Harold Washington College has turned Room 101 into a one-stop-shop, “The Starting Line,” where students can be serviced quicker.
Students with inquiries or in need of services from the Financial Aid, Registrar, Business or Admissions offices must begin at The Starting Line where they are asked to put their information in a kiosk, lock in their service and obtain a ticket number.
When the student is called to the front desk, they are assisted by a staff member from one of the offices. Student ambassadors stand at the door to help students navigate the new system.
"From a District Office perspective, this was the best procedure,” said Arlethia Mayes, associate dean of student services.
“It’s efficient. Students may need to speak to other offices first and we can easily direct that. Students that need quick inquiry get information here,” said Mayes.
Offices like the Business Office already required students to get a ticket and wait in line to be serviced before The Starting Line procedure began.
“I feel that here for this office, it’s simple payments. Students get mad that they have to go downstairs. It’s taking longer now,” said a staff worker at the Business Office who asked to remain unnamed for fear of disciplinary action.
“[The students] might as well get [the ticket] downstairs and by the time they go upstairs, they can keep their place in line,” said Mayes about the Business Office.
“This is a convenient and straightforward system,” said a first year HWC student who was introduced to The Starting Line upon registration.
Some students already familiar with the offices said otherwise.
"It’s a little bit of a hassle because it's time consuming when you already know where you need to go. I would see if someone didn’t know where they needed to be directed,” said Gillian Magee, an HWC student.
“If I go to the offices and there aren’t any people, then it’s pointless to go through the process,” said Anna Villa, a second semester student.
“But it can keep the school more organized. I know sometimes when it comes to signing up for classes, people do things last minute and they need to keep it as organized as possible,” she said.
“This new space is a work in progress for all staff and students. We are meeting weekly to address any concern and to ensure the flow is the best for students,” said Mayes.
“We will be working with SGA to continue to discuss and educate our campus of the The Starting Line and to ensure students know how to navigate,” she said.
The one-stop-shop procedure has paved its way at other city colleges including Malcolm X, Olive-Harvey and Wilbur Wright.
The Starting Line procedure has already been launched at Malcolm X, Olive-Harvey and Wilbur Wright colleges.