New York Tech students sitting at a table


Enhancing Delivery of Student Services

October 23, 2023

Committed efforts to enhance the overall student experience at New York Tech are underway throughout virtually every corner of the university. To shine a spotlight on some of the student-focused innovations and practices being deployed, New York Tech News will periodically highlight departments that have made great strides in automating processes, developing new and better ways to do things, or simply devising practical solutions to address problems, all in the name of making our students’ lives easier.

Blocking the Bounce

New York Tech’s Office of the Bursar tracks student accounts and other financial details of their college experience and is focused on helping students and their families manage their college expenses as easily as possible. 

“Our goal is to remove barriers for students and to create a frictionless experience through a holistic account review to ultimately decrease enrollment impacts to them,” says Patricia Duran, senior director of student accounts. Focused on improving operational efficiency and resource effectiveness, Duran and her team have devised several ways to streamline interactions between students and various support areas to ideally achieve a “one-stop” service and minimize the occurrences of students “bouncing” between different areas looking for a resolution to their issues.

Key steps taken include creating a Bursar contact list with helpful hints for the Student Service HUB, including links to self-service videos and web pages. The team also developed an enhanced online help resource in the third-party payment platform that maps students back to for assistance in making payments. A collaboration with the financial aid team created a missing FAFSA alert in the Student Service HUB and other platforms, and a series of training sessions for various administrative offices about basic bursar functions are making the business and financial aspects of the student experience easier to navigate.

Efforts to increase efficiency are paying off, Duran noted. The office increased fall 2023 payment plan enrollment by 7 percent (and 8 percent for NYITCOM) and received the Achieving Campus Efficiency (ACE) Award for the third year running, noting that 98 percent of students received disbursements electronically.

Automation is Key

Bursar efforts to reduce enrollment impacts is a goal shared by the Office of the Registrar, which oversees enrollment and academic recording keeping for New York Tech and its students. Strategic functions include managing the class registration process, providing access to academic records, and meeting student needs relative to schedule or major changes, among others.

“The most important word in our office is automation,” notes Registrar Ian White. For example, in the last academic year, White and his team, in collaboration with several other university departments, focused on automating important academic processes impacting students, including grade and attendance changes, which previously had been paper based. Since May 2022, nearly 900 grade changes and 800 attendance changes have been processed online. “This relatively basic yet important change has significantly reduced wait times and undue stress for students,” White says.

In spring 2023, a pilot program was launched to move the waitlist process online. The pilot started with 10 class sections; of the 20 students waitlisted, 17 were auto-enrolled. In the fall, this expanded to 124 sections. Of the 97 students waitlisted, 66 auto-enrolled quickly and easily, reducing paperwork and potential errors. 

The next areas to be automated include the student class withdrawal process and single-click roster confirmation in the Student Services HUB. Additionally, White and his team are collaborating across the university to implement a curriculum change workflow and to automate the classroom reservation system. Enhancing efficiencies in identifying and reserving available space will bust the myth that New York Tech has a space vs. an efficiency problem, White notes.