The Transitional Studies department is growing. On March 12th, Stephanie Gardener started as part-time clerical staff. Since roughly 50% of incoming Chadron State College freshmen require transitional courses, it was unsustainable to have the department staffed solely by Director Tamara Toomey. The goal of this new position is to ensure that Tamara has quality time to spend with students, instead of spending valuable time on routine paperwork and minutiae.
As the title suggests, Stephanie will do much of the clerical work for the office, including communicating with incoming students, emailing Fall schedules, tracking placement testing requirements and results, and answering questions about the Transitional Studies Program (TSP). She will create and organize spreadsheets, which are instrumental for tracking placement testing and student completion of TSP requirements. She will also update student records in PeopleSoft, noting placement test results and assigning TSP students to Tamara for advising. She will serve as the front line for Transitional Studies, scheduling appointments, handling walk-ins, and fielding some basic questions from students and parents. In cases where she is unable to answer a question or resolve the issue, she will forward it to Tamara.
Two of Stephanie’s main projects for this spring and summer are working on the Rising Sophomore Awards Ceremony and New Eagle Registration and Orientation. The Rising Sophomore Awards Ceremony will be held the evening of April 19. It honors current freshmen, who will rise to the rank of sophomore in Fall 2018. Stephanie will serve as the contact person for students, sending invitations to all nominees and handling the RSVPs. She will also put together a slideshow of nominees, as well as scenes from campus, so nominees’ guests can get a great feel for campus life at CSC.
New Eagle Registration and Orientation sessions are held in the spring and summer to ensure that students are prepared for Fall semester classes by providing crucial information about financial aid and payments, textbook ordering, and course scheduling. Stephanie will work closely with Admissions Rep Channing Jons, who has worked with the Transitional Studies population in previous years. Stephanie will communicate with students beforehand to make sure that they attend one of the New Eagle Registration and Orientation events. She will meet with students and parents to explain the Transitional Studies philosophy and coursework, as well as answer questions. She will also administer English and Math placement testing for students who qualify for Transitional Studies. Placement testing’s purpose is twofold – it assists Tamara in determining what Transitional Studies coursework is appropriate for the student’s needs and also whether the students can test out of Transitional Studies courses altogether. Students that are unable to travel to CSC before the fall semester can work with Transitional Studies to arrange to have the test proctored in their local area.
Stephanie will be in the position until the end of July. She graduates from CSC in May and will soon head to the heart of the Midwest to begin coursework on her MFA in creative writing. Tamara is hoping to have the position filled again by the start of the Fall semester, as the beginning of the school year is obviously one of the busiest times for the department. For more information about Transitional Studies, you can email Tamara at firstname.lastname@example.org or Stephanie at email@example.com