer, 10 years BEFORE MNSCU was created.  Yea… he shoulda known.

Also, it was enligtening to play “I have a student in my office with a problem”… this is a little telephone game faculty plays when we need to get something done… or, at least when we try to get something done.  It gets answwers fairly quickly and it got the attention of the business office folk, which may or may not work out in Andy’s favor.

This experience brings up a larger issue for me.  Namely, who in the heck is lookin’ at those checks before they go out?  Across the country colleges are getting hit with a scam in which students enroll, get financial aid, take the extra and run away.  Ely sounds like a perfect place to run away TO (I dream about it on a regular basis)… why didn’t someone ask why Ely MN (5ish hours from here) was a student’s “local” address for a student taking classes in person? 

Also, if we’re so worried about retention — (and we are… trust me) — why not improve the communication with the student?  Andy was told that dispursement happens on the 11th day after class starts.  Simple counting revealed the date — so far, so good.  What he wasn’t told is that we’ll hold onto his money for TWO more weeks after dispursement… they told him that later.

SO — if that’s the case, why did the check run up to Ely a few days after dispursement?  If he’d checked and changed his address in the time period they SAID they held onto the money, it would have gone to his actual home in the metro area.

Also, when Andy stops by the business office to ask “is there going to be any problem mailing me the check” — it seems that the person with the computer could offer to check the address — hmmmmm…. if, to quote someone from the “I have a student in my office” game, “this happens all the time”… doncha think that the first question from the person with the computer is, “would you like me to verify the address where we’re gonna send all that extra cash you’re planning to live on?”…. hmmmm… guess not, I guess Facebook was just too compelling — (I’m making that up…) — and, really, it’s about training the folks on the front lines… not the folks on the front lines.

I should note that it’s taking me a long time to get the money I EARNED from BNCC… but, I knew that going in.  They don’t pay overload pay until the second semester etc… and I’ll be getting mine in installments, even though the overload is recorded for last semester… but, that’s in the contract I agreed to — Andy’s check going to Ely just isn’t.


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