Authors: Thea Gillespie and Jim Eddy, MSFAA Training Co-Chairs
On Friday, May 8, 29 financial aid administrators participated in our annual support staff workshop, with a focus on Customer Service issues.
After a morning Tai Chi exercise, our Interest sessions included Prior Prior Year (PPY) and its attendant challenges; FERPA and maintaining compliance with safeguarding confidential information in the aid office; "Verbal Judo," a look at communication strategies to defuse heated interactions; "Verification and Eligibility," a look at how those requirements have very recently changed, and a final session entitled "Radical Hospitality" that provided insight and strategies for making customer service an ongoing, main priority in our interactions with students and parents.
Panelists and presenters included Deirdre Moore (WMU Stryker School of Medicine), Susan Vert (Michigan Institute of Aviation and Technology), Andy Spohn (Jackson College), Debbie Owens (Michigan State University), Sarah Kruger (University of Michigan - Ann Arbor), Michael Williams (Macomb Community College), Jim Owens (Lansing Community College), and Dawn Medley (Wayne State University). The Cinco de Mayo lunch buffet was appreciated by all of us fortunate enough to attend.