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New service designed to reduce student "runaround"

July 1, 2003

Ask any student and he or she will tell you: the most painful part of enrollmentaside from paying feesis having to run from one office to another for the forms, signatures and information that seem to be an inevitable part of the process.

But this fall, that process will be a lot less painful. The Ellington lobby, once little more than a passageway, will become AP Central, a new unit that will bring together elements of admissions, financial aid, the Registrar's Office and the Business Office to better serve students.
July 1, 2003

Ask any student and he or she will tell you: the most painful part of enrollmentaside from paying feesis having to run from one office to another for the forms, signatures and information that seem to be an inevitable part of the process.

But this fall, that process will be a lot less painful. The Ellington lobby, once little more than a passageway, will become AP Central, a new unit that will bring together elements of admissions, financial aid, the Registrar's Office and the Business Office to better serve students.

"We think of it as a triage unit," says Dr. Houston Davis, assistant vice president for academic affairs, "a place where students can get immediate help as well as direction on where to go for additional aid."

Staff from admissions, financial aid, the Registrar's Office and the Business Office each will occupy a "station" in AP Central. During peak times--registration, drop/add and fee-payment periodsstaff from those offices will assume their respective posts. During fee-payment times, which historically have led to long lines, the business office will have two "windows" open, Davis says.

No new staff has been hired to run AP Central. "We've just placed people differently," Davis says. "Right now, people spend quite a bit of time attending to student needs in their respective offices, while they're also trying to answer phones. There will be no phones in AP Central, so they'll be relieved of having to do that."

Staff from the various offices will serve in AP Central on a rotational basis.

In preparation for its new role, the Ellington lobby is getting an energetic new look. One wall will be festooned with pictures of current students, another with pictures of accomplished alums, Austin Peay's own "wall of fame," so to speak. A third wall will bear witness to the University's architectural past, with photos of the campus as it was in previous decades.

The spruce-up has two functions, according to Houston: to let people know they're at Austin Peay and to give the space more visual impact.

"Ellington is the front door of the campus," Davis says. "It's been functional, but it hasn't had a 'wow' factor. Now it will."

AP Central is scheduled for a "dry run" in late July and will be operational by early August, when students will be back on campus and needing service.

"Students often have four or five things they have to do as part of the enrollment process," Davis says. "AP Central will help them take care of those things in one location and function as an information resource. It's just another way for us to serve students better."