Case Study: Glendale Community College

October 2019 to June 2020

Goals

To build a comprehensive and compliant policies and procedures manual and to teach the financial aid staff how to manage the manual and develop future policies and procedures.

Situation

Since arriving at Glendale Community College (GCC), Dr. Christina Tangalakis, Associate Dean of Financial Aid, Certified Financial Aid Administrator® , has taken several steps to evaluate and improve office operations, including a NASFAA Standards of Excellence peer review. The peer review, along with her own discovery, revealed a lack of organized policies and procedures for financial aid operations. "While there were a lot of piecemeal procedures for functions in place, there was not a comprehensive P&P guide to follow," commented Tangalakis.

Solution

To address the school's specific needs, Blue Icon developed a three-phased approach:  1) Evaluation, 2) Writing, and 3) Training. In phase one, the evaluation phase, two consultants worked off-site to upload all of the current policies and procedures into the NASFAA P&P Builder. Once completed, the two consultants performed a gap analysis and a compliance evaluation on the existing documents. Dr. Tangaliakis remarked, "Working with off-site consultants has kept our project costs under control."

With the evaluation phase complete, we began phase two. The consulting team worked collaboratively with the school to write any missing policies and procedures. To gather information, they conducted staff interviews via phone and video calls, worked closely with staff on edits, and discussed any substantive changes with leadership. The third and final phase focused on training the staff to maintain their manual in the P&P Builder and to develop and write future policies and procedures, as needed. All training was conducted online.

Outcome

"The consultants are so knowledgeable about federal regulations, that I have great confidence in their work product. I've worked with other consultants in other contexts and I have not always had this degree of confidence. Considering the current disruptions [due to COVID-19], the project moved along nicely," Tangalakis said.

"Without Blue Icon, I was looking at long delay to complete this project because writing policies and procedures were pushed back due to the day-to-day needs of the office," Tangalakis said after the project was complete. The entire GCC manual is about 500 pages in length, including forms and appendices. "Completing the policies and procedures was an obligation I had to my office. I've also done a service to whomever comes after me."

 

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Publication Date: 5/6/2020

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