We are getting ready to go through a software conversion on our campus (PowerFAIDS/CAMS to Ellucian Colleague). With this transition we have begun to have meetings… And when I say meetings, I really mean to say a lot of meetings! We discuss every aspect of the systems and how things will all fit together. We talk about information, reports, data, data and more data. During the typing of this blog alone, I have received three new meeting invitations. With no end of these meetings in sight, I will persist on balancing the best I can between learning the new system and keeping our normal tasks on course.
There is no way one person could ever know everything about our new software; there is simply too much information. This is just like Financial Aid…. one person cannot possibly be an expert on every aspect of aid. Most of the time in our shops, we have an individual or groups of colleagues that have an expertise in an area and maybe several areas. We get together with each other to work through problems and struggles. Financial aid truly takes teamwork.
In dealing with systems or financial aid, patience and grace must be exercised. Patience and grace is what we should focus on in our offices as we go through a software change and/or a busy season of aid. We should remember that, just as most of us have never gone through a software conversion of this magnitude, some of our families have also never been through the financial aid process. We must show families patience and grace when they look at us with a bewildered look and ask if we can explain it one more time… patience and grace.
Let me encourage you to show your students, their families, your coworkers, friends and your family patience and grace. You are an important person to each of these folks. They will depend on you for something whether it be financial aid or dinner, you are needed. Do not forget to show patience and grace to yourself. You are not able to do it all by yourself.
As I hope you know by now, the MASFAP community is one that is always willing to support and give you a hand at any time.
Happy summer and processing!
Brice Baumgardner is the Director of Financial Aid at Hannibal-Lagrange University and MASFAP’s Research Chair