'Model of efficiency'

LDS Business College is one of seven colleges and universities honored nationwide by University Business magazine in its winter “Models of Efficiency” national recognition program. LDS Business College garnered 2 of 8 awards given for its consolidation of student services, and for its early intervention program for at-risk students. The Models of Efficiency program recognizes innovative approaches for streamlining higher education operations through technology and/or business process improvements.

“Dealing with disparate departments is a common problem among universities,” said Tim Goral, senior editor of University Business. “LDSBC has done a great job not just to consolidate, but to unify to give better service to their students.”

Delivering such important student services as tutoring, disability assistance, and advising is vital. Yet the offices and departments that delivered those services at LDSBC were distributed across campus, making it difficult for students with multiple issues.

Adrian Juchau, director of student support, and his colleagues, recognized the need for a more centralized approach.

By merging eight departments into a single entity — the Student Development Center — LDSBC created a versatile setting designed to foster efficiency and collaboration. The college created a common physical space to deliver the various services.

A year after opening, the Student Development Center has paid dividends.

Before the center opened, students sometimes waited days to meet with a staff member; now more than 95 percent of students have their issues addressed immediately. And because the campus runaround has been eliminated, student confusion decreased while satisfaction increased.

In the past, LDS Business College students whose semester grade point averages fell below a certain level were placed on academic probation, which did little to get them the help they needed. When their cumulative GPA dropped to a certain level, they were suspended from classes. Instead of seeking the academic support, many students simply didn’t come back, adversely contributing to retention and graduation rates.

After receiving earlier and more comprehensive information about the availability of support services, 73 percent of students returned for the next semester, far above the historic rate of 50 percent. Two-thirds of those who came back successfully completed that semester, up from less than a third historically. Those numbers continue to increase. Deploying volunteer mentors saved tens of thousands of dollars, and with greater retention, the college was able to take in hundreds of thousands of additional dollars in tuition revenue.

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