In 2019, the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) signed a multi-year contract with NASFAA's Standards of Excellence (SOE) Review Program to perform peer reviews at its 13 community colleges. Motlow State Community College was scheduled for a peer review in spring 2020, but after the COVID-19 pandemic began, the review was postponed. As the new review dates approached, and many campus operations were still being conducted remotely, the school decided to switch to a remote SOE peer review instead.
When Joe Myers, the college's executive director of financial aid, learned the institution would be having an SOE review as part of the multi-year TBR contract, he admitted the financial aid staff was initially hesitant. However, once the review was underway, the staff took full advantage of working with peer reviewers from all over the country.
"The SOE reviewers were helpful, professional, and they felt like part of the team at Motlow, even with them being remote," Myers said. "The staff felt very comfortable with the team, and may have been even more comfortable talking with them than if the review had been in person."
While in-person meetings became Zoom video calls, and the prep work of getting access to review files virtually is a bit more complex, the SOE review did exactly what was needed for Myers and his staff at Motlow.
"The SOE review helped us refocus and see things we couldn't see for ourselves. It also allowed us to get some departments to come back together and see how they are related to financial aid compliance," he said.
As the pandemic continues, NASFAA is temporarily offering remote SOE reviews in addition to in-person reviews. If you're interested in learning more about NASFAA's peer review services, please complete a short, no-obligation request for information.
Publication Date: 4/6/2021